Northwest Arkansas National Airport is now on its way to becoming the nation’s smallest airport with a branded lounge.
The airport authority voted Tuesday to work with CAVU, the developer of Escape Lounges at 15 airports across the U.S. and six others in the United Kingdom, to create what’s expected to be a 2,100-square-foot lounge.
The airport plans to invest about $280,000 into the project to upgrade some aspects of the lounge. A goal is to ensure that its look aligns with the terminal.
The company will have a 15-year lease, and it’s required to share a portion of its revenue with XNA.
Airport staff shared renderings of what they expect the Escape Lounges location to look like. Expected to open in November next year, it’ll go between Arkansas Traveler News & Cafe and the airport’s moving sidewalk.
The nation’s smallest airport with a branded lounge is one operated by Escape Lounges at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina, said Andrew Branch, XNA’s chief operating officer. Among the other Escape Lounges locations are airports in Palm Beach, Oakland, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Providence, Reno and Fort Lauderdale.
The Escape Lounges website shows the Greenville-Spartanburg location is open from 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., offering passengers unlimited food, a full bar and high-speed internet access. Other Escape Lounges have similar hours and amenities.
A representative of CAVU told the airport authority members that the daily fee at Escape Lounges is $45, and that’s open to any person who has an airline boarding pass. The user can save $5 by booking a reservation at least 24 hours in advance.
Escape Lounges offer free access to certain American Express credit card customers who’ve paid hundreds of dollars in annual fees.