Qantas is currently trialling ‘quiet lounges’ – those where boarding calls become the exception, rather than the rule – in an effort to make the environment more calming, interruption-free, and for business travellers, ultimately more productive.
Despite concerns from some passengers, the concept is already adopted by many major airlines around the world including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, Etihad and more.
Of course, it's not enough for staff at reception to simply advise that boarding calls aren't made, so Emirates reinforces that by having clear signs throughout its home hub Dubai lounges.
These signs make it clear when boarding commences and concludes, but could be further improved by promoting an airline's smartphone app to provide pop-up alerts when it's time to board.
Big screens are also important, which Delta doesn't forget in its lounges. It's easy to locate your flight on the Sky Club information screens, which present flights by destination, rather than departure time:
That’s complemented by separate screens positioned in strategic locations throughout the lounges, such as behind the bar, highlighting only the flights which are open for boarding and displaying that information in a larger font that can be read from a distance or in passing:
In Abu Dhabi, Etihad’s Premium Lounge for business class and first class passengers again adopts a slightly different approach, with the space blanketed with standard flight information screens in convenient locations, such as near the sitting areas and next to the bar…
… and which have a clear and specific column for boarding information on the far right, which remains blank until it’s time to pay closer attention:
That allows travellers walking through the lounge to quickly spot their flight and move on if there’s no ‘news’. We also found extra screens clearly visible in the lounge’s separate section for first class passengers and top-tier frequent flyers, where the information was readable from our seat.
If you have any suggestions on how airlines could improve ‘silent lounges’ for you, the traveller, share them in the comments box below!
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