App helps travellers with access at Dubai Airport

LoungeBuddy app advises travellers about which airport lounge suits their needs based on amenities, reviews, location, access requirements.

Marhaba Lounge in Dubai with which Loungebuddy has partnered.


2016/05/29 Issue: 58 Page: 18


The Arab Weekly
Dunia El-Zobaidi



London - The LoungeBuddy app advises travellers about which airport lounge suits their needs based on amenities, reviews, location and access requirements. Marhaba Lounge joined with LoungeBuddy to make its lounge in Dubai Airport available for book­ing via the LoungeBuddy platform to business and leisure travellers around the world.

Brent Griffith, LoungeBuddy vice-president of marketing, said the idea of the app came about af­ter Tyler Dikman was experiencing quite a bit of business travel. Dik­man is chief executive officer and a co-founder of LoungeBuddy

“He experienced delays, layo­vers and misconnects that forced him to spend a lot of time in air­ports,” Griffith said. “His frequent flyer status enabled him to know about airport lounges and the oasis they bring to people.

“When he found himself in an airport he was not familiar with, he would spend a lot of time on Goog­le trying to find the right lounge that suited him. He would check four or five different websites to find which lounges were available in the time he needed them and where they were located in the air­port. Some websites were inaccu­rate with their information.

“Tyler decided to bring all this information together in one place which is easy for travellers to ac­cess.”

LoungeBuddy removes the guesswork from figuring out how to get into a lounge. Whether it is a casual passenger looking to access a lounge on an occasional trip or a road warrior who passes through airports every week, the traveller enters relevant information into the app and it lists lounges that may be accessed for free or for a one-time fee.

“Some people may not know they have a frequent flyer status and, if they have that status, they have an elite status,” Griffith said. “There is some obscurity about airport lounges and we are about reducing that obscurity. We want people to be aware of what they could get when they take 20 min­utes to cross an airport.”

Travellers can book lounge ac­cess through the LoungeBuddy platform in a growing number of airports across the world. The app is available in iOS and Android for­mats.

“We have really grown through word of mouth. We are fortunate to have fantastic members and they will typically tell their fre­quent flyer friends about us. If they are a business or first class travel­ler, they could be reading travel sections in newspapers so we try to focus on our PR efforts,” Griffith said.

As a result of LoungeBuddy’s partnership with Concur, a busi­ness travel and expense manage­ment company, and TripIt, a travel itinerary planner, members can sync relevant trip information by linking their accounts.

Around 550,000 people have downloaded the app. The price to use a lounge — starting at around $35 — is relatively inexpensive for what travellers receive.

The company says LoungeBuddy has a focus on making it easier to find the right airport situation for travellers’ needs. Because it allows travellers to provide elite statuses, lounge memberships, class of trav­el and credit card information, the information can display all lounges travellers have access to, including airline-operated, partner and in­dependently operated third-party lounges.

LoungeBuddy membership al­lows travellers to contribute and view ratings, reviews and photos for more than 2,500 lounges world­wide in over 800 airports.

As with Foursquare and Google Maps, LoungeBuddy uses geoloca­tion to provide travellers with rel­evant information, including near­by airports and available lounges at these airports.

LoungeBuddy uses notifications to let travellers know of lounges that are nearby only when they are at an airport LoungeBuddy serves. The app can be used without an in­ternet connection.


Dunia El-Zobaidi is an Arab Weekly correspondent in London.


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