Cathay Pacific Skyview Lounge, Singapore: better than Qantas/BA

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific Skyview Lounge, Singapore: better than Qantas/BA

Country:
Singapore
City:
Singapore
Airport:
Singapore
Cabin Class:
Business
Alliance:
oneworld
Airline:
CX (Cathay Pacific)

location:

dining:

work:

overall:

What's Hot

  • large but with different seating areas
  • decent wifi

What's Not

  • noisy in open area
  • wine isn't great

X-Factor

  • dim sum and dumplings
  • natural light

Introduction

If you're connecting through Singapore Changi Airport's "everyone but Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance" Terminal 1, Cathay Pacific's business class lounge is an undiscovered gem that beats the Qantas/British Airways lounge hands down. 

In fact, we reckon that the business class section of Cathay's lounge is actually better than the first class Qantas/BA lounge.

Cathay's lounge is called the Skyview Lounge. After a disappointing experience in the Qantas-British Airways joint business class lounge, I used my oneworld Sapphire (equivalent to Qantas Gold) card to see what Cathay's offering was like.

I'd previously enjoyed the Cathay lounge in London Heathrow's Terminal 3, so was interested to see how the Singapore version measured up. 

Location & Impressions

The Skyview lounge is in Terminal 1, up an escalator near gate D30, five to ten minutes' walk from the BA/Qantas lounge, next to the Times bookstore. It's fairly well signed with the usual Singapore lounge logos.

As with every lounge in Singapore, it's before the main security screening, which takes place at your gate. (So no pilfering a bottle of water for the flight.)

You'll probably spot the Fish Spa massage place underneath the lounge first (and if you have a long layover you might want to avail yourself of a backrub or -- my personal favourite for between-flight relaxation -- a footrub).

Once inside, the lounge has two different sections. I call the light and bright open area where you first arrive, with the food and drink servery, the "outdoors" area.

There's also a less-used "indoors" area, quieter but darker, and somewhat hidden away up a flight of stairs on the far left hand side of the lounge, near the showers and bathrooms.

The lounge is furnished in Cathay Pacific's international lounge style: not as chic as its world-class home-town lounges in Hong Kong, but still comfortable.

In particular, I like the Cathay chairs, which are at the right height for relaxing and for using a laptop on your knees.

Power points (with the British/Singaporean three pin square plug sockets) are spaced throughout the lounge -- look for the wooden tables with lamps on.

My preferred spot is the light and bright area directly behind the welcome desk, which has power points, tables and armchairs, yet is blocked off from the rest of the lounge by the wall behind the desk.

Access

Numerous airlines -- not just Cathay -- use the Skyview lounge.

Any passenger with either a same-day oneworld airline business class ticket has access to the lounge -- making this a great alternative to the dark and noisy Qantas/British Airways joint lounge in Singapore with its glacial wifi.

Frequent flyers holding a oneworld Sapphire card (Qantas Gold or equivalent) also have access with a same-day oneworld airline ticket in any class. (Jetstar tickets don't count...but it's a grey area as to whether Jetstar flights with a QF codeshare flight number qualify.)

It's also the contract lounge for Air China, Air France/KLM, Bangkok Airways, China Airlines, Delta, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Priority Pass, Sri Lankan, Sriwijaya Air, Transaero, Veloce and Wexas.

Dining

Cathay's signature dim sum (yum cha) and pork dumplings are on offer throughout the day in steamers in the main food area.

Also on offer are a good range of vegetarian (and carnivore) curry with rice and other "sauced dishes over carbs" like pasta and stews. You'll also find shrinkwrapped sandwiches, pot noodles, soup, fruit, cakes and pastries.

The drink selection includes fairly nondescript wine, but it's drinkable, unlike the Qantas lounge. The NZ Sauvignon Blanc is probably the least offensive of the lot.

Beer (Heineken or Tiger), a Smirnoff/Bacardi/Gordons/Campari sort of spirits range, soft drinks, tea and coffee round out the drinks section.

Overall, the food options are better than even the first class section in the Qantas/BA joint lounge.

Work

In the

The Cathay armchairs are comfortable for working with a laptop, and that's my preferred option if I can snag one near a power point.

Alternatively, you'll find some desks with comfortable lounge chairs in the "indoor" part of the lounge.

There are also some old Windows 95 terminals at the far end, if you're feeling retro.

Wifi speed was okay -- although leaps and bounds ahead of the awful network in the Qantas/BA lounge -- at 4Mbps down and 0.3Mbps up.

Relax

Since the armchairs are comfortable, pick a spot you like (out in the bright but noisy main area or inside in the dimmer but quieter indoor section), grab a bite to eat and something to drink and relax.

