They have another option, in the form of independent lounges, where a traveller just wanting a bit of relaxation, a shower and something to eat between flights can hang out.
Such lounges exist, if you are lucky enough to be at the right airport. You don’t have to be a member of some frequent flyer club, or travelling at the pointy end of the aircraft. So how do you gain entry? Simple: you just pay.
One prominent airport lounge provider, Plaza Premium Lounge Management Limited, is set to open an independent lounge at Brisbane Airport in the first quarter of 2016. Plaza, which already operates at 35 airports around the world, has just opened the first independent lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4 Departures.
Egalitarian and democratic, the new, stylish and contemporary Heathrow lounge is open to all travellers regardless of airline or class of travel. It’s part of the company’s USD 40 million global expansion plan and is its third lounge at London Heathrow.
Access to Plaza Premium Lounge costs from GBP 35 (AUD 68) per person for two hours and this includes extensive choices of food and beverage, complimentary Wi-Fi and shower. As a break on a long-haul flight, it’s well worth it.
Plaza Premium Lounge Management says its new Plaza Premium Lounge is light, airy and spacious, and it provides a few pictures to back that up. Natural light floods through the floor-to-ceiling windows and skylight, making it a relaxing place to rest or work. The black and white tiled kitchen area with live cooking station and buffet is at the centre of the lounge, offering a selection of Asian and European inspired dishes.
For Muslims, Plaza Premium Lounge is also the only lounge in the terminal that offers halal prepared food. There are productivity pods for those looking for peace and quiet to work, to Skype family and friends or watch a film on their tablet. A separate bar area, elegantly designed with hues of yellow and grey acts as the lounge’s social hub.
The lounge offers four shower rooms for travellers who want to refresh themselves before their onward journey – with many long-haul flights departing from Terminal 4 this is expected to be a popular choice.
For guests wanting further privacy, the lounge has a VIP area with a separate entrance to the lounge and three private resting suites. Guests can use the area for meetings, spending time with family and friends, enjoying a massage or simply to sleep in the private resting suites. Connectivity is key in the lounge with complimentary Wi-Fi throughout and plenty of plug sockets for tablets, laptops and mobile phones.
Founder and chief executive of Plaza Premium Lounge Management Limited, Song Hoi-see, comments: “We can see rapid growth in London Heathrow, passengers are not only travelling more, but also travelling smarter, seeking out facilities like ours to make the most out of their travel experience.”
“We are very excited by our continued expansion at London Heathrow – one of the most important travelling hubs in the world; over 74 million passengers travelled through London Heathrow in 2014.
“Our presence here is key to our international growth strategy and in particular, our plans to expand into Europe. IATA predicts that air traffic passenger numbers will reach 7.3 billion by 2034, more than double the 3.3 billion in 2014 – and at Plaza Premium Lounge, we respond to and deliver the increasing demand from all travellers for improved services at airports.”
Plaza Premium Lounge launched its presence in London Heathrow in 2014 with the opening of its lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 2 Departures and Arrivals. The company’s latest London Heathrow opening is part of a global development plan for Plaza Premium Lounge, with new openings also in Brisbane, Phnom Penh, Salalah, Singapore, Shanghai Pudong, Siem Reap and Winnipeg in the pipeline, as well as the company’s first UK airport hotel scheduled to open in London Heathrow Terminal 3 in 2016.
Plaza Premium Lounge Management Limited now operates in more than 120 locations in 35 international airports throughout the world.
Written by Peter Needham