Travelers indulge in airport luxury
By Marlene Naanes and Jason Fink
As the holiday travel season ramps up, your vacation could start while you're waiting in the terminal.
Local airports increasingly are offering more pampering, including spa treatments, beds, showers, and even food delivery.
Ten years ago they never had this, said Tacie Saltonstall, who was at Kennedy Airport today after missing a connecting flight.
We screwed up the flight this morning and I was like, yes, we get to spa it, she said.
Its likely that with the busiest and often times most stressful travel week of the year upon us, many other travelers will also indulge at the airport.
Between Wednesday and Sunday, Kennedy is expected to see 629,000 passengers and LaGuardia 281,000, according to the Port Authority. With the average flight delay for departures this year at Kennedy reaching an hour and six minutes, and an hour and three minutes at LaGuardia, travelers have plenty of time for a facial or a comfortable nap.
Its a destination, Laurie Malen, 48, of Manhattan, said of the new JetBlue terminal at Kennedy. Its full service.
The newly opened JetBlue terminal is among the most striking examples of the trend towards turning airports once dreary way stations brightened by the occasional newsstand or McDonalds into combination mini malls and lounges.
There, passengers can dine on sushi or tapas or opt for a massage. There is also a play area for children, a pharmacy and free Wi-Fi. Other terminals at Kennedy also have their own high-end offerings, such as stores selling diamonds, Rolexes and Ferragamo shoes.Kennedys eight spas have become so popular that they now offer membership with discounts.
Our members will usually come to the airport very early, said XpresSpa coordinator Ronald Dolloway.
Alison McCall, 54, an Upper East Side resident on her way to visit family in Florida for Thanksgiving, did just that today. She treated herself to a foot massage and browsed at the Muji store.
Its a lot more interesting and relaxing to walk around than just stewing about your flight delays, she said.
Some travelers in the international terminal at Kennedy said that America is actually behind the curve when it comes to full-service airports.
Richard Sherman, 37, who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, and works for the United Nations, said that in Singapore, there is a pool and outdoor deck at the airport and in Malaysia, frazzled travelers can enjoy a sauna.
Still, not everyone has been drawn to linger at airports.
I just want to get in and out, said Felicidad Reyes, 29, of Brooklyn. As long as they have coffee and water, thats all I need.