International magazines and newspapers are available throughout the lounge, and the wifi -- while not really fast enough to pull down a movie from iTunes -- should bring you plenty to read while you wait for your flight.

Showers (somewhat alarmingly marked "Strictly for Shower Only"...) are available and well-signed, with decent water pressure, rain heads and detachable shower wands.

Summary

This is one of the better lounges in the "Not Singapore Airlines" terminal 1 at Changi.

I really appreciate the option of either curling up quietly in the "indoor" section or getting some natural light in the afternoon hours between overnight flights in the "outdoor" section overlooking the taxiing aircraft approaching the terminal.

With a decent range of food and wifi that works, it's a step ahead of the other oneworld options in Singapore.

John Walton

John Walton (John Walton)

@thatjohn

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.
 

11 Comments

  • woganfan

    woganfan

    18 Nov, 2011 05:32 pm

    Agreed, this lounge is a gem but the outdoor part can be very noisy.  It can also be very bright if watching a video clip on an iPad as well.  The food is far better that the QF/BA lounge and the staff and guests are generally more pleasant and polite.

    No member give thanks

  • Al Glidden

    Al Glidden

    21 Nov, 2011 06:00 pm

    Thanks for the review, I've just started to travel to Singapore more often than I used to and this looks like continuing next year, so I'll try out this lounge instead of the QF business lounge on my next visit!

    No member give thanks

  • Ian_from_HKG

    Ian_from_HKG

    5 Jun, 2012 05:14 pm

    Now that oneworld have admitted that the "change" which you refer to in your update was in fact a mistake on their website, and that premium passengers can use any oneworld lounge regardless of frequent flyer status, shouldn't you update your Update to reflect this?

    No member give thanks

  • John Walton

    John Walton

    5 Jun, 2012 06:23 pm

    Good point, Ian -- thanks for bringing that one to our attention!

    No member give thanks

  • Ian_from_HKG

    Ian_from_HKG

    5 Jun, 2012 06:43 pm

    No problem - you might want to delete my comments as well, since they seem rather strange with the update removed!!  LOL

    No member give thanks

  • SuzieWong

    SuzieWong

    21 Apr, 2013 03:29 am

    Having just been in there today, I was starting to wonder if you were talking about the same lounge as I was in. Either that, or the BA/QF lounge must be an absolute shocker.

    The place was filthy, disorganized and lacked any atmosphere at all. The toilets were a disgrace compared to the rest of Changi Airport. 

    The staff on the front desk seemed pretty much not in control of the situation and I daresay quite a few of the people in there today took advantage of that fact and simply slipped in unnoticed. 

    The food and wine selection was pretty ordinary too. I would hardly rave about their dim sum selection- no X factor there if you ask me. 

    All in all, not somewhere I would recommend hanging around in for 2 hours before a flight. We ended up going down and having a beer and wine at one of the bars just to get out of the place.

    No member give thanks

  • dinkydie

    dinkydie

    13 Sep, 2013 05:51 pm

    Could anyone confirm whether or not the shower rooms have toilets? Thank you.

    No member give thanks

  • Ian_from_HKG

    Ian_from_HKG

    3 Oct, 2013 08:46 pm

    I haven't used the showers, so I don't know if they have toilets in the, but there are certainly toilets there

    I would agree with SuzieWong, though - the standards have really slipped.  I would head for the snazzy new QF lounge myself - much nicer!

    No member give thanks

  • Ando

    Ando

    30 Nov, 2013 09:19 pm

    Really? I use this lounge two to three times per month. It's a hole.  The  Salvo's wouldn't even take that furniture.  The food is basic and low quality, the amenities substandard and no service at all. I can't believe you rated this place at all. I am glad though that I found QF now have a new lounge. Wasn't aware. I'm Plat but do the CX route from HK to SG.  It's frustrating that CX use this cesspit as well.

    No member give thanks

  • Ian_from_HKG

    Ian_from_HKG

    2 Dec, 2013 07:03 pm

    With the changes to the QF and BA lounge offerings, I really think this article has had its day and should be pulled

    The Skyview lounge *was* a gem but is nowadays looking rather tired, and very crowded.  It is now the QF lounge that is the gem, IMHO 

    No member give thanks

  • Doin Solibun

    Doin Solibun

    11 Feb, 2014 04:12 pm

    I'm a business traveler to Singapore quite often, I have been your lounge several times. It's so impressed me to see the service is much better than before. They served food so efficient, helpful and good smiling. I will definitely sure to come your lounge without any hesitation.

    Thank you again they gave a wonderful memory dining experience.

    No member give thanks

Guest

4 Dec, 2016 09:13 pm

×
×

Forgot Password

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.

×