New Brand in Airport Lounges with Access for All!

The first airport lounge opened in 1939 at New York’s LaGuardia Airport with American Airlines “Admirals Club Lounge”. Since that time, many large airlines have opened lounges at focus or hub airports to cater to their own premium passengers and allow them a place to relax away from crowded gates. Access to these lounges typically requires a paid membership with passenger ticketing in business or first class cabins. Now a new brand of lounges is ready to hit the US with future expansion plans.

AirSpace Lounge, a start-up in the airport facilities industry, is getting ready to open their first lounge at Baltimore’s BWI Airport. Their concept involves creating lounges that are open to anyone who wishes to pay the entrance fee. With passes starting at just $17.50 per visit, AirSpace intends to use yield-based pricing to make the venture a success. As the lounges fill up to capacity, the pass pricing continues to rise. Lounges are slated to have power outlets at each seat, wifi, complimentary meals, and alcoholic beverages available for sale.

I am confident this new brand will certainly make an impact on the marketplace, especially where some of the largest airlines — like JetBlue and Southwest Airlines — do not offer airport lounges. Also, over the last 10 years airlines have downsized or closed lounges making space easily available for AirSpace Lounge to lease. Targeting all passengers regardless of ticketed cabin further increases exposure and allows AirSpace to create a loyal following.

How will the airlines react? Space at each individual airport will dictate who can expand and how much. If AirSpace Lounge is a wild success, I predict airlines will either try to match the inclusivity and pricing concepts or buy interest in the venture.

Look for the first AirSpace Lounge to debut at Baltimore BWI this May! If you have a long layover or arrive at the airport early, consider this option for comfort, relaxation, and connectivity!

2 responses to “New Brand in Airport Lounges with Access for All!

  1. I love airline lounges, but I don’t know that I’d want to pay $17.50 + drinks. Maybe if drinks were included in the price? I agree that there should be a ‘general’ lounge space for all passengers to enjoy. The lounge may want to consider advertising partnerships with other travel brands as a way of subsidizing the cost for passengers similar to American Express and Continental’s joint venture.

    • Good idea, Jesse. I also think that partnerships like American Express and Delta Airlines are valuable and there is a way for two brands to create new spaces for layover lounging. A large issue, however, will be space and how much the airport authorities want to lease it for. Maybe in a few years when the demand on fuel goes down (crossing fingers) and margins open up. I would love to see something like “United Relaxation by Hyatt Hotels” or similar.

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