Airport lounge operator Plaza Premium Group is set to open its new flagship lounge Tuesday in Orlando International Airport’s Terminal C, the company told BTN.
The full-service lounge will have 238 seats and has been designed for both the corporate and leisure markets, PPG VP of commercial development operations for the U.S. Stuart Vella said.
“For the individual business traveler, there is a section to work or take a call quietly, and we have separated out the family areas by a physical concrete wall, so they don’t disturb the corporate travelers,” he explained. “We’re being mindful of the demographic through Orlando and tried to make sure to meet both needs by putting in a physical separation.”
The full-service lounge will include food and beverage service, as well as a set of four shower suites, “to allow for guests to have a refresh before their flight,” Vella said.
The Orlando lounge was supposed to open in October but was delayed due to the effects of Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida Sept. 28.
Launched in Asia, PPG has been expanding its presence in the United States. It opened its lounge at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport inside Terminal E in September 2020. Its co-branded lounge with Capital One, also located at Dallas/Fort Worth, in Terminal D, opened in November 2021.
The company also began management of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounges about a year ago, Vella said. Those locations are at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport. PPG also operates the Virgin Atlantic lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport even though the carrier has suspended its flights there, according to PPG. Virgin Atlantic has codeshare partners that operate out of that airport.
The next lounge on the docket to open is another co-branded lounge with Capital One at the Denver International Airport inside Concourse A, currently set to debut in the first quarter of 2023, according to Vella. It will offer approximately 180 seats, a “full suite of amenities,” nap pods, shower suites, as well as a “show kitchen open to the lounge so people can watch the chefs,” he added.
The breakdown between leisure and corporate usage at the lounge in Dallas is about 50/50, Vella said. The company expects Orlando’s usage share to be 70 percent leisure and Denver’s to be about 60 percent. “It varies hugely and will be seasonal,” he added.
PPG also works directly with corporate customers to fulfill lounge needs for travelers, particularly for destinations where the legacy carriers “simply don’t have [a lounge] because they may not have enough volume,” Vella said. “We are finding more and more corporate travelers are not necessarily flying with legacy carriers. Budgets are tighter, inflation is up. Hypothetically, they will fly [a low-cost carrier] and save a lot of money over a year of travel. The downside is [the carrier] doesn’t offer a lounge product.”
Vella gave an example of a business traveler stuck in an airport without a lounge and unable to find a spot to work effectively. “That downtime becomes a cost,” he said, adding that PPG offers access passes. “[Companies] have a capped voucher spend so they don’t waste money buying a membership. They pay for what they use. It ensures their traveler, their employee, is still getting access to a lounge and can work and be productive while also reducing or managing costs.”