At San Francisco International Airport, every phone in every terminal can be hooked up to the Internet via laptop computers, and yet-to-be-released products on the cutting edge of technology can be viewed and tested in a jazzy new showcase room. But it is a break from business that business travelers seem to enjoy most.
"Good food, some music, a restful timeout in one of our quiet rooms--that's what is popular right now," said Jane Sullivan, the airport's marketing manager. "Business travelers still want access to everything they need for work, but they don't want to feel like that's how they have to spend every minute while they're here."
A miniature movie theater called Altitunes in the international terminal, for example, lets passengers watch first-run movies in cushy chairs for free. Around the corner at InMotion Pictures in the United Airlines terminal, they can rent movies and personal players for their trip. Sales there are up 10% this year--an encouraging sign, considering that the number of passengers remains down 11% from last year.
"Concession sales have improved dramatically," Sullivan said. "But it was not looking so great there for a while."
The airport's international terminal, which opened in December 2000, was designed largely to pamper business travelers with its high-tech amenities and upscale restaurants.