Are Airport Lounges Dead? • THINK Global Research

Airport lounges were often touted as the ultimate relaxation area, a place where all the goodies are free and unlimited, whether that’s the Wi-Fi, the wine or both…

As we move to the next generation of traveller – are freebies enough? The research is telling us NOT. THINK’s ongoing traveller segmentation research has seen lounge satisfaction on the decline, with what business travellers want changing for the next generation of travel.

Once seen as quiet retreats for business travellers on expense accounts looking to get some work done, lounges are now trying to serve a variety of purposes and, in the process, have become one more area of competition among the airlines and independent operators. Some lounges are offering spa treatments and expansive views of the tarmac and a few have even added playrooms for families travelling with children.

What the research is telling us is that the appeal of lounge access is a thing of the past.

The food and beverage offering is limited, out of date and far from a true representation of the city it’s located in.

The new generation of business traveller is screaming out for segregated business & leisure dwell spaces.

“The lounge isn’t what it used to be. I want good food & coffee in a premium terminal area where I can plug in, work & be social. Price isn’t an issue!”

Business meets laneway; the perfect terminal hub for travellers who want to get work done whilst being social.

  • Give travellers an option to have access to a meeting/working area as an alternative over lounge.
  • Deliver on this need with an open-plan collaboration hub with seating equipped for either work or social gatherings with colleagues or clients over Melbourne-quality coffee, drinks or a meal.


Here at THINK we are experts in commercialising the airport offer working with major Australian and international airports on traveller segmentation having partnered with Melbourne Airport, Sydney Airport, and Cairns Airport to bring their customer experiences to life. Check out our Case Studies page to learn more about these projects.

Want more aviation? Managing Director, Kristy Ihle, discusses the 6 key techniques used to commercialise the airport offer including: placing a size and value to your travellers; deep diving into these travellers to understand their usage, behaviours and attitudes; mapping the traveller journey; plotting these opportunities across commercial stages and measuring the experience to identify traveller pain points; and using these insights to develop a customer-led brand marketing and communication strategy.



Written by:

Leah McConville – Account Manager