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爭奪高端乘客,航空公司豪華休息室大戰升溫

Luxury Lounge Wars Heat Up as Airlines Vie for High-End Passengers
爭奪高端乘客,航空公司豪華休息室大戰升溫

So you think your only choice during a long layover or a flight delay is to suffer in the airport terminal?

當你遇到漫長的中轉停留或是航班延誤,你以為唯一的選擇就是在航站樓遭罪嗎?

Think again.

再考慮考慮吧。

But be prepared to pay handsomely one way or another for the alternative.

不過準備好為替代方案付出不小的數目就是了。

The airline lounge competition is heating up around the globe, and two new entrants, American and United, have, somewhat belatedly, become serious contenders.

航空公司機場休息室的競爭正在全球升溫,新加入的兩位,美國航空和美國聯合航空來得遲了點,卻成為認真的競爭者。

Like the difference between first-class and economy seats, the luxury lounges offered by many major airlines are yet another way in which air travel is separating the haves from the have-nots.

就像頭等艙與經濟艙的差別一樣,許多大航空公司提供的豪華休息室,是航空旅行把富人和窮人區分開的另一種方式。

Entry usually requires the purchase of a business- or first-class ticket, and some VIP lounges charge thousands of dollars per visit by individuals or small groups of travelers. There are some exceptions for holders of certain credit cards, and occasionally a traveler can make a one-time visit for a relatively low fee.

進休息室通常需要購買商務艙或頭等艙機票,有的貴賓休息室對個人或小團體旅客的單次使用收費數千美元。對某些信用卡的持有人會例外,普通旅客偶爾能以相對低的費用進一次休息室。

But regardless of the cost, lounge access has become paramount for business travelers, especially those on overnight flights from the Northeastern United States to Europe, experts say. They want to shower and eat fresh food in the lounge, and then sleep on their flight, so when they arrive in Europe they can head directly to their meeting.

專家稱,不管花費多少,對商務旅客來說使用休息室非常重要,尤其是乘夜航班機從美國東北部飛往歐洲的旅客。他們要在休息室淋浴,吃上新鮮飯菜,然后在飛機上睡一覺,這樣到達歐洲時他們就能直接去開會。

For other travelers, lounges can provide “a reprieve from the chaos of the airport, an oasis from the storm,” said Jack Ezon, president of New York-based Ovation Vacations, an upscale leisure travel agency.

對其他旅客,休息室能讓你“從機場的混亂中解脫,就像風暴里的一片綠洲,”紐約高端旅行社Ovation Vacations的總裁杰克·艾宗(Jack Ezon)說。

To Michael Holtz, owner of SmartFlyer, another upscale travel agency, a lounge can extend a luxury hotel experience. Guests staying in certain high-end suites at the Rosewood London, for example, qualify for free access to the VIP private terminal at London’s Heathrow Airport. Qatar Airways’ Al Safwa first-class lounge at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, offers 12 private bedrooms.

另一家高端旅行社SmartFlyer的擁有人邁克爾·霍爾茨(Michael Holtz)認為,休息室能延長豪華酒店的體驗。比如入住倫敦瑰麗酒店(Rosewood London)一定級別套房的客人就有資格免費進入倫敦希思羅機場的貴賓私人航站樓。在卡塔爾的多哈哈馬德國際機場,卡塔爾航空的Al Safwa頭等艙休息室還備有12間私人臥室。

American Airlines offers Flagship Lounge access to first- and business-class passengers on transcontinental and international flights and has opened new ones at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Miami International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and O’Hare International Airport outside of Chicago since last year. The lounges have hot and cold buffets, wine, Champagne and create-your-own cocktails, showers and quiet rooms. All lounges except O’Hare’s also have restaurant-style dining for first-class passengers.

美國航空為跨洲及國際航班的頭等艙與商務艙乘客提供旗艦休息室,自去年起已在紐約肯尼迪國際機場、邁阿密國際機場、洛杉磯國際機場和芝加哥奧黑爾國際機場新設旗艦休息室。休息室備有冷熱自助餐、葡萄酒、香檳和顧客自調雞尾酒,有淋浴和靜音室。除奧黑爾機場外,所有的休息室還為頭等艙乘客提供餐廳式的正餐。<紐約時報中英文網 http://www.gwbyzx.live/>

United opened its first Polaris Lounge — available only to passengers flying in its Polaris, or business class, and to first-class passengers on Star Alliance airlines’ flights — at O’Hare in December 2016. Since spring, it has opened other lounges at San Francisco International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

聯合航空也于2016年12月在奧黑爾機場開設了第一個北極星休息室——只供北極星艙也就是商務艙乘客,以及星空聯盟成員航班的頭等艙乘客享用。自今春以來,北極星休息室也相繼在舊金山國際機場、位于新澤西州的紐瓦克自由國際機場和位于休斯頓的喬治·布什國際機場開放。

Other Polaris lounges are also planned in Los Angeles and at Washington Dulles International Airport. These will feature a restaurant offering local cuisine; relaxation areas, including daybeds with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding; and shower suites with valet service.

洛杉磯以及華盛頓杜勒斯國際機場的北極星休息室也在計劃當中。這些休息室將會設有提供當地美食的餐廳,休息區會有使用Saks Fifth Avenue品牌床具的床位,淋浴間有代客洗衣服務。

But American’s and United’s lounges are in many ways overshadowed by older and newer top-tier airport lounges operated by carriers based outside the United States.

但相比美國以外的航空公司經營的那些或新或舊的頂級機場休息室,美航和聯航的休息室在很多方面都黯然失色。

Take for example Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal, which opened at Frankfurt Airport in 2004 and was refurbished in 2014, and Cathay Pacific Airways’ Pier first-class lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, which opened in 2001 and was refurbished in 2014.

