Posts in the category "Lounges":

More images of Star Alliance Lounge at LAX TBIT

There’s lots to ooh and aah about at the new Star Alliance lounge at the just-opened Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport and you can read some of the highlights in the story I wrote about the lounge for the CNBC Road Warrior.

Star Alliance 1

One thing I didn’t get to mention in that story was the fact that there are some intriguing quotes on the walls, including this one attributed to Bette Davis:

Star Aliiance - more good acting

And this one, from Frank Lloyd Wright:

Star alliance tip the world

In case you can’t make out the words, this one says: Tip the world over and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.

Free coffee, snacks, massages at LAX TBIT

I had the great fortune to visit the newly expanded Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this week for the opening of the swanky Star Alliance lounge.

The lounge is lovely – with lots of Southern California touches and a wonderful outdoor terrace, complete with fire pits, a water wall and views of airfield and the hills beyond.

LAX TBIT STAR ALLIANCE LOUNGE OUTDOOR TERRACE - BASKAS.

The terminal is mighty impressive as well, especially the giant electronic clock tower and story screens, which offer an ever-changing array of images and short films, and the interactive columns, which offer colorful vignettes of the destinations airplanes currently loading are jetting off to.

LAX TBIT CLOCK TOWER

While the Duty Free shops and several other retail outlets are open, many are still under construction and not scheduled to open until sometime in October. So for now, travelers will find tables set up at various spots throughout the new terminal offering complimentary snacks, soft drinks, coffee and chair massages.

LAX TBIT Complimentary beverages

Airspace Lounge at CLE; Bigger terminal for Myrtle Beach

CLE AIRSPACE BAR

Day lounges accessible to anyone willing to pay the day fee are – thankfully – beginning to pop up at more and more airports.

The latest addition to the list: a new branch of the Airspace Lounge opened on Tuesday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE), in the Main Terminal near the Concourse B security checkpoint.

At the CLE Airspace Lounge, entry pass prices will begin at $20 and hours will be from 5 am to 8:30 pm. Along with a comfortable place to work and relax, guests will be offered a range of complimentary food and beverage items and Wi-Fi.

The first Airspace Lounge opened at BWI Airport in 2011; a third Airspace Lounge is scheduled to open at JFK Terminal in May 2013.

And while CLE got a new lounge, on Tuesday South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach International Airport opened its new $118 million, 200,000-square-foot expansion, essentially doubling the airport’s size.

Myrtle Beach airport sign

In addition to six new gates, a new baggage screening system, additional parking and added cafes and chain outlets, the airport gained branches of two local restaurant favorites: Bubba’s Fish Shack and Nacho Hippo, a Tex Mex eatery.

Nacho Hippo Myrtle Beach

Delta adding outdoor terraces at JFK and ATL

ATL_Sky_Deck

Many frequent travelers buy memberships or occasional day passes for access to airline lounges in order to tap amenities such as complimentary snacks and drinks, reliable Wi-Fi and quiet, comfortable places to escape the hubbub of the airport.

These lounges are typically either tucked into windowless spaces at airports or offer views of the airfield through sealed windows.

But for fliers seeking a bit of fresh air, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is raising the stakes by adding outdoor terraces, called Sky Decks, to the Delta Sky Club lounge at John F. Kennedy International Airport and in the new international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

To develop the look and feel of the Sky Decks, Delta partnered with Architectural Digest, which brought in interior designer Thom Filicia, familiar to some as one of the experts featured on the popular TV show, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

JFK_Sky_Deck

In additional to living room style seating, power outlets and greenery, “the decks will have red stretched canvas awnings to provide shade,” said Delta Air Lines spokesperson Leslie Scott. The Atlanta club deck will be an extension of the current Sky Club and offer close -up views of aircraft and runway activity. “The JFK Deck will be on the roof level and offer amazing views of Jamaica Bay and of the runways,” Scott said. “Plane spotters will be able to see liveries from around the world.”

“This is a great move from Delta,” said Dan Gellert, CEO and co-founder of the airport travel application Gate Guru. “Delta’s Sky Clubs at JFK and ATL specifically are rated average at best in GateGuru, so it is great to see them getting a bit more aggressive in these airports to lure business travelers.”

Gellert says airline lounges in the U.S. “have not done much over the recent years to really push the envelope regarding new features or functionality to their lounges,” but he’s hopeful more airlines will expand upon this innovation, “especially in warm weather cities such as Orlando, Los Angeles and Houston.”

Over the past two years, Delta has opened or renovated airline clubs in Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Seattle and other cities. At JFK, the rooftop terrace will be part of the Delta Sky Club in the expanded Terminal 4 and is scheduled to open in May. At the Atlanta airport, the Sky Deck will be next to the existing club room on Concourse F and is scheduled to open this summer.

Delta is not the first airline to recognize that frequent travelers — who spend a lot of time indoors, in artificial light — might like to spend some time outside before boarding a plane. “Virgin Australia’s recently opened lounge at Gold Coast, a popular sun destination on Australia’s east coast, features an outdoor area called The Deck,” Raymond Kollau, founder of Airlinetrends.com, told NBC News.

And airports in Amsterdam, Honolulu and Long Beach, Calif., have landscaped outdoor areas open to all passengers.

“The Delta Sky Deck differentiates the airline’s lounge experience by offering a bit of a boutique feel,” Kollau said. “And aviation enthusiasts will love the backdrop of the busy airport tarmac and even the occasional smell of airline kerosene.”

(Photos courtesy Delta Air Lines)
(My story about Delta’s new Sky Decks first appeared on NBC News)

Reader review: Turkish Airlines lounge at Istanbul Airport

A recent post here on StuckatTheAirport.com shared news about the renovated Turkish Airlines lounge at the Istanbul Airport, which has private relaxation rooms, showers, a playroom, private infant rooms, a billiard lounge, a library, and a business center.

I haven’t had the chance to visit the airport – or this swanky lounge – in person, but reader Orit Rindner has:

“I ate a full lunch and a full dinner (5 hour layover), had a shower and then they gave me a room to rest in. I would give it a 10. I even took a pic of the ladies room… Even the doors of the stalls were teak and I think and they had a woman clean each toilet every time somebody came out of it and fold the toilet paper like they do in hotels!”

Thanks so much Orit! And thanks for sharing the view of that first-class loo.

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