Skift Take

It's a bit of a slap in the face to hometown favorites AA to see an outsider like Amex move in, but it will likely play out well for consumers who want a choice -- and may save some money -- of places to rest before takeoff.

A new VIP lounge is being proposed for Dallas/Fort Worth Airport’s Terminal D, which would give business and international travelers another choice for private space to relax between flights.

On Tuesday, the airport board’s concessions’ committee approved a 7-year lease with American Express to operate a VIP lounge for its members despite opposition by American Airlines, which has an Admirals Club in the middle of the same terminal.

Kevin Cox, American’s vice president of real estate, said the terms of the American Express lease put American at a competitive disadvantage because the travel company will pay a lower rate per square foot. He added that the Admirals Club is never full, even during peak times, and travelers already have an alternative available at The Club at DFW, a traveler’s lounge that does not require membership.

“Never in our wildest dream did we anticipate that there would be a third party building a club in Terminal D,” Cox told the board as he attempted to get the contract approval delayed.

But DFW’s chief executive, Jeff Fegan, said the proposed American Express club will be located on the south side of Terminal D near gates for foreign carriers like Emirates Airlines and Qantas Airways.

“We think it’s an amenity that will create additional levels of customer service,” Fegan said.

Access to the lounge will be available for American Express cardholders and non-cardholders who purchase a day pass for $40 to $75 per day. The full airport board will vote on the contract Thursday.

(c)2012 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Distributed by MCT Information Services. 


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Tags: american airlines, american express, dfw

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