Cathay Pacific’s Haneda Airport lounge showcases a new direction for the airline’s lounge network in line with its recent brand refresh.
Other Cathay Pacific lounges – including Hong Kong flagship The Pier – will take on a similar design, so in many ways Haneda affords a preview of the shape of CX lounges to come.
Location & Impressions
Cathay Pacific’s Haneda lounge is located on the top floor of the airport’s international terminal (directly above the lounges of Oneworld partner JAL), with the entrance near Gate 114.
It’s the first lounge in the Cathay Pacific network to showcase an all-new design based on the ‘home away from home’ concept created by Ilse Crawford’s London-based creative firm Studioilse, rather than the sharper edge of previous Hong Kong lounges designed by Sir Norman Foster's Foster + Partners.
There's a definite emphasis on a welcoming residential feel and superbly comfortable furnishings.
The vibe is warmer and softer than its Hong Kong siblings such as The Wing and The Cabin, although The Bridge makes a few nods in this new direction.
For instance, there’s no trace of Cathay’s much-loved carrera marble – this is largely replaced with cherry wood walls and a limestone floor with ample carpeting to soften the acoustics.
Something else that’s missing is Cathay’s trademark Solus workstation chair, which is clearly not in keeping with the lounge’s home-based feel.
The roughly U-shaped lounge has room for 190 passengers, and there are secure lockers for small carry-on bags.
Cathay Pacific’s Haneda lounge is open from 7.30am to 5pm for the following passengers:
- First class and business class travellers on Cathay Pacific and partner Oneworld airlines
- Marco Polo Club Diamond, Gold and Silver members
- Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members (including Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum and Gold)
The dining area to the left of the lounge’s entry features a new twist on Cathay Pacific’s iconic The Noodle Bar, familiar to frequent flyers from the airline’s Hong Kong lounges.
Bar stools let you sit at The Noodle Bar to eat...
... and you can watch your meal being cooked in the ‘open kitchen’ design.
There are also plenty of two-person tables, some of which afford a glimpse of the airport’s runways provided you stand up or at least crane your neck.
Breakfast offerings from 7.30am to 11am include Dan Dan Mien, Wonton Noodles In Soup, Congee and a Japanese Breakfast with French Toast (yes, it's makes for an interesting combo)...
From 11am through to the lounge’s 5pm closing time the menu switches to Dan Dan Noodles, Wonton Noodles in Soup, Noodle Soup with Sliced Chinese Barbecue Pork, Steamed Berbecue Pork Bao, Beef Curry with Rice, Beef Doria and French Toast with Honey and Maple Syrup.
For lighter meals, The Food Bar serves up a variety of wraps, sandwiches, quiches, salads, pastries and other sweet treats, as well as barista-pulled coffee.
And we can’t ignore the automatic beer-pouring machines, which are a hallmark of many Japanese airport lounges!
While many lounges are ditching desktop PCs due to the number of travellers packing their own laptops or tablets, Cathay Pacific has opted to park four iMacs in a small nook dubbed The Bureau.
These are dual-boot iMacs running both Apple’s MacOS and Microsoft Windows, and each connected to their own printer.
There’s also free (password-protected) Wi-Fi throughout the lounge.
But what we appreciated the most is the riot of power outlets – it seems that almost anywhere you sit, there’s a socket within reach.
That includes under the dining room tables...
.. and inside these ingenious tables in the main part of the lounge…
… where a slide-out drawer literally puts power at your fingertips.
Each socket sports an AC outlet (using the US-style Japanese two prong plugs, so don’t forget your adaptor) and a USB jack that’s rated to 2A so that it can recharge a tablet.
At the opposite end from The Noodle Bar is a more conventional bar – aptly named The Bar – where the bartenders can whip up a cocktail or pour you a glass of wine, spirits or champagne.
You can park yourself in a high-backed chair by the window, drink in hand, to enjoy a view over the airstrip…
… or sink into one of the incredibly comfortable Womb chairs (designed by Eero Saarinen) which dot the lounge.
All that’s missing are showers, which in fact are a rarity at Cathay lounges apart from its home port in Hong Kong.
But if you reach Haneda all hot and sweaty before your flight, there are showers in the JAL lounge one level down, and as Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines are members of Oneworld you’ll be allowed entry to the JAL lounge without any drama.
What Cathay Pacific and its new lounge design firm Studioilse have done with this space is quite amazing.
It ticks almost every box for a traveller heading out of Tokyo to Hong Kong (and beyond), but does so in a relaxing and refined manner.
If this is indeed the new face of Cathay Pacific’s lounges, we’ll happily welcome more of the same.