Capital One Moves In on AmEx Turf With Push Into Airport Lounges
(Bloomberg) -- Capital One Financial Corp. is saying so long to sad salads and hello to yoga rooms in its push to offer cardholders access to airport lounges.
The Dallas/Fort Worth Airport will get the first of Capital One’s planned lounges in coming months, followed by Dulles International Airport in Washington next year, the company said Monday.
“It’s different from what’s out there,” Matt Knise, a vice president at the bank, said in an interview. “We saw the success in the market, but we didn’t want to be a ‘me too’ or a copy of what we saw.”
In many cases, existing lounges cater to business customers who need to hunker down and get work done before a flight. In its research, McLean, Virginia-based Capital One said it found some customers are also looking for a lounge experience even if they’re short on time.
The firm will stock its facilities with food from local chefs that’s easy to take to go, and it’s also planning to offer cold-brew coffee on tap. For customers with more time, Capital One’s lounges will offer yoga and cycling rooms as well as shower suites with luxury bath amenities. Parents will be able to use nursing rooms for a quiet place to tend to their children.
Knise said the firm will set access policies and rates based on the card product a customer has with the company.
More than a year after the pandemic sapped demand for travel, Capital One is seeking to capture more of that spending on its cards from people beginning to book trips as the U.S. vaccination campaign continues. With the push into airports, the bank is entering a space long dominated by the likes of American Express Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Capital One said last month it would partner on a new offering with the startup Hopper called Capital One Travel to give the bank’s cardholders new ways to book a trip. The move came after its acquisition of flight-protection service Freebird in August.
“Customers want to get back on the road,” Knise said. “The excitement about traveling hasn’t changed at all.”
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