How important is outdoor living in our lives? I’d say it is pretty darn important when you begin to see major airports around the globe add outdoor spaces for their customers. And, why not? With flight delays and the increasing amount of time one must spend in the airport, providing an outdoor area for stressed out, antsy customers may help calm them down and make them happier once they board that over-booked and crowded flight.
Delta led the way at New York’s JFK, with its first very nicely appointed Sky Deck. Followed shortly thereafter with another in Atlanta, both were designed in partnership with Architectural Digest and celebrity interior designer, Thom Fillicia. At roughly 1700 square feet, the Delta Sky Deck offers comfortable and attractive lounge seating and a bar.
The Star Alliance Lounge at LAX provides outdoor seating, fire pits, a water feature, and a view of the Hollywood Hills beyond. While the Star Alliance (a group of approximately twenty-eight airlines) outdoor lounge is open only to members of Delta’s Sky club and Star Alliance Gold or Business Class travelers, other airports are opening up outdoor area which are more inclusive.
At California’s Long Beach Airport, dining al fresco is now an option. Don’t look for familiar chain restaurants; Supporting the community is an important component of this area, and all restaurants located here are local businesses.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has provided an indoor/outdoor park for visitors. Benches, picnic tables, and lounge chairs provide seating. For those who would like a bit of exercise, cycling machines are available from which power is provided to recharge electronics.
At Singapore’s Changi Airport, all ticketed passengers have access to the rooftop lounge with its bar, pool, and gardens.
Providing comfortable and multi-functional outdoor areas past security seems to be a growing trend at airports around the world. Heathrow in London, Marco Polo in Venice, Flughafen in Hamburg, and the Sydney International Airport all include outdoor areas for some or all travelers.
The next time you find yourself spending more time than anticipated in an airport, you may want to inquire as to whether your location has an outdoor living area. A little fresh air and sunshine may help ease the pain of flight delays just a little bit.