Cathay Pacific trials pay-your-way access to business class lounges

Cathay Pacific trials pay-your-way access to business class lounges

IN BRIEF | Cathay Pacific is now letting passengers pay their way into a handful of its airport lounges under a six-month trial.

Premium economy and economy passengers who don't hold lounge-worthy frequent flyer status can pony up HK$600 – that's a whopping A$108 – to cool their heels in the Cathay Pacific lounges at Manila, Melbourne and Vancouver.

Cathay Pacific Vancouver lounge

It's highly questionable if a visit to Melbourne's rather dated Cathay Pacific lounge is worth even half that much, especially with the recently-opened Plaza Premium Lounge asking $60 (or free with an American Express Platinum Charge Card or Centurion Card, or via Priority Pass membership) while it offers cooked-to-order dishes alongside a bar and barista service.

The Manila and Vancouver lounges are significantly better value for money, as both are among Cathay's newest lounges and include not just the warmly comfortable Ilse Crawford design but the popular Noodle Bar.

Cathay Pacific Manila lounge

AusBT review: Cathay Pacific business, first class lounge, Manila Airport

Even so, $110 could definitely go a fair way in either airport without your setting foot inside those cosy lounges.

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • russell


    10 Oct, 2018 10:09 pm

    Manila airport is that bad that it almost represents good value....
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  • Geoff Aire


    11 Oct, 2018 02:43 am

    MNL has a good enough lounge at T3 that's only about $15 and great views just no hot food!
    Cx lounges are re-knowned to be the best however too costly for a few hours unless its on expenses,the HKG paid for lounge is less money and good enough too!
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  • Peggy Hayes


    11 Oct, 2018 06:59 am

    I can almost see the point. For instance, if your company requires you to fly in Economy but you want a bit of comfort beforehand, I'd fork out the A$ to get into a decent lounge.
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  • John Harley


    11 Oct, 2018 07:36 am

    Marhaba pay per use lounge in MEL at $65 is much better value and has actual natural sunlight i.e a pretty good view of the runways and barista made coffee etc
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  • Dave


    11 Oct, 2018 07:40 am

    I was walking past the Plaza lounge in Melbourne recently and they had a sign out for $35 lounge entry for walk ups. I would take that any day over this from Cathay
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  • 346


    11 Oct, 2018 08:44 am

    ye same - does anyone actually use the Cathay Lounge in Melb?
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  • lionelhutz


    11 Oct, 2018 10:13 am

    I use it and it is generally reasonably busy before Cathay flights. I prefer the Qantas lounge for food but if I don't need a big meal a few dumplings and a beer at the Cathay lounge hits the spot. Also they have some nice showers. Most importantly, they call Cathay flights and you can hit up the staff to try and get a last minute upgrade.
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  • lionelhutz


    11 Oct, 2018 10:14 am

    Mind you, if you were paying the Plaza lounge is a much better option.
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  • Viscount2


    11 Oct, 2018 12:12 pm

    The best thing at Melbourne are the bathrooms, wouldn't pay $$$$ for them! I often go upstairs for a 'break' from the claustrophobic conditions.
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  • Chun Wah Dou


    11 Oct, 2018 02:48 pm

    The problem of CX MEL lounge is not about money, it's... too many people there. Imaging the 00:50 flight has 70+ eligible guests in the MEL lounge while the flight has 270 capacity...
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  • Jason Hamilton


    11 Oct, 2018 06:36 pm

    “Even so, $110 could definitely go a fair way in either airport without your setting foot inside those cosy lounges.” Couldn’t be a truer statement! If one does not have lounge access eligibility, not really worth it, especially if a group of 2 or more!
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  • Martin  Slobodnik


    11 Oct, 2018 07:22 pm

    Why does CX even have a lounge in MEL? I thought they would just use the QF J & F lounges.
    No member give thanks

  • lionelhutz


    12 Oct, 2018 01:46 pm

    I expect that with 3 flights a day x 40-50 passengers eligible for lounge access, it's probably cheaper to run a lounge than pay Qantas to use theirs. Also given the size and location, the rent can't be that high.
    No member give thanks


23 Oct, 2018 11:23 pm


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