PHOTO: Payphones are disappearing from U.S. airports. (Photo via Flickr/Ivy Dawned)
While airports still serve as gateways to the long-distance traveler, their amenities may have gone a little stale. A new report on CNBC says that’s changing.
“Although long-distance travel is still their primary role, airports have recently moved to make traveling more efficient and enjoyable for travelers — and more profitable for the airports themselves. In recent years, an ever-expanding and impressive mix of dining and shopping amenities greet fliers at major travel hubs,” writes Harriet Baskas.
A recent survey from the Airports Council International - North America (ACI) has revealed what the top new amenities are.
“Along with amenities like ATMs, free internet access and more vending machines, the ACI's list also included pet relief facilities, children play areas and rooms for nursing mothers,” Baskas reports.
Airports are looking to exceed the desires of their patrons.
"Whether engaging with passengers through an animal therapy program to instill a sense of calm in a busy terminal or providing ample electrical charging stations for mobile devices, airports are committed to not only meeting passengers' expectations but exceeding them," said Kevin Burke, the ACI-NA's president and CEO.
READ MORE: Where Are the World’s Best Airports?
What’s disappearing? Smoking lounges, manned bank branches and payphone are being eliminated.
"The payphones taken offline were removed because of low usage, requests from the airlines due to construction in their gate areas and repurposing of space for revenue producing ventures," said Gregg Cunningham of the Chicago Department of Aviation. Some will remain "because they are still a necessary means of communication for some customers.”
For more on the transformation of U.S. airports, read on here.