- Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day
- Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge
- Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong
- The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore
- A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
- Eating in Singapore
- Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
- Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
- Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I
- Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II
- Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III
- Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male
- Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore
- Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong
- Conrad Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago
- American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home
We departed the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf at the conclusion of our free stopover in San Francisco (who says that American doesn’t allow stopovers on one-way partner awards? They do, at the North American gateway city.)
On arrival at San Francisco International Airport, check-in was a bit confused. We walked straight up to the first class line, one person was being checked in ahead of us, I was surprised how many people are already in the queue nearly three hours before flight. It took longer than usual, apparently because of the reservation system changeover at Cathay which apparently was one of the less smooth transitions we’ve seen in awhile (and I say that having flown US Airways on the day that the combined America West-US Airways moved over to SHARES, flying out of Florida on a Sunday with online check-in and kiosks non-functional). The agent actually needed to see my printed confirmation to prove that I had onward travel beyond Singapore for immigration purposes, even though my onward travel was on the same itinerary.
Once check-in formalities were handled we proceeded to a short though slow-moving security line, made an immediate left-turn towards the first set o lounges, and found our way up to the new Cathay Pacific lounge which has gotten much attention since opening a few months ago.
The lounge is bright, the furnishings match a standard Cathay Pacific style. And it’s certainly a good lounge by U.S. standards. But it’s a “Business and First Class lounge,” there’s no separate first class side, and it is a busy lounge.
We got there long before our flight and there were very few open seats. We found a couple of seats together in the corner, and one was even near an outlet. My immediate reaction to the lounge, in addition to being crowded, was that there weren’t enough seats that had access to power. I wasn’t too worried about it, my first class seat would have seat power, but you still don’t want to draw your battery down before a 14 hour flight.
Internet access requires a fixed code which they’ll give you at the reception desk, it’s on a sign and they’ll hand you a slip of paper with the password to use.
Food was modest — make your own salad, a couple of hot items including overcooked pasta — the highlight of course was the noodle bar.
I had some spicy peanut soup which wasn’t especially spicey, a bowl of peanut sauce more or less with noodles (not a bad thing!).
Soon enough it was time to board. Ultimately, and I know I point out the flaws in the lounge, it was a nice space considering it was a lounge inside the U.S. and it’s even an improvement over when Cathay was using the BA lounge. I like the design, the noodle bar makes it authentically Cathay, it just needs to be larger. It’s too crowded leading up to a packed 747.
Of course I would have loved a separate first class section, that’s not realistic with just two flights a day — one with 6 seats and one with 9 upfront — and not usually full cabins at that (although the first class section would likely be full of oneworld top tier elites regardless of class of service).
Ultimately they didn’t have enough space to work with, they did a nice enough job with the space they had, but I wouldn’t purposely arrive early just to experience the lounge.