On this week's We Hear, we're exploring the latest innovations and upgrades at airport lounges.
Frequent flyers, business travelers and first-class passengers enjoy a place to relax, space to work and freedom from the crowds at terminals. It beats spending two hours at a terminal's hectic chain restaurants and fast food courts.
- Airlines are in competition over providing upscale amenities and services for their loyal customers. The Dallas-Ft. Forth-based American Airlines has spent billions to improve its planes, passenger experience and airport lounges at key U.S. hubs like New York's JFK, Los Angeles' LAX and Chicago's O'Hare (OHD). It's the airline's largest upgrade in its 77-year history.
- At these new Admiralty Clubs, you can expect a more modern, sleek look with upgraded furnishings, dynamic lighting and more space to stretch out. They've also introduced a fresher menu with locally sourced ingredients via their Flagsghip Dining initiative. Of course, you still enjoy that pre-flight cocktail or drink before boarding.
- No matter which city you're flying through, you will see a consistent look and feel in each lounge. You can witness these upgrades first at their lounges in Phoenix and Sao Paolo while the rest should be completed throughout 2016.
- American Express card holder love the access to their Centurion Lounges worldwide. Their latest lounge will open in Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). Cardholders can take advantage of the noise-buffering workspaces, tranquility areas, private showers, family room, a computer bar, high-speed Wi-Fi, a complimentary full bar and food buffet.
- If you ever find yourself flying first class through Frankfurt Airport via Luftansa, you're in for a five-star experience. After check-in, a Mercedes takes you to the airline's private terminal with your own security line. A personal assistant can help you with anything you need. At the lounge, you can take a nap in a private bedroom or have a soak in a hot tub. After all that, we understand if you don't want to leave at all.
- While all of these amenities sound great, they cater to the upper-tier of frequent travelers. Those who fly once or twice a year for vacations might find getting miles and points hard to come by. No worries, a good portion of these lounges will offer day passes for $20-$60, which is where the mobile app Lounge Buddy comes in. It will help you find VIP airport lounge access worldwide. Find the airport you'll be in, filter for amenities like showers or a full bar and the app will return the closest clubs. It will even tell you prices so you can decide where to sit back and relax before or between flights.
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