A few recent observations on Hong Kong International Airport

GON

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I have flown through Hong Kong International (HKG) Airport numerous times over the past decade, and a few times very recently.

A few observations/ comments.

- Of biggest note- the bathrooms are spotless. Cleanest public bathrooms of any airport I have transited through in the world, but I suspect the bathrooms at Narita(NRT) and Haneda (HND) are just as spotless, I don't recall- but one expects spotless bathrooms as the norm in Japan

- HKG has awesome water stations located throughout the terminals. Not a little fountain, but wonderful water dispensers of both hot and cold water. The stations are big, very noticeable, and accessible, with multiple pour points. They even offer nice cups for free. No need to pay HMS Host $3.50 for a bottle of water. (see pics)

- Biometrics are in full swing. The airport knows exactly who you are at the airport, and where you are going. When I went to board my flight departing HKG, all that was needed was a view of my eyes by a computer to board the plane. No boarding pass, no passport. Just look in the computer and a green light tells you to enter the jetbridge

- the biggest construction project I have ever seen at any airport is currently going on at HKG. I did not notice this project passing through HKG just 60 days ago. It is huge, whatever is going on is massive. This surprised me as HKG is already a very modern airport. Must be huge plans for this already super modern airport. Whatever they are doing- they are not playing- really big stuff going on.

- I had no idea Shire owned Cathay Pacific. Shire is a huge owner of many things to include Coca Cola bottlers throughout the Western USA in states to include Arizona and Washington. Shire also is a big Coca Cola bottler in China. I have no idea if Cathay will remain in business, they were for many years one of the world's most internationally prized airlines. With multiple issues revolving Hong Kong (Cathay's massive hub), I would not be surprised if Cathay disappears, and a mainland China airline fills the void at HKG. I am sure a few on this board like Astro have a significantly better understanding of Cathay's situation.

- HKG is open for business. Not all the shops in the terminal are open, but the terminal is still fully functioning, and pretty darn nice

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dishdude

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I love Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore are some of my favorite destinations. I am guessing you were on a work trip, but taking the water taxi over to Macau is really cool. Took the subway in Singapore, the car was so clean if I dropped food on the floor I would have picked it up and ate it.

Did you fly Cathay?
 
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I find the water stations all over mainland China to be clean and functioning. I always found it interesting that the Chinese drink hot water like we drink ice water.

Awesome airport report! Do you post on Flyertalk?
 
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GON

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I love Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore are some of my favorite destinations. I am guessing you were on a work trip, but taking the water taxi over to Macau is really cool. Took the subway in Singapore, the car was so clean if I dropped food on the floor I would have picked it up and ate it.

Did you fly Cathay?
Yes, Cathay. It's tough to fly Cathay currently, as they have greatly reduced their schedules- but their schedules seem to be improving. Today's Cathay is not the pre MAR 2020 Cathay. Cathay is reported to have significant cash flow issues. My luggage was lost, and it was impossible to get someone on the phone to liaison some assistance. It is reported Cathay changed the work rules for it flight attendants, and that has really hurt morale. I am not sure how long Shire has owned Cathay, but in the USA Shire has a not nice reputation for the way it treats it Coca Cola Bottlers employees.

The big fear of flying through (transit) HKG is if a flight is cancelled. Essentially a minimum three-day best-case quarantine scenario. Years ago, you could walk from HKG to the Marriot to get a room if a flight was cancelled.

Neat stuff about the water taxi- I would love to check that out. I would also have loved to have dinner on that floating restaurant that allegedly sunk.
 

GON

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I find the water stations all over mainland China to be clean and functioning. I always found it interesting that the Chinese drink hot water like we drink ice water.

Awesome airport report! Do you post on Flyertalk?
No, I don't post on Flyertalk. I am in a hotel lobby waiting for someone to do so coordination with, so just sharing some stuff on BITOG that may or may not be of fun interest, while I wait.
 
