The Pier Lounge and Cathay Pacific Business Class, Hong Kong – Bangkok: “Burn Avios, Burn” Cathay Pacific First Class and Amazing Conrad Suites


We landed in Hong Kong, proceeded to transfer security, and took the train over to Cathay Pacific’s The Pier lounge which was adjacent to our onward connecting gate.

Though we were flying business class Hong Kong – Bangkok, as an arriving first class passenger showing a first class boarding pass stub we were granted access to the First Class lounge. The drama of whether or not we’d have access with the agent in New York was a non-issue, we were welcomed in without difficulty.

Unlike the bright, light, airy first class side of The Wing, The Pier is darker and done up in wood. Some prefer that look, but I find that there are nicks and scratches everywhere, the Pier seems well-worn to me.

First off was a shower, and then some internet time. The internet connection, though, was exceptionally weak and I had to move around the lounge to find a strong enough signal to get through my email.

Half an hour from departure we proceeded to our boarding gate and onto the plane for a fairly uneventful trip to Bangkok.

A far cry from the original 747 we were originally booked into first class on, we were greeted by an old style regional business class — which for intra-Asia flying is fine but a bit depressing, though which for even a domestic transcon in the U.S. would be a joy.

The flight was scheduled for a bit over two hours and dinner would be served:


    Marinated chili prawns with mixed rice salad and citrus vinaigrette

    Main Courses
    Steamed sea bass with mushroom and red dates, steamed jasmine rice and stir-fried choy sum

    Braised lamb shoulder rack with lamb sauce, green pea mash, roasted baby carrot, garlic and shallot

    Ice Cream

    Tea and Coffee


My wife had the lamb…

.. and I had the sea bass:

The flight was fairly uneventful. We circled Bangkok before landing due to air traffic control, which was odd because so many flights in and out of Bangkok had been cancelled as a result of reduced passenger traffic from the flooding. Our original 747 had been downsized, and indeed our original flight had been cancelled a week or so in advance and everyone moved onto the flight an hour later.

Upon arrival, we were met at the end of the jetway by a representative of our car service. I’ve been using Image Limo for Bangkok transportation for a few years successfully, they’re not the absolute cheapest but their prices are reasonable and I’ve found them to be reliable. They were running a special for free VIP meet and greet with airport transfer, so I pre-booked a few months out to take advantage of the offer. I wouldn’t have needed it, Cathay Pacific provided fast track passes to everyone in business class. Though fast track did have lines 5 or 6 people deep when we arrived. Our representative simply waived at a woman near the fast track area, and she immediately came over to open a new line for us and we breezed through.

We walked over to baggage claim, waited a couple of minutes, and our baggage was out. We then were escorted out to meet our driver, however he was nowhere to be found. And he wasn’t answering his cell phone. The gentleman who met us left in search of the driver — he quickly found the vehicle but not the man. It was more than 20 minutes before he figured out that the driver was waiting a door over from us. Once that was sorted we were on our way to the Conrad.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary,

    What aircraft did you fly this leg? What do you feel are the best business seats in the cabin for legroom? Did the bulkheads look like they had extra room or restricted foot space? I’m even taller than Brian, so I’m trying to figure which seat to get. Thanks!

  2. Just to add, SeatExpert and Seatguru show the opposite regarding bulkhead legroom on the A330, so I figured I’d ask someone who may have seen it.

  3. Since Cathy Pacific business class also gets the fast track through customs and immigration, it appears that our upcoming same trip (except business class from SFO) can be done just as efficiently and for less money by taking a cab from the airport to our Bangkok hotel. Agreed?


  4. @Gary Steiger yes and no — technically i’m not sure schlepping your bags over to the taxi queue and insisting they use the meter etc constitutes ‘just as efficiently’ but certainly the gap narrows.

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