Not too many years ago the hospitality and standard of conditions that you found at the airport lounges would have been very much on par across the globe.
You would have been:
- Seated comfortably, in comparison to the usual molded-plastic styles
- Able to view plasma-screen television
- Access to an open bar
- Enjoy Free Internet
They were the facilities generally offered to first, and business-class travelers at the different airports across the world.
How Times Have Changed
Leaping into the present we now find exceptionally luxurious aircraft conditions, such as:
- Fully reclining massage chairs
- Sleeping Pods
- In-flight manicures, among others
Accordingly, airport lounges have motivation to raise their standards significantly to the extent of offering amenities. For example, full spas, private restrooms, and meals prepared by celebrity chefs.
Meeting great expectations
Airport lounge facilities today, incline to be services that offer opportunities to relax and even linger, whereas in the past they were primarily regarded as ideal to waste some hours. The travel industry has adopted this change as being part of the evolution related to air travel and increased competition within the industry.
Premium travelers who possess a priority pass today expect greater considerations and personalized service. It is to the extent that airport lounges are no longer regarded as being just a waiting room between connections but a refuge away from the madding traveling crowd!
It is natural that this promoted luxury is basically in the interests of the airlines. Competition is fierce and with rising costs, every marketing opportunity utilizes to attract passengers on their flights. Including the use of the airport lounge upon arrival!
In addition, they offer their customers services, such as:
- Massage therapists
- Cigar lounges
- Private concierges for arranging restaurant and theatre reservations
It is a successful marketing exercise supported by the fact that flights generally enjoy greater volumes of bookings than ever previously. As flight delays play a crucial part in traveler satisfaction, the airlines force to keep increasing the levels of the comfort zones offered.
Contributing to this luxury enticement on the part of the commercial airlines is the increasing popularity of private planes. However, to attract and keep the upper-end travelers as customers, they must cater to hem or accept the risk of losing them to private jet services. Airline passengers further encourage to experience airline hospitality with the incentives offered by a lounge pass.
Hospitality Benefits for Travelers
A significant advantage for travelers today is that you shouldn’t fly business or first class to gain access to a variety of airport lounges and even in certain instances, free food! It generally recognizes within the airlines that the standards of service and hospitality did not utilize for maximum effect.
This is seen in relatively new developments undertaken by Qatar Airways and Lufthansa. Both service providers now offer detached lounges in their home-based airports, situated in their own premises for the best possible passenger seclusion!
The approximately $90-million premium terminal for Qatar Airways in Doha provides travelers with various personal-service-convenient advantages, including:
- Computer stations or via Wi-Fi
- Duty-free shopping for cosmetics, jewelry, and liquor,
- Elemis spa treatments.
Comparatively, the 12,000-square foot Lufthansa lounge, meanwhile, offers guests:T
- Detached cigar lounge
- Bathrooms and monsoon showers
- Private offices
- Meals by highly acclaimed DO & Co of Vienna
Furthermore, travelers convey from the lounge to their aircraft by a chauffeur-driven Porsche or Mercedes limousine!
American Express Hits the High Spots
The Centurion Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport is a relatively recent addition with the added attraction of an American Express lounge. Of particular appeal is the bar, which offers a wide selection of rum and tequila. The overall sensation is one of being on a beach at an upmarket tropical cabana.
However, Platinum and Centurion cardholders have quickly discovered that the domestic American Express lounges, at for example LaGuardia Airport and Miami International Airport, are excellent alternatives to other airline-dedicated lounges. If you posses lounge access credit cards in the form of American Express Platinum valid outbound boarding pass, you are warmly welcomed.
Experience the Best of Flying
For some passengers flying may not be their most favorite pastime. From inclement weather, clueless crowds, delays or hand luggage that will not fit into overhead bins. The reality is that if you want your flight experience to be more comfortable you must pay for it.
However, at the end of a flight, what could be better than a shower or a massage. And maybe a complimentary cocktail, before you take to the air again!