Listen: The New Geography of Competition: Airlines Invest Millions to Upgrade Airport Lounges
"<music> uh from wondering i'm david brown and this is business wars daily happy friday my friends. The latest competitive competitive battleground between airlines isn't in the air. It's on the ground in the airport lounge. Yes over the last few years. We've all been travelling. More and more in airports are getting more crowded. That makes good old-fashioned. Airline lounge looked like a pretty attractive place to hang out during a layover except that the airport lounges and so old-fashioned anymore today's lounges tend to be posh beautifully decorated spaces with a growing variety of new amenities intended to attract well-heeled travelers. They may feature showers spas celebrity chef design menus meditation rooms and even children's play areas even the idea that children can enter these once walled off clubs is very different since the traditional club was geared for men. Yes men travelling on business. Typically piddly <unk> airport lounges were also reserved for international and first class travel ticket holders no more now most airlines independent operators like american express sell sell year long and even day passes to anyone who wants to pony up the fee so why the change will in part because airlines have realized the luxurious lounges in the right locations helped them beat their rivals delta airlines for instance is opening five new lounges and expanding eighteen existing through twenty twenty and executive told the times that delta sees lounges as a strategic investment a reason for premium customers to choose the airline not to be bested delta. The rival united is opening four new clubs this year and will build two more other operators are also stepping there lounge games. Alaska airlines is spending fifty the million dollars to expand and refresh clubs american express is now selling day passes through its new online site lounge buddy but there are downsides and critics. They're big ones first plenty of people would like to purchase access to clubs that aren't affiliated with a single airline versatility second. Not all lounges ages are alike frequent travelers quickly learn which have been updated in which to avoid third these once peaceful spaces are becoming overcrowded overcrowded some dramatically so as their owners sell more and more access to all of us still for many customers the perks makeup for the problems uh-huh. If you're heading out of town today for one last summer fling with you kick back in a lounge hadn't considered it. Maybe you should it could just make your vacation that much nicer from wondering this business voice daily. This tweaks episodes were written edited and produced by appleton grand. Emma cortlandt edits the series. Our executive producer is marshalled created by for non lopez for winter. I'm david brown and wherever you're off to the next."