Lounge Report: CX First and Business Class Lounge, MNL T1

CX Lounge MNL 001

Where Diego parks himself on a couch, nibbles on finger food and nitpicks about the furniture whilst waiting for his flight to HKG (ultimately to KIX).

UPDATE (14 Feb 2016): Cathay Pacific’s MNL flights were all transferred from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 in 2014, and a splendid new lounge opened there in May last year. This obsolete lounge report should no longer be used for active reference, but will be maintained here as part of the historical record.

Overview

  • Date -> 01 April 2013
  • Location -> Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 1
  • Related flight -> CX 918
  • Travel class -> Business
  • Seating

    CX Lounge MNL 002

    A mix of armchairs and double couches in green, cream, or orange upholstery. Tired-looking – as was the rest of the lounge – with noticeable wear and tear around the edges. Didn’t try the flimsy-looking armchairs but they looked as if they’d be better off around a dining table than in a high-traffic lounge. Still, the couches were quite comfortable. Not a lot of space or seating to speak of, though this wasn’t a problem at first as there were only a dozen or so guests at the time. (It became a problem later, with the room gradually filling up as departure time drew closer.)

    CX Lounge MNL 005

    Catering

    CX Lounge MNL 004

    Rather small spread of finger sandwiches and other light dishes. Hot selections consisted of Oriental noodles and some quite decent minestrone. There was a small but fully stocked fridge of cold beverages on offer, plus a few bottles of alcoholic drinks near the finger-food buffet. Coffee available on request.

    CX Lounge MNL 003

    Facilities

    Didn’t do much poking around apart from raiding the buffet a couple of times, so there may have been other corners and crevices that were left unexplored. The main seating area had the usual basic amenities: magazine rack, large shelves for baggage, reasonably fast wifi. No washrooms within the lounge itself, strangely enough; you’d have to venture out to the transit area as/when needed.

    The separate First Class area lay beyond a door off to one side of the main seating area. Needless to say, my lowly J-class ticket did not entitle me to access that inner sanctum.

    Overall Impression

    Decent enough place to wait for a flight; certainly beats having to fight for a hard seat out in the common waiting area. An update is sorely warranted, though. No disrespect to Cathay – who I’m sure are doing their best given the constraints of NAIA T1’s hopelessly outdated infrastructure – but, like the building it’s located in, the lounge is long overdue for retirement (read: complete demolition). There’s been talk of the airline transferring to T3 at some point in the near future, at which point I’d expect a new lounge to be set up that’s worthy of the airline’s 5-star designation.

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