For frequent business travellers, airport lounges are quiet havens where you can either catch up on work or choose to ignore it completely. In the competitive airline space at 30,000 feet there is also considerable one-up-man-ship on the ground as to what makes a good airport lounge for today’s business traveller. Shower facilities feature pretty prominently as must-haves in airport lounges if you have to go straight to a meeting as soon as you land, or if you just want to feel vaguely human after travelling for 20 hours.
Plenty of space and modern amenities and a bright, airy feel are also important to work against being confined in a pressurized cylinder for long tracts of time. Free Wi-Fi and a sufficient number of outlets to charge all your electronic gadgets are a god-send for travellers trying to take advantage of the non-office time to meet deadlines and get a whole swag of things done.
As part of the recognition of the growth in business travel, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines have created some of the newest airport lounges where you will discover a special style of furniture made with today's working traveller at the centre of the design. Airlines are picking up this new trend and working on the creation of a work pod: a custom-designed seat which doubles as a short term pre-flight work area.
Cathay Pacific Solus
Cathay Pacific with its original creation the Solus chair, designed for the airline's previous generation of lounges by London-based Foster + Partners and Italian luxury furniture manufacturer Poltrona Frau.
The Solus workstation was seen as a means to provide Cathay's passengers with a sense of their own space within the lounge itself.
However, in practice most travellers found the futuristic shell concept too cramped – enter Cathay's shift to a more relaxed and residential lounge design, which led to the Cathay Pacific Solo.
Cathay Pacific Solo
Cathay's new lounge designer Ilse Crawford revamped the no-nonsense Solus into the very comfortably padded Solo chair.
Singapore Airlines Productivity Pod
Singapore Airlines' own Productivity Pod borrows subtle design elements from the airline's first class and business class seating. The high walls of the pod to create a private space are reminiscent of a workspace in an open-plan office.
United Airlines Polaris Quad
United's new Polaris business class seats and lounges includes the 'Quad chair' workstation. With everything seemingly thought of and created by PriestmanGoode, this seat has all the bells and whistles – this includes storage for your coat and cabin baggage plus a pull-out table with integrated tablet holder, and AC/USB charging points plus a personal reading lamp.
Plaza Premium workstations
Many lounges in the pay-in Plaza Premium network have these honeycomb-like workstations – each with its own bench, reading light and AC/USB power ports:
Feature image courtesy of Getty.