2023 is poised to be another blockbuster year for airport lounges.
Airlines and credit card issuers have been busy building new lounges and renovating existing ones in order to meet the unprecedented demand from flyers looking for a (quiet) space to relax before their flights.
As more and more lounge-eligible travelers take to the skies, we’ve seen lounges add new access restrictions to combat overcrowding. While some of these policies are starting to work, perhaps the best way to handle the crowds is to build larger spaces.
Of course, finding space in airports is a perennial challenge, but some airlines and issuers are getting creative by debuting different types of lounges, including smaller outposts focused on quick grab-and-go service.
All told, there are some much-anticipated lounge openings on the horizon this year, and here are the ones I’m most excited about.
Estimated opening: 2023.
American Express is the undisputed leader among credit card issuers that also offer airport lounges. The issuer already has 15 Centurion Lounge outposts worldwide, and Amex will open the 16th at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) later this year.
The space will be constructed in the refreshed National Hall near Terminal B after the airport’s $1 billion capital improvement program is completed.
Airside, the 11,500-square-foot space will be larger than the previously built Centurion Lounges. Expect floor-to-ceiling windows, airfield views and unique, locally inspired design touches.
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Estimated opening: 2023.
Capital One made its mark on the airport lounge scene with the opening of its first outpost in Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in late 2021.
The issuer’s sole lounge has earned high marks from travelers, myself included, and I can’t wait for the issuer’s other lounges to open.
Two more locations are confirmed to open this year (after being delayed from 2022), including an outpost in Denver International Airport (DEN). The Denver location will be approximately 11,200 square feet and will be in Concourse A on the mezzanine level.
Estimated opening: First half of 2023.
Details are light, but Capital One is also debuting a new lounge this year at Dulles International Airport (IAD). The 9,100-square-foot space will be directly after the TSA PreCheck security line in the main terminal. The Dulles lounge should open in the first half of 2023.
Capital One is also expected to open a new location in Las Vegas, but no timeline has been published for that one.
Estimated opening: “Not-so-distant future.”
Last year, Capital One unveiled a new airport lounge concept that it’s calling “Capital One Landings.” Capital One will partner with the highly acclaimed José Andrés Group to curate the food and beverage options at each location. True to the group’s culinary heritage, these Landings will serve Spanish-style tapas.
The first two Landings will be in two of the Northeast’s busiest airports: New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia.
The Landings will differ from traditional lounges in that they’ll largely focus on the food and drinks without much room to relax and unwind.
Capital One hasn’t said when these first two Landings will open other than teasing that they’ll open “in the not-so-distant future.” Hopefully, that means 2023.
Estimated opening: 2023.
Not to be outdone by Amex and Capital One, Chase is also getting into the airport lounge wars with the upcoming opening of its first domestic Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club.
The first outpost to open is expected to be in Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in the Terminal B to C connector.
The 12,000-square-foot lounge will include a wellness area, business lounge, shower suites and a family room, according to airport authorities.
Estimated opening: Likely 2023.
While Chase has plans to open at least seven domestic lounges, just two are likely to open in 2023. In addition to Boston, Chase is expected to open a Sapphire Lounge location in San Diego International Airport (SAN) later this year.
The 11,000-square-foot lounge will be in San Diego’s Terminal 2 West and will feature locally inspired design, food, beverages and art partnerships.
Estimated opening: June 2023.
Delta recently consolidated its operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Terminal 4. As part of the move, the airline will open a new Sky Club at the A gates.
This 13,700-square-foot space will boast more than 220 seats and feature Delta’s latest design motifs, including an open kitchen, full premium bar and locally curated art gallery. A year-round, heated Sky Deck will also be available.
Additionally, the airline is still planning a business-class-only lounge for JFK, but that’s expected to open in 2024.
Estimated opening: Late summer 2023.
As part of Delta’s growth in Boston, the airline expanded its international operations to the airport’s Terminal E, which will soon be home to a new Sky Club, opening this summer. The 21,000-square-foot space will seat over 400 travelers.
Estimated opening: Fall/winter 2023.
Newark recently received a big glow-up with the opening of the stunning new Terminal A. Right now, American, Air Canada, JetBlue and United all call the terminal home. (Only a subset of United flights depart from Terminal A.)
Delta will move into Terminal A after the second phase of construction is completed there this summer, and the airline will open a Sky Club in the new terminal at that time.
No additional details are currently available, but Delta will share the upper-level lounge space with a new American Admirals Club.
Estimated opening: 2023.
United will open a United Club in Denver’s Concourse A later this year. While the details are light, the new lounge will be “very large” and “multi-level,” according to United’s head of lounges, Alex Dorow.
In addition to the new space in Concourse A, the airline will also open a completely overhauled club in Concourse B near Gate B44.
The so-called B-East outpost closed last year for renovations, and the finished product is poised to impress travelers, especially because it will double in size.
Estimated opening: Between the second and third quarters of 2023.
Newark is now home to a “one-of-a-kind” United Club that opened last May. This new 30,000-square-foot space is near Gate C123 and has been a hit with flyers.
The old club near Gate C74 is undergoing a renovation, and United is building a new location in Terminal A; both will open this year.
The new club in Terminal A will open at the end of the second quarter (around June), while the revamped C74 club will reopen at the end of the third quarter (in September).
Both lounges are expected to look like the new C123 club in terms of design.
Estimated opening: Unclear.
Last year, American debuted an impressive new Admirals Club design that’s on display at the carrier’s latest lounge in DCA.
Three more new Admirals Club outposts are in the works (and will feature the new design), but it’s unclear if any of them will actually open in 2023. American hasn’t publicly shared any timelines yet for the following three new locations:
That said, we’re definitely hopeful that at least one of these new outposts opens this year because the new design is certainly a sight to behold, especially compared to American’s existing locations.
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