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crown room

Airlines upgrade their airport clubs

Still, amenities come at a growing price

Quick Vote: Which perks do you favor? October 28, 1998
Web posted at: 4:39 p.m. EDT (1639 GMT)

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Airport clubs are becoming overcrowded as more flyers join them, so some airlines are responding by renovating and expanding the exclusive rooms.

"The airlines simply have a lot more money right now... They're taking some of those profits and plowing them back into an improved product," said CNN Business Travel Consultant Chris McGinnis.

Most of the airlines began by renovating their flagship clubs, such as Delta Air Lines' posh Crown Room at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta.

What gratis amenities would you consider ideal in an airport club?
a massage
an exercise room
a gourmet meal
internet access
View Results

Delta surveyed its customers and learned that passengers wanted more separation between the Crown Room's lounge and business center.

Now, the club has an upstairs business area and a leisure area downstairs, said Betty Hollan, a spokesperson for the Crown Room. The downstairs lounge includes a bar and a reservations desk while the business center has individual cubicles with phones and computer hookups, conference and VIP rooms, an area for copying, faxing and shredding and even a shoe-shine stand.

But the airline isn't footing the entire bill itself. Beginning January 1, Delta will begin charging for drinks at the bar, and on September 1, general membership to the Crown Room increases to $350 from $300. A day pass is $25.

TWA and American Airlines are also remodeling their airport clubs, and travel industry experts expect more club renovations as airlines try to keep up with the competition.

Based on a report from CNN's Business and Travel and Beyond. The segment appears weekdays on Early Edition at 7 AM (ET) and on Morning News at 10 AM (ET).

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