As air traffic continues to increase rapidly, airports, airlines, and terminal vendors are unleashing fresh amenities to make passenger downtime less stressful and more enjoyable. Check out some of the latest airport amenities at select terminals near you.
BATHROOM SMART LATCHES
We’ve all been in a busy airport bathroom and can’t figure out which stalls are occupied or vacant. The Atlanta Airport is using Tooshlights’ smart latches on stall doors to make finding an open stall a bit easier. When the latch is open, a light over the stall is green, and when the latch is closed, the light turns red. The latches also track usage to optimize restroom cleaning schedules.
Therapy animals to help anxious travelers have become all the rage at airports across the country over the past couple of years, with many airports offering therapy dogs and even therapy cats. Two airports have taken this to a new level. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has added weekly visits with baby alligators, while passengers at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport may see miniature therapy horses around the concourses.
Travel can create stress, and one of the best ways to conquer stress is to work out. Baltimore-Washington International Airport recently added ROAM fitness—a post-security gym with cardio and strength-training equipment. The facility even features private shower rooms and complimentary clothing and shoe rentals. Single day, three-day, five-day, and annual passes are available to airport guests with valid boarding passes.
Who couldn’t go for a quick recharge during a long connection? Minute Suites is rapidly expanding its presence across the country, with locations in Dallas, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Atlanta, and more on the way. Guests can grab a nap, watch television or catch up on work by reserving private space. Joining Minute Suites in the airport rest-and-relaxation space is Sleepbox, a micro-hotel experience at Washington Dulles International Airport. The Sleepbox Nap Lounge, located in Course A, gives guests the ability to sleep on a memory foam bed in a soundproof pod with full access to power outlets and entertainment options.
WORK AND PLAY OPTIONS
Business travelers will marvel at two of the latest concepts that provide them top-notch amenities so they can keep working while they’re on the go. Varidesk just launched a free co-working space at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport complete with a conference table and 24 powered standing workstations. At the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and La Guardia Airport in New York, travelers can take advantage of Jabbrbox—small private workspaces that offer Wi-Fi, USB charging, and audio speakers for those without lounge access. Rooms are available in 15-minute increments, perfect for a quick conference call without any background noise.
Those who want some play time at the airport should check out the Gameway video game entertainment lounges that opened last year at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in concourses B and E. Equipped with a leather chair, an Xbox One loaded with 19 games, a large flat screen TV, noise-canceling headphones, and charging and storage areas, these lounges are ideal for gamers with some time to kill during a connection.
In Terminal 1 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, travelers can play dozens of the world’s top courses on golf simulators while they wait for their flight at PGA-MSP. There’s also a virtual driving range and putting green.
Following on Pittsburgh International Airport’s successful launch of the “myPITpass” program, the Seattle-Tacoma airport just completed a pilot of a similar concept that allows the non-airline-ticket-holding public to pass through the TSA security checkpoint, granting gate-side airport access not seen in years. In what many hope is a trend, the programs allow non-flyers to access airport shopping and dining while seeing their loved ones off to the gate.