News

Lounging around

25 Jul 2007 by business traveller

It's been a busy few weeks for new executive lounge openings around the globe – Business Traveller rounds up the latest offerings from Eos, Star Alliance, Virgin and JAL.

First up all-business class carrier Eos has opened a new gate-side departure lounge at London Stansted airport called Club 48. The lounge includes amenities such as wifi internet access, computer terminals, 50-inch widescreen TVs and bar and food services. The carrier says it has used leather seating, granite and frosted glass counters and tables, walnut veneers, stainless steel, and rich-coloured artwork to create a warm environment for passengers. Visit eosairlines.com.

There's also a new option for Star Alliance lounge lizards, with the opening of its first lounge in North America. The 1,400sqm area at Los Angeles Tom Bradley International Airport has a seating capacity for 264 first and business class passengers, and includes complimentary wifi internet access, and business services such as fax machines and photocopiers. The lounge replaces 12 individual facilities previously used by individual airlines, although Star member Air New Zealand continues to offer its own lounge. The alliance is also due to open two new lounges at Heathrow T1 and Paris Charles de Gaulle T1 in 2008. Visit staralliance.com.

Meanwhile in Tokyo Virgin has unveiled its refurbished Clubhouse for Upper Class passengers at Narita airport. The new area has an increased seating capacity, with two sunken lounges and a raised sun deck section with views of the airport. Virgin is also rolling out its 'welcome system', an electronic guest entry system that aims to provide accurate flight and customer information, and which can inform passengers of the status of their flight before they enter the lounge. Visit virginatlantic.com.

And staying at Narita, Japan Airlines (JAL) has reopened its First Class and Sakura lounges after a refurbishment programme. The lounges have been "completely transformed using warm timber such as walnut, combined with soothing lighting, elements of glass and stone, and furnished with stylish leather and suede upholstery". Both areas now offer a buffet-style hot meal service between 7.30am and 10pm, and there are bars with airport views staffed between 3pm and 10pm. The lounges also feature new shower rooms, complimentary massages and relaxation rooms, as well as improved broadband internet facilities. Visit jal.co.jp.

Report by Mark Caswell

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