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Airport Amenities on the Rise

October 17, 2006 By: Dan Butcher Travel Agent

Passenger "dwell time" -- the industry term for the time spent waiting in airports -- has increased since the Sept. 11 attacks, rising by 10 minutes alone since the tightened restrictions on liquids and gels went into place on Aug. 10. The average passenger now spends just under two hours in the airport, with 89 minutes in the post-security waiting areas, according to survey of 3,800 travelers by Airport Interviewing & Research Inc., a market research firm. In the past, airport managers focused more on faster passenger processing, not services, but now a competitive push for customers has sparked an arms race to offer better amenities. Airports are getting more creative about how to help passengers pass that time. At Vancouver International Airport, travelers can receive a manicure or massage at one of five spa locations, work out at the gym, watch TV shows in a screening room, get a haircut, fill a prescription, have their teeth whitened and take a nap. Other airports are offering wine bars, movie-rental services and even free concerts to keep travelers entertained, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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