When you encounter long transit stops or flight delays, do you think that the only option is to suffer in the terminal?
But just be prepared to pay a small amount for the alternative.
The competition of airlines' airport lounges is heating up all over the world. The two newcomers, American Airlines and United Airlines, have come a little late but have become serious competitors.
Like the difference between first class and economy class, luxury lounges offered by many large airlines are another way to distinguish rich and poor people by air travel.
Getting into the lounge usually requires the purchase of a business class or first class ticket, and some VIP lounges cost thousands of dollars per person or small group of passengers for a single use. The exception is for certain credit card holders, where ordinary travelers occasionally can enter the lounge once at a relatively low cost.
According to experts, no matter how much it costs, it is very important for business travelers to use lounges, especially those who fly from the northeastern United States to Europe by night flight. They take a shower in the lounge, eat fresh food, and sleep on the plane so they can go to a meeting when they arrive in Europe.
For other travelers, the lounge allows you "to be relieved from the chaos at the airport, like an oasis in a storm," said Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Vacations, a New York high-end travel agency.
对其他旅客，休息室能让你“从机场的混乱中解脱，就像风暴里的一片绿洲，”纽约高端旅行社Ovation Vacations的总裁杰克·艾宗(Jack Ezon)说。
Hol Michael Holtz, owner of SmartFlyer, another high-end travel agency, believes lounges can extend the luxury hotel experience. For example, guests staying in certain suites of Rosewood London are eligible to enter the VIP private terminal of London Heathrow Airport for free. At Doha Hamad International Airport in Qatar, Qatar Airways' Al Safwa First Class Lounge also has 12 private bedrooms.
另一家高端旅行社SmartFlyer的拥有人迈克尔·霍尔茨(Michael Holtz)认为，休息室能延长豪华酒店的体验。比如入住伦敦瑰丽酒店(Rosewood London)一定级别套房的客人就有资格免费进入伦敦希思罗机场的贵宾私人航站楼。在卡塔尔的多哈哈马德国际机场，卡塔尔航空的Al Safwa头等舱休息室还备有12间私人卧室。
American Airlines offers flagship lounges for first-class and business-class passengers on transcontinental and international flights. Since last year, new flagship lounges have been set up at JFK, Miami International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The lounge features hot and cold buffets, wine, champagne and customer-tailored cocktails, showers and quiet rooms. In addition to O'Hare Airport, all lounges also provide restaurant-style dinners for first-class passengers.
United Airlines also opened the first Polaris Lounge at O'Hare Airport in December 2016-only for Polaris and Business Class passengers, as well as First Class passengers on Star Alliance member flights. Since this spring, the Polaris Lounge has also opened at San Francisco International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, and George Bush International Airport in Houston.
The North Star Lounge in Los Angeles and Washington Dulles International Airport are also planned. These lounges will feature restaurants serving local cuisine, lounge areas will feature beds with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, and valet laundry services in showers.
洛杉矶以及华盛顿杜勒斯国际机场的北极星休息室也在计划当中。这些休息室将会设有提供当地美食的餐厅，休息区会有使用Saks Fifth Avenue品牌床具的床位，淋浴间有代客洗衣服务。
But compared to those new or old top-level airport lounges operated by airlines outside the United States, American Airlines and United ’s lounges are overshadowed in many ways.
For example, Lufthansa's first-class terminal was opened at Frankfurt Airport in 2004 and refurbished in 2014, and Cathay Pacific's first-class lounge at The Pier in Hong Kong International Airport was opened in 2001 and reopened in 2014. Decoration.
Then there is Qantas' Perth Transit Lounge, which started in March this year to serve business class passengers on the company's new route operated by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The new route departs from Melbourne, Australia, stops in Perth and then flies to London for 17 hours; flights returning from London can also use the lounge.
The Perth lounge serves seasonal meals from the Sydney restaurant Rockpool Bar & Grill; outdoor barbecue grills and drinking points are also provided; the bathroom offers light therapy to help travelers adjust to their destination time zone; the gym has yoga instructor-led stretching and breathing courses, and is also specialized Designed to overcome jet lag.
Airline Alliance also operates luxury lounges. These lounges are often located at highly competitive hub airports, with operating costs shared by alliance members. Star Alliance has seven lounges worldwide, and the eighth is scheduled to open in Amsterdam early next year. SkyTeam currently has six locations and plans to open new lounges next year in Istanbul and Santiago, Chile.
2013 Since 2013, American Express has opened centurion lounges at eight airports in the United States and Hong Kong. New lounges are planned next year at airports in New York's JFK, Denver and Los Angeles. The lounge is only open to card holders of the American Express Platinum Card and Centurion Credit Card. It offers celebrity chef-designed meals, showers, soundproofed work areas, family room, and staff provides credit cards and concierge services.
In London, for guests who want privacy, the Heathrow VIP service offers suites. The 17 suites were originally used by members of the British royal family, heads of government and diplomats, and are now also available to business and first class passengers. ? 2750 (approximately $ 3,600) for a two-hour purchase of a suite for up to six passengers including concierge and luggage services, meals prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, personal security services and BMW 7 Series cars Ferry boarding. Cars can also pick up passengers from London to the airport.
The mobile app LoungeBuddy can score lounges at airports around the world and also sells many lounge services to travelers. Its co-founder Tyler Dikman said that the lounges run by many foreign airlines "improved business Standards, which require American airlines to struggle to catch up if they want to maintain or increase their market share. "
Many airlines use top lounges as "an extension of their superior experience on board," promoted on their websites, said tourism analyst Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group.
很多航空公司把顶级休息室用作“其机上优越体验的延伸，”在网站上宣传推广，旅游业分析师、Atmosphere Research Group的总裁亨利·哈特维尔德(Henry Harteveldt)说。
United Airlines hired London-based industrial design firm PriestmanGoode to help develop the Polaris brand, including its website and lounge. Company director Paul Priestman said his company's vision of the Polaris experience was to make it coherent, and he called it "everything in the travel experience. It's something people remember. We try To ensure that all brand touchpoints are similar, the overall effect is more stable, and passengers enjoy the experience more, so they come again and become regular customers. "