CX Lounge entry denied (SFO)

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ComeFlyWithMe

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

Having spent time in this lounge and being in the lucky 10 a week ago, there aren't capacity issues. The lounge is of reasonable size and when we arrived, half of it was closed, and there were about 10 pax we saw there the entire time.
The QF flight boards well before the CX flight pax would have even checked in.
This is not a capacity issue but I'd suggest a commercial issue.
 

jakob

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

Having spent time in this lounge and being in the lucky 10 a week ago, there aren't capacity issues. The lounge is of reasonable size and when we arrived, half of it was closed, and there were about 10 pax we saw there the entire time.
The QF flight boards well before the CX flight pax would have even checked in.
This is not a capacity issue but I'd suggest a commercial issue.

Can I ask what time (about) you got to the lounge to be in the lucky 10? Am there in a couple of weeks so would be good info to know....

Thanks!

Jakob
 

serfty

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

If you had time, the better route would be MEL-SYD-LAX-SFO. Two QF F lounges and one on the way back.
Not to mention the T4 F/L - which aside from F&B - I find much nicer then the QF First Cafeteria over in TBIT.
 

zildaz

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

I was at the Cathay lounge very early and it was empty. They seemed to have a list with qf highlighted which they checked and then refused entry. The AF lounge was so full by the time of departure people were struggling to find seats.

The route via LAX has the advantage of the F lounge but that's been pretty much at capacity the few times I've been in it as all the other OW (including Cathay) use it.
 

ComeFlyWithMe

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

Can I ask what time (about) you got to the lounge to be in the lucky 10? Am there in a couple of weeks so would be good info to know....

Thanks!

Jakob

Check in opened around 19:30 from recall, so we would have been there around 20:00. CX pax only started to appear from 22:00.
 

anat0l

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

Has anyone tried to go to the JL or BA lounges at SFO, before giving up to try the AF lounge again?

BA is a bit tricky as the last BA flight leaves quite a few hours before the QF flight to SYD, which means the lounge will close at that time. Also, if BA runs the A380 on that service, the lounge may get quite crowded, upon which BA reserves the right to impose capacity controls which likely means if you're not on that flight, you'll be turned away.

JL appears to have a flight going to HND which leaves in the wee hours of the morning, so that might be an alternative.
 

anat0l

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

I posted this question into the CX forum on FT.

It seems that the CX lounge in SFO would be too small for more flights than what CX has to cater for their own. Hence staff are likely imposing strict capacity controls, though I'd imagine that if people are being turned away from the lounge against standard oneworld protocol, they should be giving the correct reason.

One report is that even if the lounge has expanded, it is barely good enough for two CX flights, let alone any given three flights where it would be a tight squeeze.
 

kreuky

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

did they say to you that only on days with three CX flights would QF passengers be banned? That's what they said to me.
 

anat0l

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

did they say to you that only on days with three CX flights would QF passengers be banned? That's what they said to me.

Note that when I posted this on the FT forum, this doesn't mean I received an official response - merely that those who are regulars on CX who know of the lounge are offering their own take.

I don't know what the lounge staff have directly said, or what they have been told to do. If the lounge staff said that to you, have you tried to go back on a day when they only have two flights a day going to HKG?

Again, although manifestly unfair, it is CX's lounge and they are free to control whoever they like going in and out of it. If their predicted pax intake believes that they will have a full lounge, they may put on the brakes for everyone else, whether it is a 2- or 3-flight day. It would be rather unfair if they didn't predict such a large intake of pax and still decided to restrict based on "capacity controls", though that may be due to more a poor habit of mind (i.e. the staff do that all the time) rather than a more pragmatic approach.

Also, which came first - CX planning the new lounge, or QF reinstating SFO flights? There may be a sentiment that CX never built the lounge with the vision that there would be additional oneworld loading at SFO (viz. QF).

What QF can do apart from pay a huge bribe is uncertain, though maybe they can try to recommend a better lounge. It would seem that many of the lounges at SFO are rather small, which may make this awkward.

I think anyone turned away at the lounge is entitled to the reason, provided that they (the pax) ask politely (no excuse to intimidate or threaten staff, plus in the USA that is just asking for trouble). If CX want to turf people out due to capacity, that is their decision entirely; there's not much good in telling them to take their grievances to the QF Duty Manager (except to feed back the situation to QF for their information).
 
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kreuky

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

I was granted access when I flew on Dec 22 (which was a Tuesday) and I believe CX only has two flights on Tuesdays (although it may be that because the SFO-SYD flights had just started they hadn't anticipated the demand yet) . When I was denied, it was a Thursday.
 

RichardMEL

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

All the evidence seems to suggest the policy comes from CX and possibly QF itself) at a local level at SFO.

QF won't open a lounge for 1 departure a day that's clear.

