Amsterdam Schiphol Airport upgrades departure gate experience

I’m a big fan of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The amenities there – from the play areas and the first-class art collection to the plentiful lounge chairs, the casino and floating branch of the Rijksmuseum – make long layovers more of an adventure than a chore.

Now they’ve turned their attention to the departure gate experience with a new waiting area intended to make the time passengers spend waiting for flights “as pleasant and inspirational as possible.”

Inspirational? That’s a tall order. But the first new-style gate area rolled out, which will be used first by Cathay Pacific, does look different and quite promising. The seating area looks more like a living room than a ‘holding area.’ And there’s a concierge desk, binoculars for plane spotting, water fountains, work desks and “daylight capturing devices” that will “change the lighting from ‘warm’ to cool’ during the boarding announcement in order to get people going.”

One problem: if these new gate are as nice they sound, it may be hard to get people to go!