New Lounge at Dallas Fort Worth Int’l Offers Shower Suite and Gourmet Eats

New Lounge at Dallas Fort Worth Int’l Offers Shower Suite and Gourmet Eats
Author: 
Nicole Nelson
Published in: 
January-February
2022

The new Capital One Lounge that opened at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in November was inspired by an unappetizing image: pre-packaged salads with wilting greens.

Jenn Scheurich, head of Travel Experiences for Capital One, explains that the phrase “no sad salads” became a rallying cry for change among the project team that developed the new 10,000+square-foot space. “From much of our research, we found that travelers were not impressed with the food and beverage offered in the typical lounge experience,” explains Scheurich.

With limp, plastic-covered salads in mind, Capital One aimed to create the absolute opposite by focusing on premium foods and beverages. As a result, the new lounge in DFW’s international Terminal D has curated menus, selections made from regionally sourced ingredients, craft cocktails and cold beer on tap. Drinks with ties to local businesses include a custom-developed “airport pilsner” from Three Nations Brewing, specialty coffee from Cultivar Roasting Co. and frozen Irish coffee from Nickel City. The project team also made sure to include health-conscious choices such as matcha bowls, fresh farro salad and rainbow carrots with cashew crema. Scheurich notes that many of the options are grab-and-go selections in sustainable packaging that will make “sad salads” a thing of the past.

facts&figures

Project: Premium Independent Passenger Lounge

Airport: Dallas Fort Worth Int’l

Location: Terminal D, near Gate D22

Size: 10,000-plus sq. ft.

Stakeholders: Capital One; Plaza Premium Group

Food & Beverage Features: Menus created from regionally sourced ingredients; craft cocktails & cold tapped beer; locally roasted coffee; frozen Irish coffee; health-conscious options such as matcha bowls, farro salad & rainbow carrots with cashew crema; grab-and-go items in sustainable packaging

Amenities: Cycling/yoga room; relaxation rooms; nursing rooms; shower suites with luxury bath products

Cost: Ranges from $0 to $65 based upon Capital One cardholder or guest status

Hours of Operation: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Next Step: Similar lounges slated to open at Washington Dulles Int’l & Denver Int’l in 2022

Overall, she describes the new lounge as a “modern space full of unique amenities that is intentionally designed to provide relaxation, rejuvenation and exploration.”

Ken Buchanan, executive vice president of Customer Experience and Revenue Management at DFW, notes that the Texas airport is proud to be the first to offer customers a Capital One Lounge.

Beyond premium food and beverages, the facility offers amenities to help passengers relax, recharge, or a little bit of both. Wellness-focused features include a cycling and yoga room, relaxation rooms with eye covers, blankets and other luxury amenities, nursing rooms, and a shower suite stocked with sustainable bath products.

“The new lounge is designed to exceed the expectations of the modern traveler, providing a beautiful, modern space to relax or work while awaiting a flight,” explains Buchanan, citing amenities such as individual power outlets at every seat, complimentary high-speed WiFi throughout the space and a flight status display to keep travelers on schedule.

Guiding Values

Scheurich says the gleaming new DFW lounge is the culmination of a multi-year effort to invest in travel benefits and experiences that bring Capital One cardholders value, flexibility and ease.

The company’s effort to up the ante on airport lounges dovetails with its recent launch of Venture X, a new premium travel credit card and Capital One Travel for booking. Capital One declined to disclose how much the lounge cost, citing its role as a customer service amenity.

Scheurich notes that Capital One chose to launch its new lounge network at DFW because it is one of the busiest airports in the U.S.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth area is an important region to Capital One, both from a customer and associate perspective; and we look forward to welcoming travelers from Texas and beyond into our new space,” she continues. “DFW leaders have also been incredible partners in helping us bring this experience to life. They have a focus on customer experience that is very aligned with our perspective.”

