Tis the season to be crossing continents in order to see friends and family. When airports took the opportunity to upgrade their lounges during the COVID-19 lockdown, perhaps they knew something the rest of us didn’t. That 2022 would be a record year for airline delays and cancellations. The bonus for the most regular – and high spending passengers is that alongside the USB chargers and work areas, the upgrades have made waiting around at airports much more pleasurable.
Transiting at Helsinki with FinnAir? Then the newly renovated Platinum lounge now has that most nordic form of relaxation available, a sauna. You’ll have to be either Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo or Platinum member card holder although as well as oneworld Emerald members will also get access. When I was transiting through Helsinki last month, I wouldn’t have minded a delay here. Alas, in this case, it was all nordically prompt.
At Changi Airport, Singapore Airlines now has 65,000 square feet of lounges at Terminal 3 with space for over 1,000 guests. However, in May the airline showed off its Private Room. Traveling First Class isn’t enough to get you entry – it’s reserved for just 78 passengers on Singapore Airlines own first class cabins, rather than those flying on Star Alliance airlines. This area of the lounge lives up to its name. It aims to invoke not just serenity and calm (a useful thing to have in an airport) and highly superior food and beverages but a genuine sense of seclusion. It contains a series of lounges and rooms and – above all – genuinely relaxing day rooms. Two of these have a Tempur mattress on a Zero G bed base, with massage options and a zero gravity setting designed to simulate an impression of weightlessness.
Meanwhile, playing to expectations about Gallic glamor, Air France has introduced a Clarins spa in its lounge at J.F.K. for La Premiere, Business and Flying Blue Elite passengers.
One trend that is certain to continue is lounges are an incentive for financial companies and banks to reward loyalty with lounge access and ensure that they feel aspiration.
In Dallas, the Capital One lounge has a Peloton Room and, naturally, showers afterwards. JP Morgan Chase has said it will open lounges at Dulles and La Guardia. If you get stuck at J.F.K., the American Express Centurion Lounge in Terminal 4 has plenty to explore, especially if you can locate 1850, a speakeasy. There may not be any signage (in proper speakeasy tradition) but it’s the door next to the bar and there’s also an entrance by the restrooms.
With hosting the World Cup, Qatar has significantly improved its lounge offering. At Hamad International Airport there is now an airside swimming pool and hydrotherapy area on the fourth floor of Oryx Airport Hotel, open daily between 6am and 2am. There are also squash courts and a golf simulator alongside the more usual massages and beauty treatment. Guests staying at the hotel get automatic access, but other passengers can pay for access
If you fancy catching a last dose of winter sun even after going airside, Punta Cana has an outdoor pool. It might be tempting to miss the plane.
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