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I think airline lounges can be fantastic additions to the overall travel experience, especially during some longer airport connections or in the event of delays. The downside of domestic airline lounges is that they aren’t that spectacular in most cases, and these days you are doing well to get some complimentary cheese, crackers, and a Bud Light. However, that really isn’t why I like airline lounges. I like them the most when they offer a family room with a safe and secure place for little kids to play. This was even more true when my daughter was a young and curious toddler that was into EVERYTHING and had behavior that wasn’t always predictable.
Family rooms offered a door that closed and an escape from other travelers that might give an upset or overly curious kiddo (or their parents) the “stink eye”…or worse. Only a handful of traditional airline lounges in the US offer a family room, but we actively seek out the few that do including a few United Clubs and a few AAdmirals Clubs. I hate that the new and/or redone United Clubs aren’t adding family rooms, as I think it is a much better use of space than a conference room for everyone involved – including non-family travelers who may not want to be around as many kids and babies in the main area of the lounge.
Because of my love of family rooms, I was particularly excited about the change to allow American Express Platinum cardholders free access to the Amex Centurion Lounge at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, and the soon-to-open Centurion Lounge at DFW. Below is a photo of the family room at the lounge in McCarran, and I have been able to confirm that the new lounge at DFW will also have a family/kid’s room. I have been told that the family room “…is stocked with an HTDV, Blu Ray with kid-friendly DVDs, and a Xbox with kid-friendly games and toys. We also aim to offer a variety of DVDs, games and toys for kids across a range of different ages.”
In the event that you and your partner (or other trusted adult) are both traveling with the kids and want to take turns having a few moments to yourself, the Centurion Lounge at DFW, that will open Tuesday October 15th will also offer complimentary 15 minute spa services. The services are designed for males or females, and you remain fully clothed during the services. Here is the menu (sign me up for a 15 minute massage!):
FRESH IN FIFTEEN
Enjoy heated neck pillows and an assortment of herbal teas as you get flight-ready with these 15 minute spa therapies compliments of exhale.
Fight jet lag and fatigue with exhale’s signature Flow Massage. Using slow, sinking pressure to get precisely into the muscles that need it the most, this massage will leave you tension-free plus boost your immune system. Perfect before you’re airborne!
Deep Tissue Massage
Designed to relieve pain and soreness from the body, this customized therapy is ideal for everyday tightness and aches caused from sitting at a computer or lugging luggage.
This rhythmic massage is the ultimate in relaxation as it soothes and restores tired muscles, relieves tension and quiets the mind. Ideal for a moment of Zen before you board.
Enjoy a deep cleanse followed by an exfoliating mask to clean and detoxify the skin. Finish with a refreshing application of moisturizer to hydrate and balance, leaving your skin smooth and refreshed.
Soothe + Treat
Battling breakouts? We’ll clear you for takeoff! A deep cleanse is followed by a clarifying mask to calm, even, and correct your skin. We finish with an anti-acne spot treatment and light moisturizer.
We begin with a thorough cleansing of the face, then deeply hydrating the skin with a restorative mask. An overnight cream is generously applied leaving you hydrated, protected and ready for some shut-eye.
We soak and soften the cuticles then gently buff and shape the nails. Organic nail polish color is applied leaving your nails neat, tidy and polished.
A good handshake begins with well-maintained hands. We cleanse, soak and soften the cuticles then trim and buff the nails into handshake-ready shape. Buffing is optional.
If you have little kids, imagine how nice it would be in the middle of a connection or delay to be able to get a 15 minute massage while the other parent plays with the kiddos in a room designed specifically for them. On top of that you get higher end food and drinks also provided complimentary in the lounge. That sounds like a much better experience than chasing them around the (likely full) gate area and paying $10 just to buy a juice and a pretzel in the airport food court.
If you have an Amex Centurion or Platinum card you will be able to access both of these Centurion lounges for free, and any American Express cardholder can purchase a one-day pass for $50. Children 18 and under get in with an adult for no additional charge. There are additional Centurion Lounges in the plans, though additional locations have not yet been announced. I hope that they continue to include family rooms as part of the plan, and I look forward to trying the new lounge at DFW and sharing all the details of that experience in the very near future!
Do you utilize family rooms in airport lounges? Do you have plans to visit the Centurion Lounges at McCarran or the soon-to-open lounge at DFW?