Harriet Baskas

Denver Int’l Airport will get an Amex Centurion Lounge

American Express is expanding the list of airports with swanky Centurion Lounge clubs with the announcement that a new lounge is set to open at Denver International Airport sometime in 2019.

This one will be located on the Mezzanine of Concourse C at Denver International and, at 14,000-square-feet, will be the second-largest Centurion lounge to be built. A 15,000-square foot, 2-story lounge set to open in early 2019 at JFK International Airport Terminal 4 will be the largest.

Entry will be open to all American Express Platinum Card holders traveling through DEN, regardless of the airline they are flying.

American Express says the Centurion Lounge at DEN will offer the amenities available in other lounge locations, including complimentary food and beverages, a family room, restrooms and shower suites, and high-speed Wi-Fi.

Amex promises that this Centurion Lounge at DEN will also offer “sweeping airfield views” as well as “special amenities and design elements unique to this location,” which they say will be announced closer to the lounge’s opening.

“We are thrilled to share our plans to bring one of our signature Centurion Lounges to the Denver International Airport, as Denver is one of the top airports our premium Card Members travel through,” said Josh McKay, vice president and general manager, Global Benefits and Services, American Express, in a statement.

Other airports with Centurion Lounges include: New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Miami International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Houston’s George Bush International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport. The JFK lounge is set to open in early 2019.

Want in? (I do, after getting just a taste for the experience via a complimentary visit to the lounge in SEA.)

Access to The Centurion Lounge is complimentary and exclusive for Platinum Card Members and Centurion Members. Platinum Card Members can bring along up to two travel companions at no additional charge and both Platinum Card or Centurion Members may purchase access to The Centurion Lounge for additional guests for $50 each guest.

(Photos courtesy American Express) 

Skyrider ‘saddle’ seat: now in version 2.0

You may remember the shock and alarm over Aviointerior’s Skyrider seat, which envisioned packing more passengers onto airplanes by offering an abbreviated seat that was more like a saddle.

The early version was never certified or taken very seriously, but the company is not giving up.

At this week’s Aircraft Interiors Expo taking place in Hamburg, Germany, Aviointeriors is showing the Skyrider 2.0, which is a bit more sturdy and padded version of the orginal saddle seat, with poles securing the seat to the floor and to the ceiling of the cabin (to improve saftey) and the pitch the same claustrophic 23 inches as before.

The company rep who showed me the seat said this version should be able to get certified for airlines and that these saddle-seats are really designed for short haul flights and for price-points “that make travel possible for people who would never otherwise be able to fly.”

The Skyrider seats aren’t shown anywhere on the Aviointeriors website. Instead, customers are directed to ‘real’ products with Italian-inspired names such as Columbus (a line of economy cabin seats), Galileo (business class seats) and Mona Lisa (first class.)

 

Would you sleep in an airplane cargo section?

Here’s an unusual look at the flying future introduced by Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace at the Aircraft Interior Expo taking place in Hamburg this week.

The two companies say they are developing lower-deck modules with sleeping berths as an option for the cargo compartment of an aircraft.

These passenger modules are envisioned as being easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers and easily put in or taken out during a typical turnaround as they don’t require any modification of the cargo area flooring.

The modules, which could be configured for other uses besides sleeping, offer airlines “new opportunities for additional services to passengers, improving their experience while enabling airlines to differentiate and add value for their commercial operations,” the companies said in a statement.

“This approach to commercial air travel is a step change towards passenger comfort. We have already received very positive feedback from several airlines on our first mock-ups,” said Geoff Pinner, Head of Airbus Cabin & Cargo Programme.

The plan is to get approval for the modules by 2020 and to roll them out first on A330 aircraft.

Ready for this?

World’s busiest airport in 2017? Atlanta! Again.

 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which hosted almost 104 million passengers last year, has once again been tagged as the World’s Busiest Airport by Airports Council International (ACI), which has released it preliminary list for 2017.

Also in the Top Ten for 2017: Los Angeles International Airport (#5) and Chicago O’Hare (#6).

ACI extrapolates this list, and a few others, based on monthly data submissions by 1,202, of the world’s major commercial airports.

Here’s the rest of the list of airport’s around the world that made it onto ACI’s list of the World’s 20th  Busiest.

According to ACI, passenger traffic at the world’s 20 busiest airports grew by 5.2 percent in 2017. With almost 1.5 billion passengers passing through their terminals in 2017, this group of 20 represents 17 percent of global passenger traffic

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (Also ranked #1 in 2016)
  2. Beijing (PEK) (Ranked 2 in 2016)
  3. Dubai (DXB) (Ranked 3 in 2016)
  4. Tokyo Haneda (HND)
  5. Los Angeles (LAX)
  6. Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
  7. London Heathrow (LHR)
  8. Hong Kong (HKG)
  9. Shanghai (PVG)
  10. Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
  11. Amsterdam (AMS)
  12. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
  13. Guanzhou, China (CAN)
  14. Frankfurt (FRA)
  15. Istanbul (IST)
  16. New Delhi (DEL)
  17. Jakarta (CGK)
  18. Singpore (SIN)
  19. Incheon (ICN)
  20. Denver (DEN)

What would make your trip to the airport more fun?

(Early flying car – the Aerocar)

I’m excited, honored – and a bit nervous – about being a moderator for several sessions during Monday’s Passenger Experience Conference in Hamburg, Germany.

The topics my presenters will be tackling in the Covergence and Mobility stream range from how mobile technology might better (or ever) tie together the many ways we now have to travel through the world (bikes, taxis, car share, trains, planes, etc…) to how – and when – we might eat or do other things along the way.

I’ll be sharing notes, pictures and musings here and on Twitter (@hbaskas) about these presentations and the new and exciting products and ideas that are presented throughout the week at the Aircraft Interiors Expo and several related events being held in Hamburg this week.

Standy by and please feel free to send your questions to me here – or via Twitter (@hbaskas) – about what’s in store for getting to and from airports and for flying on airplanes.