Capital One Tries to Woo Travelers With Airport Lounges

Capital One airport lounge

Capital One is expanding its airport lounge chain in a bid to win cardholding travelers.

As Bloomberg News reported Friday (Sept. 8), the lender just opened its newest lounge at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C., with plans for more lounges in Denver, Las Vegas and New York City.

The report noted that Capital One is competing in this space against American Express — which runs its Centurion Lounges in a number of airports — and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which will open at least seven airport lounges around the U.S. by year’s end.

The Capital One lounges will be open to the public at $65 a person, according to the company.

Bloomberg described the new Capital One lounge as “compact but cool,” seemingly designed for more socializing than offering travelers a place to work in privacy. Jenn Scheurich, Capital One’s head of travel, told the news outlet this reflects the customer base at a time of dwindling corporate travel.

“We’re not setting our bar at ‘great for an airport,’” she said. “We’re setting our bar at a hospitality environment that you would be excited to encounter in your neighborhood or in a great city.”

As PYMNTS wrote in August, industry observers believe business travel won’t return to pre-pandemic levels for at least another year. 

“Delays are coming from both sides, as airlines are taking longer than expected to get planes out of storage and back in the air, struggling to hire the numbers of cabin crew and pilots they need, as well as twiddling their thumbs waiting for new planes to be manufactured,” the report said. “A lot of the additional airline capacity coming online is geared toward international travel, not domestic routes.”

Earlier this year, Capital One acquired digital concierge company Velocity Black to supplement its customer experience offerings.

Velocity Black’s platform combines technology and human experts to recommend and fulfill travel, entertainment, shopping and dining offerings to consumers. Adding this technology will bolster Capital One’s “delivery of exceptional experiences for consumers,” the companies said in a June news release.

As PYMNTS wrote at the time, the purchase of Velocity Black is the latest in a series of moves Capital One has undertaken to partner to create new travel-focused products.

For example, the company teamed up with Hopper in 2021 to build Capital One Travel, purchased Wikibuy to power Capital One Shopping and launched a partnership with SevenRooms to develop Capital One Dining.