Havens Await
Business Traveler|October/November 2020
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Havens Await
As air travel slowly begins to pick up, airport lounges – those oases of sanity – are reborn
By Susan Mckee

Bountiful buffets? Gone. Pitchers of lemonade, iced tea, and cucumber water? Nope. Stacks of newspapers and magazines? Missing.

Welcome to the COVID19-era airport lounge. In those that are open, expected amenities have vanished (forget about taking a shower).

Yet, the key attribute of the lounge experience remains Peace and quiet. Once you step through the door, the tumult of the terminal vanishes. Comfortable seating, fast WiFi and plenty of electrical outlets await.

Then there’s the staff. Do you want to change your seat assignment for an upcoming flight or have another question about your reservation? The clerks at the front desk can handle it. Need to track down a missing suitcase? They can help. And, unlike in the terminal, there’s no long line – and no crowd.

Lounge operators are going to great lengths to protect staff and passengers from the risk of the novel coronavirus, knowing that safety is of primary importance to rebuilding trust, and traffic.

Collinson, which operates its own airport lounges under The Club and Club Aspire brands plus those in the Priority Pass network, created a new set of global health and safety standards last summer. These were developed with input from the company’s in-house global medical director, Dr. Simon Worrell, a specialist expert in virus management, immunology, and communicable diseases, with more than 20 years of experience in the delivery of international medical assistance and emergency care. The standards will be implemented soon in all Collinson-owned lounges and recommended for use in all partner lounges across the Collinson network, which comprises over 1,200 airport lounges.

Andy Besant, director of travel experiences at Collinson, notes, “COVID-19 has radically altered what travelers’ need and expect from the airport journey. We at Collinson are dedicated to developing new initiatives that ensure travelers feel safe and comfortable at the airport. We are now putting our unique passion and experience in travel toward developing robust solutions for airport wellbeing, which we believe is the best way to help drive a safe and effective recovery for the travel sector,” Besant explains.

KEEP IT CLEAN, KEEP IT SIMPLE

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October/November 2020