It's not like the CX lounge denying access per their own policy is unprecedented at all. For example, BA designates the The Concorde Room as for paid F only, no OWE and the like. On the other side, certain Star Alliance members (SQ is well known as an example) at least used to designate certain lounges as NOT available to Star Golds (it used to be, and probably still is that the SQ J lounge couldn't be accessed in SIN) these are airline specific policies and seem to be more-or-less tolerated under the alliance agreements as exceptions.

I don't personally condone it and think if you have a OW carrier lounge, eg: CX at SFO, people should be allowed in if they have status or CoS access but it is up to each carrier in the end for their local policies.

pretty annoying situation - and more confusing if *some* QF (eg: CL and possibly P1) pax are "on the list" and others aren't.

Annoying.
 

anat0l

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

It's not like the CX lounge denying access per their own policy is unprecedented at all. For example, BA designates the The Concorde Room as for paid F only, no OWE and the like. On the other side, certain Star Alliance members (SQ is well known as an example) at least used to designate certain lounges as NOT available to Star Golds (it used to be, and probably still is that the SQ J lounge couldn't be accessed in SIN) these are airline specific policies and seem to be more-or-less tolerated under the alliance agreements as exceptions.

The exceptions you list above are not representative of the situation here. CX has not designated SFO as a "special" lounge which carries exceptions to the standard oneworld policies (and these lounges are noted on the oneworld website). Now CX might do that designation later but at the moment that is not the case.

CX is apparently denying access based on capacity control. Every lounge is allowed to do this; whether it is done fairly or not is another thing.
 

RichardMEL

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

The exceptions you list above are not representative of the situation here. CX has not designated SFO as a "special" lounge which carries exceptions to the standard oneworld policies (and these lounges are noted on the oneworld website). Now CX might do that designation later but at the moment that is not the case.

CX is apparently denying access based on capacity control. Every lounge is allowed to do this; whether it is done fairly or not is another thing.

... which is a local policy decision

OK yes, point taken it's not officially an excluded lounge like my examples, but I was trying to point out that there are examples out there of local station policies, for whatever reason(s), that have their own policies - fair or not.
 

madrooster

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

The days to avoid seem to be Wed, Fri, Sun in particular as there's 2 evening CX flights ex-SFO...
 

timster

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

On the other side, certain Star Alliance members (SQ is well known as an example) at least used to designate certain lounges as NOT available to Star Golds (it used to be, and probably still is that the SQ J lounge couldn't be accessed in SIN) these are airline specific policies and seem to be more-or-less tolerated under the alliance agreements as exceptions.

While SQ do indeed deny access to their business lounge for *G, they do have the KrisFlyer Gold lounges in Changi T2 and T3 for those pax. They are not great lounges (OK food but no toilets or showers), but they are better than many 3rd party lounges for example.

So while a local exclusion policy, it does come with a half-decent solution, of sorts. The major complaint is that Changi is SQ's home base and they really should do better.
 

dajop

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

While SQ do indeed deny access to their business lounge for *G, they do have the KrisFlyer Gold lounges in Changi T2 and T3 for those pax.

If you go beyond SIN, which as you say they have come up with a solution, anecdotal evidence suggests that SQ deny access to their SFO lounge to non-SQ * Golds flying UA. This is understandable though, as on the star alliance side of the airport there is an airside walkway between United & International terminals, and the SQ lounge is very small, has shower facilities - which UA don't offer at their hub - arguably better catering, and of course UA gold members travelling domestically don't have access to United Club - but in theory would to other star alliance gold lounges. Also I understand they do likewise at BKK, where catering is vastly superior to TG lounges (even though it is a TG hub). This is of course a different situation to CX denying QF pax access.
 

ComeFlyWithMe

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

If QF had a decent lounge arrangement on offer this issue wouldn't exist. The AF lounge is an abomination. It is overcrowded and really disappointing as a WP in J. Next time I fly I will get to the airport at the latest possible moment and go straight to the gate.
 

anat0l

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

For those thinking of trying the JL lounge... apparently a few reviews on the web say that the JL lounge is really small and rather underwhelming. I have no idea how small it is relatively to the AF one, but there hasn't been a good note (but also no outright abhorrence) for it.
 

Reds2011

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

For those thinking of trying the JL lounge... apparently a few reviews on the web say that the JL lounge is really small and rather underwhelming. I have no idea how small it is relatively to the AF one, but there hasn't been a good note (but also no outright abhorrence) for it.

From my (admittedly limited) sample, the same can be said for every US lounge, i.e. small and underwhelming. I assume there must be a few exceptions?
 
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anat0l

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Re: No access to Cathay lounge in SF

From my (admittedly limited) sample, the same can be said for every US lounge, i.e. small and underwhelming. I assume there must be a few exceptions?

Well, not all of them are too small. Or, at least, there are varying degrees of "too small".

And not all of them are certainly underwhelming. A decent handful are quite acceptable, and can even be quite good.

I'm not sure how many such lounges exist in SFO, let alone that oneworld passengers can use. The CX lounge is the one which has most recently been given a facelift.
 
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