Accommodating the needs of the fastest growing business traveler segment makes complete economic sense for the companies operating the lounges, and for airlines it means building long-term loyalty relationships with a big spending group.
What are the needs of female business travelers and how are airport business lounges addressing them? This is a question which lounge operators can only ignore at their own peril.
As the ranks of women business travelers is rising across the planet, especially as women in emerging countries in Asia and South America are traveling for business in increasing numbers — one report predicts that there is going to be a 400 percent increase in international business trips taken by women by 2030 — what can airlines, airports and third-party lounge operators do to accommodate their needs, and how are they addressing them?
LinkedIn’s “Jet: The Business Traveler Network” discussion group sparked off a discussion around this topic, and there were some very interesting responses from the members of the group, which we have extracted below with LinkedIn’s permission.
The question: If you [women] were to design the most perfect airport business lounge, what would be the perfect key ingredients that you would like to see? And what would encourage you to use it?
Some of the answers, extracted below:
- “More restroom stalls that are large enough to change in, and a room for nursing mothers. The latter is the reason I spent the money to have access to lounges while in that stage of my life. “
- “An area to change clothes that’s not a bathroom stall would be fantastic, even better, specific changing rooms.”
- “I would also like to have a personal shopping service. i.e. if time is limited and you have to make a choice between grabbing those much needed cosmetics and perfume versus visiting the lounge I think it would be good to be able to give somebody a list to and they do that for me whilst I continue working.”
- “Actual designated spots for luggage storage built in to seating areas so your luggage can be with you but you don’t have to go through a gauntlet to find a seat and sit down.”
- “For working, there should be semi-private tables where you could take a video call or just have some privacy to work on something. There should also be easily accessible outlets, and some larger tables in case you’re in a group or meeting someone.”
- “Healthy food options, decent wine so I can wash down the healthy food with something better than a cheap chardonnay. For long layovers, I’d love a workout room, even if just for stretching, and a decent shower.”
- “Massage chairs and live plants would be great. Anything that will counteract the recycled air on the flights would be welcome.”
- “Nursing lounge. Fitness center. Showers. Decent wine.”
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Photo credit: The Noodle Bar at Cathay Pacific lounge at Hong Kong Airport. Slices of Light / Flickr