No Membership? No Problem

Raleigh-Durham International is putting egalitarianism into action with a private lounge that offers VIP services and amenities to any passenger traveling through Terminal 1 who pays the facility's $29.95 day rate.
Author: 
Staff
Published in: 
July-August
2011

Open from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., The Club at RDU provides complimentary snacks and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), as well as a full menu of premium food and beverage items for purchase. Visitors have ready access to flight information displays, television, newspapers and magazines. A business services center with PC workstations, printers, telephones, fax machines, free Wi-Fi and a meeting room make it easy for travelers to get work done at the airport.

The emergence of non-membership airport lounges like The Club is a growing trend, reports Teresa Damiano, RDU's director of marketing. "The traditional thinking around airport lounges is that they cater to a VIP clientele - a business traveler who wants free snacks and drinks and a quiet space to work," Damiano explains. "While The Club at RDU caters to this traveler, it's also available to any other traveler, including families who want an alternative to the typically more crowded areas of the terminal while waiting for their flight. The Club offers flexibility for business travelers, families and leisure travelers."

Travelers can purchase a day pass or a number of frequent-use passes. The airport is also considering special contractual deals for local companies with numerous business travelers, adds Damiano. "It's a great corporate travel perk, and some of the larger companies are very interested in the concept," she reports.

RDU contracted with Airport Lounge Development to operate the facility. Club services are managed by Gideon Total Management Services, a subcontractor of Airport Lounge Development, since its opening in May.

The Club's decor features work by local artists. Mahler Fine Arts Gallery of Raleigh promotes emerging artists by rotating new pieces into the space every four months.

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