Servisair has officially unveiled its new airport lounge concept at Gatwick’s North Terminal.
Although Servisair was the first non-airline company to offer airport lounges in the UK, it had not previously settled on a single identifiable layout for its lounge facilities.
At the Gatwick launch on February 23, Shaun Weston, the company’s Director of Travel Services, told Airports International: “Through a series of acquisitions we had grown the number of lounges we operated both here in the UK and abroad, but we hadn’t really defined a specific corporate image. The thought process that led to this began about a year ago and, after listening to our customers’ feedback, we have introduced this complete rebranding – named the Aspire lounges – and we think they push the boundaries of customers’ expectations.”
The refit work began at Gatwick last October and was finished in early February. “Some of our customers have already had the chance to see it and all the comments so far have been very positive,” added Mr Weston.
The Gatwick lounge is divided into four areas. Adjacent to the entrance is the ‘quiet’ business section with its own beverage machine to allow those working in the area to avoid the main central food and drink area. In between the business and main food sections is a bench seating area and adjoining tables that can accommodate between three and four couples spaciously or groups of up to ten travellers together. On the opposite side of the main food area there are tables and chair arrangements for small groups and, beyond and furthest away from the business area, is a family-orientated segment with a television available. Flight information is provided via three display screens and throughout the lounge customers can take advantage of side tables within the seating areas, which will enable laptop, iPad or gaming console charging. Specially created laptop trays are provided in the business zone.
“The range of zones meet the needs of different travellers so, whether our guests are travelling for business or leisure, there is an area specifically developed around their needs, ensuring that each journey starts well,” said Mr Weston.
He added that the Aspire concept shares similarities with Servisair’s Canadian facilities, but is completely different to all its other lounges. Gatwick’s – and others that will follow – offer a freshly-prepared complementary menu, including hot food, snacks, treats, drinks and free Wi-Fi in very comfortable surroundings.
Emphasising Servisair’s environmental credentials, all lounge lighting systems are based on the latest low energy LED technology.
The company’s management team says it has looked at “every minute detail from the ground up” to provide the Aspire facilities from £17.49 (US$27.90) for a three-hour visit. Membership and gift vouchers are also available.
Servisair’s lounges currently account for about 10% of its total annual turnover.
Visitors can pay on arrival or book in advance. The Gatwick North Terminal facility has a theoretical capacity of 130 people and Mr Weston says the company is “constantly learning” the details of how the peaks and troughs of passenger demand change in line with flight numbers.
The next Aspire lounge is due to open at Manchester Airport, UK, this spring and the company-wide refit is expected to be complete in “two to three years”.