Airport Lounges Are Increasingly In Demand and Driving Revenue

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97 shares, 158 points

Particularly given this past year’s widespread flight disruptions and extended airport wait times, people these days are spending more and more time at the airport, whether it’s while awaiting their initial departure or during a layover between connecting flights.

It comes as no surprise, then, that air travelers are increasingly interested in making those hours at the airport as comfortable and productive (or, alternatively, entertaining) as possible. The best place to find that sort of experience? A private lounge, stocked with in-demand amenities.

And, it appears they’ve become rather willing to pay extra for the privilege.

Over half (57 percent) of the frequent flyers surveyed for Airport Dimensions’ new Airport Experience Research reported visiting the airport lounge at some point in their air travel journey. The study found that consumer demand for access to private lounges is growing, as is the demand for enhanced retail experiences to accompany time spent enjoying these exclusive spaces.

Interestingly enough, Airport Dimensions’ research revealed that, while lounges were once primarily the domain of business travelers, passengers are increasingly using these premium spaces purely for enjoyment.

True, over half (56 percent) of participants reported using lounges to access the more traditional business facilities; yet, more than three-quarters (78 percent) said they visit these spaces for the food options, while 68 percent said they went to make use of leisure amenities.

The study discovered that one-quarter (25 percent) of travelers who avail themselves of lounge spaces so do due to their cabin class, while nearly one-fifth (19 percent) are able to enjoy lounges as part of loyalty programs like Priority Pass, the same percentage (19 percent) do so via their elite membership status with airlines and 18 percent pay outright for entry.

Members only airport lounge. (Photo via magnusha / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The consumer survey also revealed the prevailing trends when it comes to demand for digital services while visiting airport lounges. Travelers’ primary concern (83 percent) access to flight information was access to flight information, while 80 percent pointed to the ability to order food and beverage online as a priority and 72 percent prioritized the ability to book lounge amenities digitally.

On top of that, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents emphasized the importance of being able to access airport retailers online while they’re at the lounge, while only 12 percent didn’t feel this aspect was important to them.

It turns out that lounge-goers are also increasingly ready and willing to pay more for an enhanced airport experience, with survey participants saying they’d be happy to spend extra on premium food and beverage options. More than half (56 percent) also indicated they’d gladly shell out more for grooming, personal care and spa service at the lounge to amplify their in-airport experience.

Stephen Hay, Global Strategy Director of Airport Dimensions, said; “The line between the lounge and traditional airport commerce is blurring. While airports in the past have seen lounges as somewhat of a black hole for retail spend, it is now clear that they have the potential to become solid drivers of revenue.”

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Source: TravelPulse

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