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i have been interested to see the new airport as the last time i was in HK was 25 years ago. now that the quarentine is 3 days , its more palatable then than in the past to go. been checking online for tickets for next year in feb, but the pricing is still up there
 

GON

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i have been interested to see the new airport as the last time i was in HK was 25 years ago. now that the quarentine is 3 days , its more palatable then than in the past to go. been checking online for tickets for next year in feb, but the pricing is still up there
Airline ticket prices are currently very high, especially internationally. HKG for example, Cathay grounded many of its Boeing 777s and replaced them with Airbus 350s. The Airbus has less seats per flight than the Boeing. And Cathay has less flights overall. Another example of reduced capacity from CONUS to HKG, AA used to have two daily flights, one from DFW to HKG and one from LAX to HKG. AA now has zero flights to HKG. I am not sure what UA is doing at with its flights in and out of HKG, but reduced capacity and full pockets of travels equals high ticket prices. And I would be careful with the three-day issue. The test at HKG is reported to be the super sensitive test, so it is very easy to test positive, or have a false positive. And when that happens if I read the rules properly, one gets an extended vacation in a secured quarantine location.
 
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i’m a cx gold (oneworld alliance sapphire) member. cx has been very generous extending its elite status during the great flu lockdown, but stingy on rolling over earned miles. i’ve flown jal and qatar to/from asia, and aa transpacific once sadly, on two roundtrips in the past year, while hkg and cx remained totally locked down, except finally in aug, jfk-hkg-cgk on cx.

cx is a 70% husk of its former self, but still lightyears ahead of aa’s totally dismal transpacific flights. on this recent trip cx’s service and food were halfhearted, even seated upfront. the seasoned, truly excellent, flight attendants were gone. hkg airport was a ghost town.

hongkong is being masticated by china. the pre-flu democracy protests and crackdowns, that even affected hkg airport, were fed neatly into the long-running, draconian flu lockdown. my guess is that cx is being set up for bankruptcy to be sold for pennies on the dollar to some beijing princeling. tragic.
 
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I have been to HKG a few times. It’s a really nice airport. Clean and efficient. The last time we went through there was several years ago. We had a tight turnaround. Security was very quick. What we didn’t expect was that our gate was at the very end of the concourse and it’s a long ways from that mall center to Gate 1. We did make it as they were finishing up boarding for YVR.

Cathay was a great airline. Sadly times have changed.
 

4WD

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I have been to HKG a few times. It’s a really nice airport. Clean and efficient. The last time we went through there was several years ago. We had a tight turnaround. Security was very quick. What we didn’t expect was that our gate was at the very end of the concourse and it’s a long ways from that mall center to Gate 1. We did make it as they were finishing up boarding for YVR.

Cathay was a great airline. Sadly times have changed.
Agree on both …
 
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I find the water stations all over mainland China to be clean and functioning. I always found it interesting that the Chinese drink hot water like we drink ice water.

Awesome airport report! Do you post on Flyertalk?

I've been to China and certainly hot water (or boiled and cooled water) stations are ubiquitous at airports, I haven't seen anything quite as elaborate as that photo of HKG. Obviously a lot of people have thermal bottles with tea. But even with supposed better water quality, they worry a lot about the safety of their water. Boiling was obviously a way to handle pathogens, but then they seem to justify it as some sort of traditional health method to help with digestion and overall health. I'm skeptical but I'm trying to stay out of any kind of medical recommendations.
 
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I've been to China and certainly hot water (or boiled and cooled water) stations are ubiquitous at airports, I haven't seen anything quite as elaborate as that photo of HKG. Obviously a lot of people have thermal bottles with tea. But even with supposed better water quality, they worry a lot about the safety of their water. Boiling was obviously a way to handle pathogens, but then they seem to justify it as some sort of traditional health method to help with digestion and overall health. I'm skeptical but I'm trying to stay out of any kind of medical recommendations.


I have experienced the same thing in many places in Asia. Hot water is generally consumed by the older people and typically in the rainy season or when they are in air conditioned places like malls. Tea is very popular as expected.

The younger generations go for bottled drinks, bottled teas, coffee both hot and cold. Iced Americano is very popular.

In the home everyone had a thermos or electronic airpot.
 
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I have experienced the same thing in many places in Asia. Hot water is generally consumed by the older people and typically in the rainy season or when they are in air conditioned places like malls. Tea is very popular as expected.

The younger generations go for bottled drinks, bottled teas, coffee both hot and cold. Iced Americano is very popular.

In the home everyone had a thermos or electronic airpot.

Some Chinese tourists have been known to ask for hot water, even on the hottest days. It seems kind of weird, but it’s some sort of cultural thing. And it’s not necessarily an ethnic Chinese thing, as that’s not all that common with ethnic Chinese from outside of mainland China.
 
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