比如漢莎航空的頭等艙航站樓,2004年在法蘭克福機場開設,2014年重裝修,還有國泰航空在香港國際機場的玉衡堂(The Pier)頭等艙休息室,2001年開設,2014年重裝修。

And then there is Qantas’ Perth Transit Lounge, which opened in March for business-class flyers on the airline’s new 787-9 flights that originate in Melbourne, Australia, stop in Perth and continue nonstop for 17 hours to London; the lounge is also available on return flights from London.

再就是澳洲航空的珀斯中轉休息室,今年三月開始服務該公司由波音787-9夢幻客機執飛的新航線的商務艙乘客。新航線從澳大利亞墨爾本出發,經停珀斯然后17小時不間斷飛往倫敦;由倫敦返回的航班也可以使用休息室。

The Perth lounge offers seasonal menus from Rockpool Bar & Grill, a Sydney restaurant; an outdoor barbecue and hydration station; bathrooms that provide light therapy and help travelers adjust to the time zone to which they are flying; and a well-being studio that has stretching and breathing classes conducted by a yoga teacher, also custom designed to combat jet lag.

珀斯的休息室由悉尼餐廳Rockpool Bar&Grill供應時令餐點;還設有戶外燒烤爐和飲水點;浴室提供光照療法幫助旅客調整到目的地時區;健身房有瑜伽老師指導的伸展和呼吸課程,也是專為克服時差設計的。

Luxury lounges are also operated by the airline alliances. They are often at highly competitive hub airports and their costs are jointly shared by alliance members. The Star Alliance has seven lounges worldwide, with an eighth scheduled to open in Amsterdam early next year. The SkyTeam Airline Alliance has six worldwide, with new ones scheduled to open in Istanbul and Santiago, Chile, next year.

航空聯盟也會經營豪華休息室。這些休息室常常設在競爭激烈的樞紐機場,運營成本由聯盟成員共同分擔。星空聯盟在全球已有七處休息室,第八處計劃明年初在阿姆斯特丹開放。天合聯盟現有六處,計劃明年分別在伊斯坦布爾和智利的圣地亞哥開放新的休息室。

Since 2013, American Express has opened a Centurion Lounge at eight airports in the United States and in Hong Kong. New lounges are scheduled to open next year at New York’s JFK, Denver and Los Angeles airports. The lounges are only for holders of its Platinum and Centurion credit cards. These lounges offer menus designed by well-known chefs, shower suites, noise-buffering work spaces, family rooms and staff members who provide credit-card and concierge services.

自2013年以來,美國運通公司已在美國和香港的八個機場開設了百夫長休息室。明年還計劃在紐約肯尼迪機場、丹佛和洛杉磯的機場開設新的休息室。休息室只對運通公司白金信用卡及百夫長信用卡持卡人開放,提供名廚設計的餐食、淋浴間、隔音工作區、家庭活動室,還有工作人員提供信用卡及禮賓服務。

And for travelers in London who want privacy, there are suites available through the Heathrow VIP service. Originally used by members of the British royal family, heads of state and diplomats, 17 suites are available for business- and first-class passengers. Up to six travelers can buy a two-hour visit in a suite for 2,750 pounds, or about $3,600, which includes concierge and baggage handling services, food prepared by a Michelin-starred chef, private security clearance and transportation in a BMW 7 Series to the airplane. The car can also transfer travelers from London to the airport.

在倫敦,對于希望保有隱私的旅客,希思羅機場的貴賓服務可以提供套房。17間套房最初由英國王室成員、政府首腦和外交官使用,現在商務艙和頭等艙乘客也可享用。2750英鎊(約合3,600美元)可購買一間套房的兩個小時,最多六位旅客使用,其中包括禮賓和行李服務、由米其林星級廚師烹制的餐食、私人保安服務和寶馬7系轎車擺渡登機。轎車也可以從倫敦把旅客接到機場。

Tyler Dikman, co-founder of LoungeBuddy, an app that rates airport lounges worldwide and sells travelers access to many of them, said elaborate lounges introduced by many carriers based outside the United States “raised the bar and have required U.S.-based airlines to compete if they want to maintain or grow their market share.”

移動應用LoungeBuddy可以給全球機場的休息室評分,也向旅客銷售許多休息室的服務,它的聯合創始人泰勒·迪克曼(Tyler Dikman)說,許多外國航空公司悉心經營的休息室“提高了業務標準,這要求美國的航空公司如果想保持或提高他們的市場份額就必須奮力追趕。”

Many carriers use their top-tier lounges as “an extension of their premium onboard experience,” promoting them on their websites, said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group.

很多航空公司把頂級休息室用作“其機上優越體驗的延伸,”在網站上宣傳推廣,旅游業分析師、Atmosphere Research Group的總裁亨利·哈特維爾德(Henry Harteveldt)說。

Indeed, Paul Priestman, director of PriestmanGoode, a London industrial design company that was hired by United to help develop Polaris, including its website and lounges, said his company’s concepts for the Polaris experience were designed to create consistency, which he called “everything in the travel experience. It’s what people remember. We try and make sure all touch points are similar, so the overall effect is calmer, and travelers enjoy the experience more, so they repeat, become regular.”

聯合航空雇傭了倫敦的工業設計公司PriestmanGoode來協助開發北極星品牌,包括其網站和休息室。公司董事保羅·普里斯特曼(Paul Priestman)表示,他的公司對北極星體驗的設想是要讓它制造出連貫性,他稱之為“旅行體驗中的一切。是人們記住的事。我們嘗試著確保所有的品牌接觸點都是相似的,所以整體效果更穩定,旅客更享受這個體驗,于是他們再來,成為常客。”

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