Reader Question: Lounge Rules – What Is The Cathay Pacific Lounge Etiquette All About?

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Our Reader Question today is about the Cathay Pacific Lounge Etiquette which is published on the airlines website, providing guidance on how to behave at Cathay’s lounge facilities.

Remember that you can always email us, send a message via Facebook or use Twitter and include photos too. We’ll try to cover Reader Questions & Comments here several times a week.

We often cover outrageous behavior from travelers we encounter along the way and get plenty of emails each week with more material than we could ever publish. It comes as no surprise that Cathay Pacific as well as other carriers now take clear steps in outlining (un)acceptable behavior in clearly written rules for passengers to follow when visiting their lounge facilities.

Our reader Jennifer wrote in and asked what these rules are all about and if they are binding.  Let’s look at them!

You can access the relevant Lounge Etiquette page on Cathay’s website.

At Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, we understand the value of your time and the importance of comfort. With that in mind, our Lounges were designed to create a peaceful environment where you can relax before your flight. To ensure an enjoyable experience for you and your fellow passengers, please take a moment to read through the following Lounge Etiquette Guidelines.

Cathay lines out the rules to facilitate their lounges as follows:

General Usage

  • Please ensure your attire and conduct is consistent with a professional environment, and refrain from causing offence or disturbing fellow passengers.
  • To keep noise levels to a minimum, please wear headphones when using personal devices, set your mobile ringer to vibrate, and keep conversations low.
  • Parents are requested to monitor the behaviour of their children, and to discourage any shouting, running or jumping on the furniture.
  • Smoking cigarettes, pipes or cigars (including electronic cigarettes) is not permitted.
  • Books and magazines that are provided are for all passengers to enjoy, thank you for returning them to the bookshelf or Lounge personnel.
  • We welcome service animals with special permits, local ordinances permitting.
  • To provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for all passengers, please refrain from lying down on the sofas, banquettes or benches.
  • Please avoid placing your feet on any piece of furniture, including tables, chairs and other items.
  • For hygiene and safety reasons, bare feet are not permitted.
  • To ensure Lounge operations can meet the needs of all our passengers, individuals are asked to be held responsible for their own personal articles.
  • To ensure convenience and adequate space for all passengers, please leave any airport luggage carts outside of the Lounge.
  • In the unlikely case that a passenger becomes aggressive or appears to be intoxicated; any rudeness, abuse or threatening behaviour towards Lounge personnel will not be tolerated.

Special emphasis has been given to the section of Food & Beverage:

  • Please enjoy the variety of meal and snack options available in the Lounge and refrain from bringing in external food items.
  • Food and beverages that are served in the Lounge are best when fresh, and created for immediate consumption. Please refrain from taking them with you.
  • To maintain quality hygiene and health standards, please use utensils when taking food from the buffet.

It’s sad enough that these things have to be mentioned and dictated, especially as far as F&B is concerned. People indeed often behave like pigs and try bring smelly fast food or containers into the lounge just to consume it there. It wouldn’t be the first time either I see someone grabbing items from the buffet with bare hands which disgusts me each time I see (and comment) it. I don’t want strangers grabbing my food!

As Cathay has a variety of comfort areas such as the famous cabanas at The Wing, special time restrictions apply though they are sometimes not enforced:

  • As a courtesy to fellow passengers, please limit your use of special Lounge facilities to the following times:
    – 30 minutes for Shower Suites and Showers
    – 90 minutes for Day Suites and Cabanas
    – 20 minutes for Foot Massage Treatments
  • Day Suites, Cabanas and Foot Massage Treatments are all available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • To ensure all passengers can rest in the comfort of the Relaxation Room, Day Suites and Cabanas, only limited drinks are permitted inside. Please enjoy your meal or snack in the dining area.

I personally don’t like the cabanas for a longer stay because the air condition is set to a very cold temperature and that makes hanging out in there rather uncomfortable. I do know of friends who stayed hours inside though and few months ago I also took a 4 hour nap at the Day Suites located at The Pier.

Jennifer asked if these rules are binding – well generally speaking they exists so that Cathay can throw the book at people who are out of line and kick them out in excessive cases. As mentioned the time to stay at the Cabana/Day Suites is rather flexible whenever I needed it. Of course there aren’t many cabanas so maybe it would be considered common courtesy to not stay there for hours so others can enjoy them as well.

Conclusion

I talked to someone at Cathay Pacific about these rules and while I won’t disclose who it was and at which location I was told that they have been introduced after mostly mainland Chinese passengers are guilty of almost all offenses on the list.

Now I personally don’t expect people to read lounge rules in general, especially if you’re somebody who behaves in the ways outlined to begin with so I guess this is something they can pull out if other passengers complain or someone gets way out of line. I wouldn’t limit the offenders to mainland Chinese passengers either (though they certainly constitute a BIG block) after my experience at the British Airways Galleries First in London yesterday where a fellow European guy had a few too many and started throwing ice cubes around.

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