One of the key takeaways from the recently held Future Travel Experience hosted virtually by APEX was the growing concern that COVID-19 significantly decreased the number of traveler touchpoints and human interactions in airports.

The Points Guy also recently reflected on the impact of a more touchless travel experience.

What are the implications—and opportunities—for airport lounges?

According to a current global report from PwC, one of the more positive pandemic-driven behavioral changes is that more people are increasing their focus on mental health, wellbeing, physical health, nutrition and self-knowledge. Today’s well-informed travelers are hyper-cautious about their surroundings and interactions and seek an experience that prioritizes health and safety without sacrificing their expectations for exceptional service. 

Lounges offer an immersive space for relaxation that supports wellbeing without compromising the human connection, which is still vital to travelers.

Sodexo helps clients create holistic, connected wellness experiences. Some actions we have already taken in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and in Asia-Pacific include: 

  • Virtual hospitality training that teaches employees how to recognize and understand guests’ needs before they do. Our approach emphasizes thoughtful interactions, conversations and engagement. Through digital means, we keep track of employees’ training progress to ensure they’re consistently delivering a world-class experience.
  • Stress-reducing lounge layouts and amenities that promote relaxation, including spaces for yoga.
  • Olfactory experiences, like suggesting signature scents designed to relax guests.
  • A heightened focus on wellness in the foods we serve. Our culinary teams, supported by registered dietitians, create travel-friendly selections lower in salt, higher in water content and more. For example, some lounges are featuring a Matcha Green Tea Pudding high in antioxidants. 
  • Touchless kiosks at check-in, plus digital menus from which guests can order healthful food and beverages, like minestrone soup with porcini and fennel in Los Angeles, California.
  • Restorative beverage offerings such as a Chinese Tea House and hydration stations.
  • Redefining comfort food to be healthier for travelers while maximizing taste and appeal, e.g., a hearty chicken noodle soup with lemongrass. 

Our actions add up to a caring, highly personalized service that recognizes guests, their needs and wants, all while promoting good self-care and aligning with their health and wellbeing commitments.

Sodexo understands the changing face of travel in the COVID-19 environment, and we remain committed to employing wellness initiatives powered by digital solutions to make all those we serve more comfortable, connected and well-nourished.  

April 07, 2021

How can we help?

Interested in how we can help you build traveler loyalty?

Lynn Knight, Global Head of Business Development Airline Lounges

Lynn.knight@sodexo.com

Follow us on Linkedin