Cover Hong Kong International Airport during the Covid pandemic, October 2020 (photo: Getty Images)

Need to travel during the Covid pandemic? Here's the best place to wait for your flight at Hong Kong International Airport

As many parts of the world continue to fight the Covid pandemic through lockdowns and travel restrictions, the busiest airports on Earth have come to a virtual standstill. But if air travel becomes necessary for business or personal reasons and you find yourself flying out of Hong Kong International Airport anytime in the near future, there's one question you'll want to remember to ask the receptionist at Cathay Pacific's Wing First Class Lounge, and that's: "Are there any cabanas available?"

Currently, The Wing, First, is the only lounge open at Hong Kong International Airport, and it's accessible to all passengers "with lounge access," according to the latest information available at time of publication. Located in Terminal 1 near gates 1 to 4, The Wing, First, opens at 5:30 a.m. and closes after the last flight departure of the day. The lounge provides all the usual first and business class amenities, including drinks, snacks, and meals—all self-serve drinks and snacks can now be ordered from the seating area and delivered by staff—as well as showers, quiet areas, desks, printers, and power ports.

The Wing, First, is also home to five cabanas—private suites measuring about 300 square feet that encompass a day bed (with duvet and pillows available upon request), a deep soaking bathtub, a shower (with both handheld and rain showerheads), sink and vanity, and a toilet cubicle. Lounge guests who request a cabana at check-in can reserve cabanas for up to 90 minutes at a time—long enough for a nap, a soak, and a shower before a long-haul flight.

Related: Hong Kong social distancing rules for Covid-19

In this epoch of pandemic-tinged travel, The Wing, First, cabanas also provide something that cannot be found anywhere else in the airport: an opportunity to take off your mask for a decent stretch of time. I recently moved from Hong Kong to England and, faced with the prospect of wearing protective gear throughout the entirety of a 14-hour flight, was grateful to have 90 minutes of quiet pre-flight serenity and mask-off time beforehand.

The Wing, First, cabanas can be requested upon check-in at the lounge and reserved for up to 90 minutes. Currently, The Wing is open to travelers who have lounge access, as well as Marco Polo Club Members and certain OneWorld frequent fliers. For more information, check the Cathay Pacific website for continually updated information. Non-essential travel is strongly discouraged during the Covid crisis—"Members of the public are strongly urged to avoid non-essential travel outside Hong Kong," according to the government's coronavirus prevention guidelines.

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