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Being able to access an airport lounge on a vacation is a nice touch, but for road warriors or remote workers on a layover (or worse, a delay) it’s almost become a necessity. There are plenty of ways to gain entrance: via airline status, credit cards or a paid membership. For those looking for an alternative, Minute Suites aims to fill that gap.
Minute Suites: The Traveler’s Retreat
I first heard about Minute Suites from fellow Boarding Area bloggers mainly because I’m not usually flying through airports where they are located. I’m a huge fan of airport lounges, not because of the open bar or food (sure, it’s nice) but due to the fact that I can squeeze in conference calls, focused work time or even meetings while on a layover.
In fact, I’ll book flights with longer layovers when I know I can use my Star Alliance Gold or oneworld Emerald status to access lounges in order to carve out extra time to get work done! Anyway, because carriers like American Airlines exclude alliance status passengers from using their lounges when traveling to Cancun (even though it’s “international” AND you’re Executive Platinum AND Admirals Clubs at DFW aren’t accepting day passes) and didn’t have enough time to head over to the DFW Centurion Club, using the Amex Platinum Business card, I was so excited to have the chance to visit Minute Suites while flying out of DFW after attending the 2019 Freddie Awards.
Current Minute Suite locations include:
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – Terminal A (the location I visited)
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – Terminal D*
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) – Concourse B
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) – Concourse T
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) – Terminal A-B Connector
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) – Atrium*
*Shower Suites available at these locations.
Their first location to open was in ATL back in 2009 and after doubling in size in 2018, they are set to have 12 locations by 2019.
Booking & Pricing
Minute Suites’ website is super easy to use (they also have an app too…). Select the location, appointment type, choose a suite, click your preferred time, check out and you’re done! Note: there are options to book a flat rate overnight stay, discounted rates for military, Priority Pass users (who receive one free hour) and even complementary 30 min uses for nursing mothers!
As far as pricing goes, yes $42/hr might seem a bit steep. Especially when you compare what a day pass to a United Club or American Airlines Admirals Club costs ($59 each). However, considering that sometimes day passes aren’t allowed and after some digging into the variety of amenities available or considering how many people you are traveling with, there are plenty of ways to maximize your visit.
Access to showers (where available) are an additional charge, but can also be booked separately. The best overall value from first glance is an overnight stay, especially if airport hotels are sold out or priced high due to last minute demand.
That said, I’ve paid more than $42/hr when using a lounge day pass for only 45 minutes after switching to an earlier flight. I’ve also paid FAR more than $155 a night at airport hotels, which involved having to deal with shuttles, clearing security, etc. Were I to be in a crunch to tackle a high stakes conference call or needed some peace and quiet from the chaos of boarding gates, I wouldn’t think twice about the cost (while paying with my Chase Ink Business Preferred card for 3x bonus on travel).
There’s also a Minute Suites Rewards Program! While I wasn’t aware of it until after my stay (thanks to a great follow up email) there’s a pretty “suite” (sorry – pun intended) list of benefits:
Services & Amenities
Each private suite offers a plentiful variety of services and amenities. They include:
Daybed Sofa with an additional Pull Out Bed, Blankets & Pillows
DirecTV on 32″ Smart TVs that run ChromeOS with Keyboard and Mouse
Blackout Shades (for suites that have windows)
White Noise System
Hot Towel Service
Alarm Clock & Optional Wake Up Service
Copy, Print & Fax Services
Each Minute Suites location is stocked with anything and everything a traveler might need. There’s a market stocked with sundries like tissues, playing cards, over the counter meds, personal care and hygiene products and the like. They’ve also got books, travel accessories like neck pillows, eye masks and electronic accessories like chargers, cables and even Bose headphones! These are all priced out at the same amount as you’d find in other airport shops. I don’t know whether or not they have to charge the same prices as other airport vendors, but perhaps there’s an opportunity to offer them at a lower price for customers who are renting a suite?
In each suite you’ll find a fully stocked mini bar with plenty of beverages, energy drinks and snacks. That said, like any hotel mini bar, you pay for what you consume. I understand that they’d want to charge for these items, but for $42/hr I would have liked to see (at a minimum) one free bottle of water. The Coca-Cola products are priced the same as you’d find in the vending machines right outside the location. Again, it might be because of airport vendor contracts but there’s something to be said about leveraging a discounted price as an added value for booking a visit.
The Saturday I visited, it appeared that I was the only customer during my booking. The staff member was quite friendly, welcoming and offered a detailed tour of every feature of my suite. When selecting my suite during booking there weren’t clear descriptions what (if any) the differences were between the available options. They do all have different, locally relevant names. Some were bigger than others; some had windows (like mine) where others didn’t.
I ended up being given a different suite than the one I reserved, but it didn’t make a difference in my opinion, since I was traveling solo (like usual). If a customer specifically booked one of the larger suites because I was traveling with a work colleague or a family, I’d be more insistent on using the specific suite I had reserved.
All in all, my experience met, if not exceeded my expectations. The couch easily fit my 6’1″ frame and the pillows and blankets were super comfy and so clean they appeared to be like new. The workstation was great – the chair and desk just what this road warrior dreams of when stuck fighting for an outlet on the floor at a gate. I was pleasantly surprised to have a smart TV operating ChromeOS, enjoyed having control over what I wanted to watch on DirecTV and the WiFi is BLAZING fast.
For families or couples traveling in need of a nap (or showers), road warriors who care enough to save their fellow conference call participants from background noise or anyone stuck without a lounge solution (like I did in this case), Minute Suites is a saving grace.
Special Offer – 15% Off Your Stay
Minute Suites is offering Coworkaholic readers with 15% off any stay when you book using promo code: COWORKAHOLIC
The post Lounge Review: Minute Suites – DFW Terminal A was first published on Coworkaholic.