The world is getting smaller, and more and more people are choosing to travel by flying. In this coming holiday season alone, the Air Transport Association is projecting that roughly 27 million passengers will be flown by domestic carriers worldwide over 12 days, beginning Nov. 16. Planes are expected to be about 90 percent full. With that many passengers waiting for their flight, airport lounges are bound to be one of the busiest and most crowded places around. Airport lounges used to be simple waiting areas, where passengers can get drinks, snacks or newspapers while waiting for their plane to arrive. But as airlines continue to strive to provide a better experience for their customers, airport lounges are beginning to evolve into travel experiences themselves. Some first class lounges have even started to offer the ultimate in luxurious living.
The survey organization, Skytrax, has even come out with their results of the Best First and Business Class Lounges around the world for 2007. Not surprisingly, the winners of this survey are the airlines that present the most extensive choice of options for passengers, ranging from the standards, such as internet facilities and dining options, to the sublime: sleeping rooms and spa services. The best performer for the first class lounge category, Thai Airways’ Royal First class lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, offers an exclusive Spa facility with the full range of services.
For those who want to get a better idea of the amenities these airport lounges offer, I’m planning to post a series about the different first class lounges around the world. Who knows, the next time you travel, these first class lounges might have a factor in the airline you choose to travel with. After all, we’re talking a minimum of 2 hours you’ll be spending waiting for your flight. What better way to while away the time than to spend it being pampered and catered to?