Are airport lounges becoming more popular?
That’s the case at Pittsburgh International, as the airport’s common-use lounge, The Club, prepares for an expansion that will include an additional 2,771 square feet due to increased demand from travelers.
Designs for the new space include a freestanding bar, showers and more lounge seating for guests. The Club, which is located in the airport’s Airside Terminal in Concourse C, will expand to the current location of Kidsport next door. Kidsport, which features an interactive play area for families traveling with children, will be relocated to gates C52 and C54. Both projects are expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019.
Currently, The Club offers all-inclusive amenities including local chef-inspired dishes, refreshments and specialty cocktails. The lounge is open to all travelers, and can be accessed by purchasing a day pass for $40, with discounts offered occasionally for passengers flying on various airlines. Additionally, The Club lounge welcomes members of Priority Pass, LoungeKey, Lounge Club, Diners Club International, and AAA Members Discount Program.
The Club, which is operated by Airport Lounge Development (ALD), opened in October 2017 as the company’s 17th location. A common-use lounge featuring 1,800 square feet and 41 seats, the space serves as a respite for passengers looking to work or relax in a quiet location away from the busyness of the airport.
The lounge experienced a 48 percent increase in sales from 2017 to 2018, with the number of daily guests exceeding original projections. The expansion will accommodate more visitors, and is expected to result in continued success as airport shared-use lounges become more popular, according to Nancy Knipp, Senior Vice President of ALD.
“Travelers have come to depend on the amenities provided in a lounge, but if they don’t have access to a lounge provided by the airline they are flying, stopping by a shared-use lounge is an easy solution,” said Knipp. “In coming years, shared-use lounges are likely to continue increasing in popularity as travelers from around the world come to expect and depend on a space for calm and relaxation in the airport.”
On average, travelers are spending 30 to 60 minutes in the lounge, with more than 6,500 guests visiting per month, according to Scott Childs, General Manager for The Club at Pittsburgh International, who noted that business and leisure travelers both use the club.
“The Club is an amenity that is actually enticing people to spend more time at the airport,” said Childs. “We have seen a number of travelers that come early to visit the lounge, and even passengers returning to Pittsburgh that stop by before heading home.”
Vice President of Business Development Kim Kitko explained that the refurbished Kidsport will provide an opportunity for PIT to update the design and add new installations through partnerships with local organizations including the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
“Our goal is to continue improving the customer experience through new and updated features for amenities that include Kidsport and common-use lounges like The Club,” said Kitko. “This will ensure that Pittsburgh International maintains a modern look and appeals to our market of origin-and-destination travelers.”
Along with the expansion of The Club lounge and relocation of Kidsport, the American Airlines Admirals Club, located on Pittsburgh International’s Airside Mezzanine, is undergoing renovations that are expected to be complete this spring.