Views of the apron
Size-wise there is not much difference, and amenities like bathrooms and shower suites are available. Each has plenty of seating, with separate dining areas as well, although we will say we were there at a very quiet time of the day. There are workstations with complimentary computers and free WiFi, which was fast and reliable.
Both lounges are located in the new connecting building between Terminal 2A and 2C. Make your way up the escalators after security and follow the signs for the lounges of American/Cathay Pacific/Emirates/Etihad. Go down the corridor and take the elevator to the second floor, where you will see the four lounges all together around the opening to the terminal below.
Cathay Pacific lounge
The Cathay Pacific lounge has lovely light-veined marble in the entry, and a mixture of dark and caramel leather seating. Four Solus chairs face the windows near the end of the lounge, no doubt in high demand at peak times. Bathrooms are to your immediate right as you enter, with workstations a little further to your left alongside a magazine rack, before you enter the main open plan area.
American Airlines Admirals Club
American’s Admirals Club features black and white prints of Paris in the lobby, mostly dark leather seats, with red dining and bar chairs adding a bit of color. The bar and dining area is the first thing you come across as you walk in, with bathrooms requiring a double left.
Which one is better?
In the end, the Cathay Pacific lounge wins for us on two counts. First, it has the edge in terms of design and furniture, especially the Solus chairs we’ve seen – and loved – from the renovated flagship lounges in Hong Kong. They are comfortable and so perfect for solo travelers. Second is the food, in particular the noodle bar, again something we’ve seen in Hong Kong. While we missed the pork buns, our made-to-order noodles were delicious.
How to get access
Either lounge can be used by travelers with Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status, regardless of the member airline they are flying with. First and Business Class travelers on Cathay Pacific have access to their lounge, and the equivalent applies for American. The Admirals Club is the only one of the two that allows access through membership, whether annual, 30 days, or day pass.