Cathay Pacific and Priority Pass –
This week I am traveling to Shanghai for a mileage run vacation.
Shanghai Trip Report – Airport Lounges – Shanghai – Cathay Pacific and Priority Pass
I returned to the Shanghai airport via subway. The journey from my hotel took approximately one hour and 20 minutes. The subway cost 7.50 RNB and was really cheap. It was however, extremely full so it made for a long journey. I discovered later that there was an express train option which only made one or two stops instead of the 15-20 that I encountered on the subway. A note for next time.
Upon arrival at the airport, I had about three hours to spare before my flight. I approached the check in area and was assisted within five minutes.
The colleague processed the check in efficiently and he issued my boarding pass and provided an access pass for the Cathay Pacific Lounge. I headed to immigration and customs next. That process took around 15 minute between the lines followed by another 10 for security.
Once I was through with security check I entered the terminal and found a well laid out terminal. American utilized terminal 2. Upon exiting security there is a bank of open air lounged on the upper level. In the area where I was that meant the Cathay Pacific Lounge as well as a third party operated lounge that was affiliated with Priority Pass.
I approached the Cathay Pacific Lounge and was warmly welcomed by the agents. After presenting my pass as well as boarding pass I was given access to the club.
The club utilizes Cathay Pacific red colors for the entrance which makes for a dramatic entry. In addition, there was a wall with gray tiles that gave the lounge an upscale appearance.
The lounge served both business class and first class passengers. The layout included two sections of small chairs and couches for seating as well as a business center area. When I arrived the lounge was relatively empty so I easily found a comfortable chair and table.
The lounge offered two food stations both offering chilled and pre-packaged food. One of them was larger and it also included hot prepared food.
The bar featured a few wines and some spirits as well as soft drinks, beers and juices. A sparkling Moscato was available for sparkling.
Despite the fact that it was open air, the airport announcements were at a minimum and it did not take away from the experience.
I inquired at the desk about shower facilities but was told that the lounge did not offer those. The men’s restroom within the lounge was closed for repairs; however, a nearby one just outside the lounge was utilized.
From the buffet I selected Dim Sum and sampled three of the options. I also made a drink. The alcohol dispensing system was easy to use and you just have to push up on the knob at the bottom and a shot is dispensed.
The food was fresh and it was served hot. I sampled a sticky bun with vegetables including spinach inside, a pork dumpling and a mushroom dumpling. All three of the options had a good taste and flavor and they were fresh.
The internet offered in the lounge was fast; however, VPN’s were being blocked so I was unable to access any social media pages. I was able to stream a program on Vimeo though surprisingly.
Overall the lounge was comfortable and it was quiet. As it got closer to the flight time the lounge filled up. They appeared to be serving all One World Airlines; however, I never found a time when no seating was available.
I’ve experienced other Cathay Pacific Lounges before and this one was a little underwhelming compared to the lounges in New York, London and Paris. But I felt that colleagues were friendly and polite and they were very welcoming which is what matters the most. My favorite lounge so far was the Wing at Hong Kong which is Cathay Pacific’s First Class Lounge. That lounge was incredible as it offered a champagne bar with three different options, a full service cooked to order restaurant and an amazing shower suite.
Priority Pass Lounge
Prior to my flight’s departure, I exited the lounge and made a brief visit to the Third Party Lounge. The lounge was called First and Business lounge. There was no difference between the two lounges and they were connected by a shared hallway.
I accessed the lounge via my Priority Pass membership. At the check in desk, the agent asked for my membership card and my boarding pass. The agent informed me that they did not make announcements for flights so I needed to monitor it on my own. I was asked to sign the Priority Pass slip before being invited into the lounge.
The lounge was somewhat full and had a limited amount of seating area. As I entered the room the Business Section was quite full so I visited the First Section. The first section featured a few tables and chairs and one long buffet offering a variety of food options.
The lounge was also open air and it had a good view of the airport and the planes.
The lounge offered a small shower suite as well as its own bathrooms inside. The lounge also had a small room labeled as a smoking room. The smoke from that room could be smelled in the main hallway as well as near the entrance to the lounge.
The food options included two dishes with hot prepared food. A chicken peanut curry was available along with beef with rice and vegetables. There were also noodle soup packages and a selection of small prepared sandwiches and desserts. This lounge had a bottle of Brut Sparkling wine.
The chicken peanut curry had a creamy sauce and it was rich and flavorful. The beef was also hot and it had a good flavor. The vegetables were also fresh and they had a good taste. The Brut was extra dry.
Due to my limited time, I did not have a chance to check out the shower suite but it was nice that the lounge offered this service.
Overall the Priority Pass lounge was clean and comfortable and it was nice having a second lounge option at the airport.