Capital One opens a new type of airport lounge in New York and DC

(Bloomberg) – Capital One Financial Corp. adds a different style of airport lounge, with new locations in New York and Washington, as the credit card giant deepens its travel push.

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The company will open the new locations at LaGuardia Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, said Matt Knise, senior vice president of American Map, Travel and Experiences. Capital One intentionally chose to open the new style of lounges – known as Capital One Landing – at airports where travelers don’t typically arrive hours before their flight, he said.

“What we kept hearing from customers was that the way they traveled was just different from what they saw in the more typical lounge experience – they didn’t want the lounge for longer stays,” Knise said. “They didn’t necessarily want to go looking for a place. They wanted to go there, buy fresh food and go out.

Capital One and its rivals have pushed further into travel in recent years, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. acquiring travel agencies Frosch and cxLoyalty Group Holdings in recent quarters. American Express Co., already one of the world’s largest travel agencies, has announced plans to expand its own airport lounge offerings as well.

AmEx already operates a lounge in LaGuardia and plans to open one in Reagan, while JPMorgan has announced it will open lounges in LaGuardia and Washington Dulles International Airport.

Last year, Capital One partnered with startup Hopper to create Capital One Travel after its acquisition of flight protection service Freebird. As part of these changes, the McLean, Va.-based company plans to launch a collection of luxury hotels that offer cardholders special perks during their stay.

The credit card company will partner with the José Andrés Group for the new lounges, with Spanish-style tapas among the dishes on offer. Locations will be a shorter walking distance from the doors than typical lounges.

Felt anxiety

“Airport customer, you always feel the anxiety in the air about making sure you don’t miss your flight and making sure you’re aware of gate changes, delays and so on,” Sam Bakhshandehpour, CEO of José Andrés Group, said in an interview. “We said, look, let’s create a menu, and create an execution of a menu that enables discovery while meeting a schedule.”

Capital One opened a lounge at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport last year and plans to add traditional locations at Denver International Airport and Dulles early next year.

For its traditional lounges, Capital One allows customers with its $395 per year Venture X card unlimited free visits, while those with Venture and Spark Miles cards get two free visits per year. The company is still evaluating access policies for Capital One Landing, which it did not disclose when it will open.

“Customers have a huge appetite for travel and, interestingly, now is the perfect time to reimagine what travel could be,” Knise said. “Many of the most painful things about the trip are especially pronounced because everyone is hitting the road again at the same time.”

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