A luxury lounge for passengers of any airline will open in coming months at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The "Escape Lounge," planned for the mezzanine level of Terminal 1, will charge admission to the 5,000-square-foot space, where passengers can enjoy complimentary food and beverages, Wi-Fi and reading materials in a family-friendly space, the Metropolitan Airports Commission announced Wednesday.
For decades, airlines have offered their own lounges exclusively for their passengers. The Escape Lounge, located behind airport security, will be open to passengers regardless of airline. Lounges with similar schemes are operating in a handful airports in the U.S.
"This is a new concept in North America," said Phoebe Larson, the MAC's marketing strategist. "It will accommodate both business passengers and families, with areas specifically to accommodate children where they can cut loose and enjoy books and games."
Entry fees for the lounge have yet to be set. In the United Kingdom, where the parent company of the Escape Lounge's designer, builder and operator runs five "common-use" airport lounges, admission runs about $30 for adults and $23 for children ages 6 to 11. Children under 6 are not admitted. Larson said she's unsure what the minimum age will be for the MSP lounge.
Jeff Hamiel, the MAC's chief executive and executive director, said the Escape Lounge "is one more way everyone who travels through Minneapolis-St. Paul International will be able to enjoy a VIP travel experience."
The lounge will sit on the north end of the terminal in what is now open space above Concourse E. Larson said it could be open as soon as December but certainly by early 2016.
The U.S. subsidiary of London-based Manchester Airport Group (MAG) is investing $2 million in creating the lounge and has a 10-year contract to operate it.
Rosemarie Andolino, president and CEO of the MAG's U.S. subsidiary, said the Twin Cities airport lounge will provide passengers the opportunity to "travel in the most enjoyable and relaxing manner possible [in a]comfortable and contemporary environment."
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482