BWI gets an airport lounge with variable pricing

The first Airspace Lounge opens today, May 7, 2011 on Concourse D at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

It’s the first in what may be a line of new all-access airport lounges around the country.

Memberships will be available; daily passes will start at $17.50.

Included will be food, snacks, coffee, tea, soft drinks, wireless internet, plenty of power outlets and the use of MacBooks and Windows PCs. Drinks from the bar will be extra.

That all sounds pretty straightforward.

But here’s an interesting twist: while the basic rate for a day pass will be $17.50,  the price of the pass “will rise from time to time to prevent overcrowding.”

“A customer who spends $17.50 and walks into an overcrowded lounge that is more chaotic than the concourse would probably not return to an Airspace Lounge; we want to prevent that from happening,” said Anthony Tangorra, chief executive officer of Airspace Lounge.

Rather than simply turn people away, the price of a day pass will fluctuate, increasing up to perhaps $40 during busy periods.

“Our day pass price will be on prominent display via LCD signage outside of the lounge,” said Tangorra.