Stansted to open first premium lounge

Britain’s largest low-cost airport, London Stansted, is set to open its first premium lounge in 2014. The airport has recently been acquired by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and the plans come as part of a move to attract long-haul flights to Stansted.

Woman with a Louis Vitton bag at Stansted Airport Lounge

It is estimated that the premium lounge, named “Escape Lounge”, will cost around £1 million. It will serve all customers, with First Class and Business Class customers having free entry, and a pay-on-the-door system for everyone else.

It is said that the fee will be set at £17.49 per person. Customers will receive complimentary snacks and drinks, and the chance of a full meal for an extra fee.

The aim of the new London Stansted Airport lounge is to lure more prominent long-haul airlines to Stansted, such as Emirates and Etihad. With larger airlines flying from Stansted, the number of long-haul passengers will increase which is a financial boost for airports. Long-haul passengers tend to arrive earlier, meaning they spend more time in the airport, spending more money on food, drink, and retail purchases.

Stansted’s Managing Director, Andrew Harris, believes that drawing in larger airlines is the key to moving Stansted forward. He agreed that a premium lounge is the first step towards this goal, saying: "The way we see the terminal operating is with a great level of service for everybody, but with the opportunity for the full-service airlines to differentiate."

This all comes as part of a huge project by MAG to renovate Stansted and bring it more up to date. Since buying the airport in January 2013, MAG have already made significant changes to the check-in process and security procedures; this is another step forward in modernising the airport experience.

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