Often I occupy a spot in a lounge for a long time. Here’s a list of some of the reasons why:
- On standby for an earlier flight
- Traveling to the airport with others (co-workers, family, etc.) where my flight leaves after theirs
- Bad weather inbound
- Holiday crush
- Delayed or canceled flight
- Hotel checkout time
- International travel
- Something about my work calendar that needs me in a place with power, good wifi, and relatively low noise at a specific time unrelated to boarding
- When I arrive, needing to wait for co-workers, family, etc. so we can carpool to the destination
The list goes on. Other business travelers and those frequently taking to the air may have others.
I have ideas for Delta (and AMEX) on how to address lounge overcrowding, at least a little bit:
- Expand the Priority Pass access to include airport restaurant access and/or gate delivery food service
- Have a service desk for things like standby flights, rebooking, etc. near the check-in desk
- Staff the toll-free service numbers, social media response, and in-app chat so flyers can get fast help
- Have separate policies for domestic and international lounge access
- In international gateway airports, partner on a separate international lounge (like in Atlanta) and offer arrival lounge access
- Take reservations
The list goes on. Mostly my ideas revolve around people. So far, that seems to be one area outside of investment.
It’s easier to blame customers, in the short term. How dare they use our product!