Could fitness centres be the next 'big thing' in airport lounges?

Could fitness centres be the next 'big thing' in airport lounges?

TALKING POINT | Keeping fit on the road can be tough, especially for international business travellers jetting as far as London or New York where you’ll spend upwards of 24 hours in your seat just eating, drinking and sleeping.

It doesn’t get much better when you arrive with a packed schedule of meetings, business lunches, dinners and drinks with clients or suppliers, before making the long trek home and doing it all again – likely with a few hours of ‘dead time’ in the lounge between flights.

But fortunately, some airlines and airports are helping travellers make the most of that transit by introducing an array of health-centred amenities: and we’d love to see even more follow suit.

Fly via Abu Dhabi in Etihad first class or as a Platinum-grade frequent flyer and you can visit the superb new Etihad First Class Lounge, complete with its own gym offering treadmills and cross trainers to get the blood pumping – of course with showers on-hand after your workout…

… or zip through Doha’s Hamad International Airport with Qatar Airways and for an all-inclusive price of QAR150 (A$54.75) you can do laps in the 25m swimming pool, get your workout done in the fitness centre and hit the showers and hot tub afterwards until your flight begins boarding.

Read: Your guide to transiting Doha's Hamad International Airport

For something out of left field, Finnair offers sauna facilities to guests in its international Premium Lounge and non-Schengen business class lounge at Helsinki Airport, which help to increase circulation...

... while SkyTeam goes so far as having dedicated yoga rooms in some of its alliance-branded lounges, including in Hong Kong:

Should more airports offer fitness-friendly facilities for travellers – and would you use them – or would you rather stick to the spas and Champagne bars? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

Also read: Six tips for staying fit on the road

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

19 comments

  • jubbing

    jubbing

    20 Jul, 2016 09:46 am

    I'd be happy to have more of these facilities, especially in lounges - but I can't see myself ever paying $55 AUD to use Qatar's pool - as amazing as it might be. 

    No member give thanks

  • fftraveltimes

    fftraveltimes

    20 Jul, 2016 09:52 am

    It is difficult to keep fit whilst travelling. Hotel gyms tend to be underwhelming so if the lounges can offer a better alternative I'm all in for this idea/ option.

    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum
    Banned

    20 Jul, 2016 10:06 am

    Excuses excuses

    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum
    Banned

    20 Jul, 2016 10:05 am

    Judging by the size of your average business traveller I'd say not, they'll be much happier stuffing their faces in the lounge with as much free booze and food as humanly possible!

    No member give thanks

  • sgb

    sgb

    20 Jul, 2016 10:13 am

    Can't see the majority of Lounge clients insisting on gyms in Lounges.  If that was the case we might all be drinking carrot juice and trying to relax on replacement rubber ball chairs. I prefer it without gyms.

    No member give thanks

  • jianga

    jianga

    20 Jul, 2016 10:15 am

    I think a gym/fitness centre might work better at big transit hubs (e.g SIN, HKG, ME3 hubs, etc). It's a good way to stretch out your body and get ready for the next leg of the flight. SIN already has a pool which is apparently quite popular.

    No member give thanks

  • markpk

    markpk

    20 Jul, 2016 01:10 pm

    I would really like to see this! 

    Even if you got in a 30min work out it's a huge positive. 

    The reason most of us hit the buffet and bar is there is nothing else to do...

    No member give thanks

  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    20 Jul, 2016 03:45 pm

    Gyms at airport lounges sounds good. But you'd need to have sufficient shower facilities to support it - given the existing demand for showers (from non gym customers) is already high.

    No member give thanks

  • superflyer

    superflyer

    20 Jul, 2016 04:31 pm

    I think you'll find airlines have avoided fitness due to health reasons. You don't want pax having heart attacks on your planes and having to divert.

    No member give thanks

  • mg2003

    mg2003

    20 Jul, 2016 04:43 pm

    Changi Terminal 2 has a gym in the ambassador transit lounge. Its $40ish including rental wear. It looks down onto the terminal, so interesting people watching though the machines are poor. I did it once just for fun, but wouldn't pay for it again.

    That said I'd love one one in a lounge I didnt have to pay for, in a transit airport like Singapore or Hong Kong etc. But my concern using a lounge gym would be the clothes. I usually have gym wear in my carry-on, but its typically clean when I pack it. What to do when it gets stinky? Any lounge gym will need rental gym wear...

    No member give thanks

  • watson374

    watson374

    20 Jul, 2016 08:23 pm

    Personally, I prefer doing laps in the SIN T1 pool. It's invigorating yet also relaxing.

    The boardies get wrung as hard as possible and then get stored in plastic until I reach my destination and can dry them in a room or at home.

    No member give thanks

  • mg2003

    mg2003

    22 Jul, 2016 08:29 pm

    swim shorts dont get as stinky as my gym clothes do ;)

    No member give thanks

  • watson374

    watson374

    22 Jul, 2016 08:57 pm

    oh.

    No member give thanks

  • ny152

    ny152

    20 Jul, 2016 09:29 pm

    Yes! I often think a treadmill down the back of an A380 would be great, weight considerations aside!  When transiting I usually walk as far and fast as possible just to stretch my legs out!

    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    21 Jul, 2016 12:26 pm

    Sauna in Helsinki is priceless – very good quality and not crowded at all. Pity that one need as least 4 hr layover to enjoy it and such layover not always happens or practical (like on arrival before short in-Europe leg for example).

    And yes, I love to see as least mini-gym in every lounge, IMHO it is great idea.

    No member give thanks

  • Julie  Beckers

    Julieb

    26 Jul, 2016 01:23 pm

    Experience has shown that most often than not you are running between flights with little or no time to get to the lounge.  This is particularly the case in Abu Dhabi.  

    No member give thanks

  • obscurebug

    obscurebug

    27 Jul, 2016 03:21 pm

    ... just imagining what an economy class gym or pool would look like!

    No member give thanks

  • Michael Gibbons

    rowwdy

    27 Jul, 2016 04:52 pm

    Of course some of the LCCs are ahead of the game here, replacing walking machines with long walks to the terminal, and reduced seating at the gate. The NRT T3 Olympic race-track is great practice for the 800m sprint, especially with your samsonite 3-piece...

    No member give thanks

  • Sea Salt

    sea

    25 Sep, 2017 12:30 pm

    I'm sitting in a Qantas lounge in Auckland with a man huffing and puffing, in full sweat doing a full exercise routine amongst the chairs - wearing shorts and a singlet top. Obviously he doesn't need any special facilities. Firstly it's inconsiderate to the other guests and secondly obviously dress rules appear to have been waived for this man.

    No member give thanks

Guest

20 May, 2019 02:57 am

×
×

Forgot Password

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.

×

Resend activation email

If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.

×