Delays mean business for airport hotels

Hotel News - 25/02/2008

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Flight delays are becoming an increasing problem for frequent flyers today but they are also turning out to be an unexpected boon for airport hotels who have been befitting from a growing number of cancelled flights and delayed planes.

According to Jan D. Freitag, vice president for global development for Smith Travel Research, occupancy rates have increased over the past year. From October 2006, to October 2007, airport hotel occupancy rates rose by 1.9 per cent, which Freitag says is "a fairly strong showing."

Freitag said that it is not only delays and cancellations which are responsible for the change, but also new ways of doing business. More and more people are simply conducting their business from an airport hotel in order to save travel time.

During the day, however, delayed travelers are more frequently taking advantage of free shuttle busses and reduced day rates offered by airport hotels in order to get away from the busy airport and enjoy some quiet time, a good meal and the hotel’s business facilities.

Many hotels are enhancing their day time facilities in order to cater to these short-term guests. Lobbies and restaurants are often the target of these enhancements which include making the space more soothing to frazzled travelers. Many are introducing wireless internet and are rearranging furniture and food service in the lobby area.

Spa treatments from airport hotels have also become more popular with day time travelers stranded at the airport. Hotels are now considering adding treatment rooms, saunas pools and fitness areas available for short-term visitors to cater to the growing demand.

So the next time your flight is delayed, hop on a shuttle and enjoy a little down time far away from the craziness of the airport terminal.

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