Review: St. Louis’s First Common Use Lounge, The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis Airport
Passengers traveling through St. Louis-Lambert International Airport’s busiest terminal will now have access to a private oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the airport. The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis, a common use lounge unaffiliated with any airline, will open its doors Friday, January 5th at 4:30 AM. The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis is the first common use lounge at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport and the first lounge to open in the airport’s busiest terminal, Terminal 2.
Terminal 2 at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport is home to Southwest Airlines, the largest airline at the airport carrying over 7.5 million passengers through St. Louis annually. Additionally, beginning in May, the terminal will be home to WOW Air, Lambert Airport’s first international carrier in decades.
“One of the most frequent requests made by passengers traveling through Terminal 2 was that they wanted a private lounge”, Mrs. Hamm-Niebruegge, the airport director at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport, stated at the launch event. Now, passengers traveling through Terminal 2 finally have a private lounge with the opening of the Wingtips Lounge St. Louis Friday.
Background: The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis
The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis is operated by Airport Terminal Services, a company headquartered in suburban-St. Louis. Airport Terminal Services, or simply ATS, provides terminal services at approximately 50 airports throughout the Americas. Four years ago, ATS branched-off into the premium lounge market with the opening of the company’s first lounge, the Wingtips Lounge JFK. The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis is the company’s second lounge.
I attended the launch event Thursday to see how the lounge compared to other common use airport lounges. The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis promised to be a quiet and inviting space in which to relax or work. After my visit, I can confirm that the Wingtips Lounge St. Louis is just that: a place in which to relax or work. Here’s what to expect during your visit to the lounge.
Wingtips Lounge St. Louis, Location and Access
The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis is located in Terminal 2 across from gate E31. As a common use airport lounge, all passengers with a boarding pass traveling through Terminal 2 will have the opportunity to access the lounge.
Passengers will have the option to purchase a $38 day-pass at the lounge or online. Additionally, in the future, ATS plans on allowing premium credit card holders (for example: the American Express Platinum Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve) access. Wingtips Lounge members can also access the lounge free of charge. Passengers won’t have to worry about whether or not the lounge will be open before their flight as the lounge is open 7-days a week from 4:30 AM to 10:30 PM.
First Impressions, Wingtips Lounge St. Louis
I initially reported about this lounge last January when I came across a bidding contract on St. Louis-Lambert Airport’s website. At first, I was hesitant to get too excited. Too many common use airport lounges prove to be only marginally better than waiting at the gate offering stale snacks and uncomfortable seating. I was pleasantly surprised when I entered the lounge and discovered a modern, airy, and inviting space.
The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis features a retro-inspired design with an airy and bright feel. One major concern I had was whether or not the lounge would feature any natural lighting. To my surprise, the lounge was filled with natural lighting giving the lounge an airy and warm feeling.
The lounge isn’t gigantic. Though a somewhat small space, over-crowding shouldn’t be an issue as St. Louis is by no means a “premium-heavy” market. Limiting access to day-pass holders, Wingtips members, and, in the future, premium credit card holders will ensure that the lounge isn’t overly crowded.
The space features a full bar offering a wide array of beer, wine, and spirits. Soft drinks and a selection of alcoholic beverages will be complimentary while premium alcoholic beverages will cost extra.
In addition to a Coke Freestyle machine, guests will be able to enjoy locally-sourced coffee and tea from Kaldi’s Coffee. Both Kaldi’s Coffee and Fireport Tea is available in the lounge. Additionally, the lounge features a Franke espresso machine brewing lattes, cappuccinos, and other espresso-beverages.
In addition to a wide selection of beverages, a buffet featuring a seasonal selection of locally inspired hot and cold plates is offered at the Wingtips Lounge St. Louis. Local chef, Bryan Carr of Avenue restaurant in Clayton is the head chef at the lounge. Very few, if any common use airport lounges team up with local chefs making this lounge truly unique.
Though a full menu was not offered during the launch event, I talked with Sally Leible, CEO of Airport Terminal Services who informed me that when the lounge opens to the public, a selection of hot and cold chef-curated plates inspired by the St. Louis-region will be offered. Few common use lounges offer hot buffet options making the Wingtips Lounge St. Louis one of the more premium common use lounges in the nation.
Seating at The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis
I appreciated the variety of seating options at the lounge. Rather than feature a single type of seating, the lounge features private booths, traditional restaurant-style seating, bar stools, and comfortable leather chairs. I found the interior to be a mix of modern and retro. The color scheme, a mix of natural and cool, makes the lounge feel especially premium and inviting. This lounge is by far one of the more beautifully designed common use airport lounges I’ve visited.
I overheard a representative from Airport Terminal Services note how important power outlets were when designing the lounge. Power outlets are found in abundance throughout the lounge in convenient locations including between seats and at walls.
The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis, Overall
As a native of the St. Louis Area, I’m excited to finally have a common use airport lounge at my home base. Though most of my travel is on American and Delta, Ms. Hamm-Niebruegge is optimistic that one day, both passengers traveling through Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 will be able to access the lounge. For now, however, the lounge is only accessible for passengers traveling through Terminal 2.
With Southwest sending more and more connecting passengers through St. Louis-Lambert International Airport, the Wingtips Lounge will serve as a phenomenal place to unwind or work during a layover. The Wingtips Lounge St. Louis has the opportunity to be one of the better common uses airport lounges in the United States. I’m excited to see the lounge in action as well as for the launch of St. Louis’ first Trans-Atlantic flight since 2003 this May.
What do you think of the Wingtips Lounge St. Louis? When flying Southwest, will this influence your decision on whether or not to layover in St. Louis?