Perfecting the airport lounge experience

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2 Apr 2019 by Business Traveller Asia Pacific

Plaza Premium Group’s brand director Mei Mei Song talks families, wellness and environment as she tells Business Traveller Asia-Pacific what she is doing to make Plaza Premium Lounge unique.

What are the key aspects that go into planning, designing and building the perfect airport lounge?

We look at four key elements: service, facilities, ambience and F&B. Depending on the location and the specific target travellers, we ensure details to reflect each lounge’s unique aspects. For example, with our recent opening in Langkawi, a leisure destination, we built family breakout zones, whereas in Hong Kong, we focus on work stations to cater for business travellers.

How are you accommodating the needs of families?

We’ve seen a rise in younger families whose travel habits significantly shifted in the last decade. We have children’s areas including libraries, nursing rooms and a children’s menu at Plaza Premium First in Hong Kong. It is more than creating family-friendly facilities and services but showing family travellers that we care and to make their airport journey enjoyable and easy. As a mother myself, being able to step into a lounge and have a place to entertain my daughter gives me peace of mind.

What is your take on the wellness trend?

We believe that being conscious of our health and the wellness of our planet is a must. We always encourage travellers to eat healthily and to travel mindfully. Last year, Beyond Burger was introduced into Plaza Premium First and the use of plastics has also been reduced in our newer lounges, a plan that we will ultimately implement across our network.

What other innovations are you seeing on the F&B side in relation to healthy eating?

We have a concept of “glocal”. We work with our global culinary teams and bring international dishes into our lounges, while we give our guests a sense of place by offering signature local dishes also known as comfort food such as Penang Laksa in our lounges in Malaysia. Root98, our herbs and seeds dining concept, promotes healthy food options. We also source a lot of ingredients locally to reduce our carbon footprint and support local communities.

What lounge developments will we see in the future?

We constantly digitise the consumer journey to make it more efficient and convenient, such as adding VR for entertainment and other interactive experiences. We will have technologies for guests to book showers in advance or a yoga session that takes place at 5pm. Ultimately we aim to create a seamless airport experience that makes a lasting impression.

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