Pittsburgh’s international passenger growth fuels ‘The Club’ lounge expansion at the airport

Pittsburgh International has successfully made its transition from a former hub to a thriving mid-size O&D airport, and its passenger numbers have driven demand for more space in the airport’s independent lounge – The Club.

The airport’s annual passenger levels reached 9.7 million in 2018, which was a 7.5% increase year-on-year. Since 2014, Pittsburgh passenger growth has grown by more than a fifth with an impressive 21% increase.

The growth continues in 2019 with the airport handling 805,299 passengers in Apr-2019, a 3% increase year-on-year and its strongest monthly performance in the current calendar year. This marked the airport’s 36th consecutive month of growth. It also recorded that total available seats increased 4.9% to more than 18,000 for the month.

The month marked the launch of a new British Airways service into Pittsburgh from London, 20 years since the major European flag carrier last served the city pair and “emblematic of Pittsburgh’s progress,” according to VP of air service development, Bryan Dietz.

This continued solid growth in passenger numbers has influenced Airport Lounge Development, which runs The Club, has opted to expand its space at the airport to more than 100 seats.

“From 2017 to 2018, the original lounge space experienced a 50% increase in guests. Each month we welcomed over 7,000 guests, a number that exceeded our expectations,” says Nancy Knipp, senior vice President of ALD. “As we continue to see the demand for The Club lounge experience rise, we are excited to provide a larger, more enhanced location for Pittsburgh International Airport visitors looking to work or relax.”

CHART – No single carrier dominates at Pittsburgh International and while American Airlines has its own dedicated lounge, there is a strong role for an independent offering at the airport to support customers of other carriersSource: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG (data: w/c 17-Jun-2019)

There is a significant opportunity for growth in independent lounges at US mid-sized airport that have been logging solid passenger growth during the last few years. American Airlines maintains a lounge at Pittsburgh International and recently upgraded the Admirals Club – the 442 square metre facility includes a reception area, lounge seating, privacy seating, a touchdown ledge business centre, a café area and a full service bar.

But no one airline dominates at the airport, which means there was a strong business case for expanding The Club at Pittsburgh. The facility is available to Priority Pass’ membership along with LoungeKey and Lounge Club – which represents a vast number of credit cards, banks and other financial institutions. It is also available to all travellers through the purchase of a day pass, at a cost of USD40.

The expanded lounge now feature ALD’s signature ‘zones’. The new Replenish Zone offers a full bar; a Resting Zone with dedicated quiet space offers guests the opportunity to put their feet up in comfortable lounge chairs with ottomans. The Refresh Zone provides three private restrooms and private showers, while there are also a self-enclosed Privacy Zone, and a Cell Free Zone.

MAP – The Club PIT at Pittsburgh International airport is located in Concourse C, just off the Center CoreSource: Airport Lounge Development

The Club’s over 100 seats continue to feature a Relax Zone with comfortable club-chair seating and power. Guests wishing to get a bit of work done while in The Club can also take advantage of the Productivity Zone that includes a community work space, ergonomic task chairs, and an abundance of US and international electrical outlets and USB ports.

Alongside the revamped Pittsburgh offering, ALD has also added The Club LAS at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, Terminal 1, Concourse D and The Club JAX at Jacksonville International Airport, across from TSA off the main concourse. It is also planning new lounges at Charleston International, Buffalo Niagara International, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International and Miami International and a second location at Norman Y Mineta San Jose International, joining the existing The Club SJC in Terminal A.