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Middle East airport VIP lounge popularity soars: report

Middle East airport VIP lounge popularity soars: report

The popularity of airport lounges has skyrocketed in the Middle East, according to a report, noting that 98% of Saudi Arabian and 95% of UAE travelers have visited an airport lounge, spending an average of more than an hour before departure.

Interestingly, according to a report titled “The Value of Lounges” by global travel provider Collinson, travelers rank airport lounge access as one of the top three perks offered by card issuers, and they expect it to be as easy as swiping their card.

A third would even consider switching to a new card if their everyday spending card didn’t offer lounge access. Cardholders also want access to airport lounges in the event of flight delays. This can be solved with SmartDelay, another Collinson solution that turns the stress of flight delays into lounge breaks.

Given that Middle Eastern travelers value luxury and comfort during their travels, it’s no surprise that Priority Pass and LoungeKey have a strong reputation in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This makes them the most widely known travel experience programs in the region, which is why 66% of KSA and 76% of UAE participants prefer Collinson’s offerings.

Collinson’s Priority Pass, the world’s leading traveler experience program, is in its fourth decade of operation and is preparing for a new era of connected travel. Priority Pass and LoungeKey reaffirm the company’s commitment to the Middle East, positioning the region at the heart of an exciting future for the travel and aviation ecosystem.

Priyanka Lakhani, Senior Vice President, EMEA, Collinson, said: “With Priority Pass and LoungeKey, we are creating memorable experiences for travelers while increasing the value of our loyalty and rewards programs. To develop and develop the best solution with LoungeKey members and our valued partners.

“We are the leading loyalty brand with a deep understanding of customer behavior and the travel ecosystem, which puts us in an excellent position to create the experiences our customers expect. We are also the only program that offers seamless lounge access, which is why Our members rate Collinson service as the best (83%) for convenience and (78%) quality.”

After a turbulent period for the aviation industry, global lounge visits are now up 140% year-on-year, and Collinson’s extensive network covering more than 80% of the top 100 busiest airports is well positioned to meet this demand.

The network offers travelers access to 1,300 lounges and experiences at more than 650 airports in 148 countries, including a growing selection of airport dining and spa options, as well as additional services beyond the airport. With partners like CarTrawler, where members can book car rentals and airport transfers through the Priority Pass app, Collinson is laying the foundation for a more flexible, personalized and seamless travel experience.

Collinson also continues to invest in the Middle East, introducing innovative lounge and travel experiences for its clients. The Gaming Space at Dubai International Airport is the region’s first airport gaming lounge, offering a novel alternative to traditional pre-flight procedures. Designed for game-loving passengers of all ages, this lively space features 40 gaming stations, each with a 50-inch display and side-by-side seating for solo or multiplayer game.

Recent research shows that travelers from the UAE and Saudi Arabia are now taking their health more seriously. Collinson maintains leadership in wellness with a series of key additions to the Priority Pass and LoungeKey networks. Qatar’s Hamad International Airport’s second sleep ‘n fly lounge allows travelers to relax and recharge away from the crowds, while a first-of-its-kind partnership with audio workout app WithU helps members burn off the extra calories they burn during their journey.

Commenting on the latest developments, David Evans, Co-CEO of Collinson, said: “It is clear that the new generation of travelers is demanding more. More personal, more connected, broader and completely seamless experiences. At Collinson, we are committed to innovation and diversify our offerings.Dubai International Airport’s Game Space and Hamad International Airport’s sleep ‘n fly lounges are shining examples of how the travel industry can adapt to the changing needs of the modern traveller.

“As we enter a new era of end-to-end travel, we are confident that Priority Pass and LoungeKey will continue to strengthen their position as the Middle East’s most trusted travel partner thanks to Collinson’s customer-first culture.” – trade arab news agency

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