Global air traffic has soared to new heights in the past 15 years, with passenger numbers in 2019 expected to reach almost 4.6 billion – around 130% higher than in 20041 . To keep up with this rapidly growing market, Priority Pass has expanded its network from 450 lounges in 245 cities and 80 countries in 2004, to over 1300 lounges in more than 650 cities across 148 countries today.
Over that time, as passenger numbers have soared and customer expectations have risen, airports have evolved to become experiential destinations in their own right. Singapore’s Changi Airport houses retail, lifestyle and garden attractions complete with the world’s largest indoor waterfall; Munich Airport hosts an annual Christmas market with 40+ booths and an ice-skating rink; and the Vancouver International Airport in Canada has the world’s largest airport aquarium with over 20,000 marine plants and animals2 .
Providing this kind of enhanced airport experience is essential for driving customer satisfaction. In response, lounges available to Priority Pass members have changed not only in number, but also to offer differentiated amenities, a wider variety of spaces, and seamless digital technologies. From luxury sleep pods in Dubai, to a dedicated whisky wall in Scotland, to celebrity chef-endorsed menus in Ecuador – Priority Pass membership is enriching and redefining the airport experience. The Priority Pass mobile app brings even more experiential benefits to members worldwide, with exclusive dining and shopping deals, airport maps and real-time access to special offers.
Lounges have evolved to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of travel, and the Lounge of the Year Awards recognise these efforts. The Awards are based on the ratings and reviews Priority Pass’s millions of members leave throughout the year; taking into consideration guest feedback across several different categories such as business facilities, comfort, service from lounge staff and food and drink options. The Priority Pass network includes major hubs such as London Heathrow, Atlanta, JFK, Singapore and Hong Kong. Every year, each region (Global, Europe, Africa & Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America, and Latin America and The Caribbean) boasts both a winning and highly-commended lounge, as well as there being one overall, stand-out, global winner.
Past winners of the Awards have received their accolades thanks to their incredible views, private suites, spa treatments and business facilities. Last year’s global winner, Sala VIP Internacional in Quito International Airport, was called out for its amazing terrace with sunset views, dedicated sleeping areas, massage rooms and a wonderful menu from renowned local chef, Andrés Miño. A common factor for all regional winners worldwide last year was the inclusion of video conferencing facilities as well as power outlets available on every seat.
Andy Besant, Director of Travel Experiences at Collinson, operator of Priority Pass, said: “The travel and airport experience has seen significant changes over the past 15 years and the Awards are a great way to recognise the lounge partners going above and beyond to evolve their own offerings and provide an awesome guest experience. Everything we do is about our members and giving them access to the very best lounge experiences worldwide. We’re constantly listening to their needs and working closely with our partners to create environments that not only let them relax before their flight but go above and beyond – making the journey one of the best parts of their trip.”
The Awards categories are:
• Africa & Middle East
• Asia Pacific
• North America
• Latin America and The Caribbean
Members have until January to provide their feedback and make sure it counts for this year’s Awards. They can rate the lounges they’ve visited on the Priority Pass website or via the new review feature within the Priority Pass mobile app.