Scheurich notes that the new lounge at DFW and others currently in the works are driven by an intentional design approach that leverages customer insights, technology and industry trends. 

The Inside Edge

Capital One partnered on the project with Plaza Premium Group, which operates 250 independent airport lounges throughout the world. Plaza Premium Group leveraged its industry knowledge to provide space and experience design services and counsel Capital One about product development, pricing strategy and specific food/beverage concepts. With the space complete, it is now operating the lounge and providing customer service personnel. 

Bora Isbulan, chief commercial officer for Plaza Premium Group, describes the partnership like this: “With [our] 23 years of experience in building world-class and Skytrax Award-winning lounge experiences, we are working closely with the Capital One team to develop a comforting, memorable and world-class lounge experience in the DFW property in order to delight Capital One’s customers and serve global travelers evolving needs and expectations.”

“It is a very important milestone for us to collaborate with Capital One to create its unique, customer-first airport lounge at DFW,” Isbulan adds. “As travel demand is increasing, we are grateful to be trusted by Capital One to create this industry-leading lounge experience and look forward to additional projects in the future.”

Design Details

When designing the new lounge at DFW, the project team aimed to create a space for travelers in search of respite.

“Whether flying for business or en route to vacation, we know these travelers want to relieve anxiety and reclaim their time,” explains Capital One’s director of Design and Development Eslam Khalil. “Our lounge provides them with easy, reliable and delightful access to the things they need and expect—delivering calm amid the chaos, and delighting in ways both expected and unexpected…Beginning with the airy, inviting exterior, we put well-being and hospitality at the forefront of our design process.”

The layout and amenities were designed to accommodate a wide variety of guests. For example, grab-and-go food and beverages are located at the very front of the lounge for easy access by travelers with only a few minutes to spare. In contrast, the Wellness Corridor—which includes the relaxation rooms, cycling/yoga room and multi-faith rooms—is at the back of the space to create a more serene, spa-like environment for those with more time at their disposal.

Seating options are also purposefully varied. 

“While some need a quick place to rest while charging their phones, others want to linger longer and find a comfortable lounge chair that still offers them the ability to work,” Khalil explains. “We chose desk-type seating with individual dividers for those needing some privacy, and offer larger pods for guests who might want to settle in for awhile. We created booths and banquettes for larger parties and offer more playful furniture pieces for families.”

Finish materials were selected to create an atmosphere of hospitality and underscore the sense of adventure that travel brings, he adds. Strong neutral colors predominate, with accents of warm midnight blues and hints of cinnamon. “Small touches of red evoke the sense of surprise and delight that you get from exploring a new place,” Khalil says. “We also included multiple personal touches within the decor, such as curated bookshelves, live greenery and soft tactiles like throw pillows and drapery.”

In addition, the lounge features more than 55 pieces of original artwork from local artists that were selected to reflect the unique tapestry of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The collection ranges from wood, resin and acrylic pieces to silkscreen prints, paintings and textiles. “The curation features diverse perspectives and mediums that will give travelers an opportunity to experience the region through its art,” says Khalil.

More Ahead

Scheurich reports that Capital One already has additional lounge projects in the works with Plaza Premium Group, including a location in Denver International Airport, Concourse A. Capital One is also partnering with TAV Operations Services on a lounge at Washington Dulles International, just beyond TSA PreCheck in the main terminal. Both are scheduled to open in 2022.

“We know our customers are passionate about traveling, so in order to continue to provide them with more elevated travel experiences, we are focused on growing our lounge network,” she says.

Capital One Lounges will include different entry offers for various customers. For example, Venture X cardholders and their authorized card users receive unlimited access and complimentary entry for up to two guests per visit. Venture and Spark Miles cardholders will receive two complimentary visits annually and have access to a special entry rate of $45 per visit beyond that. Pricing for guests of Venture and Spark Miles cardholders is $45 per visit. All others can enter the Lounge for $65 per visit.

Subcategory: 
Concessions/Retail

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