Today we feature the co-founder, Daniel Kinnoch, of LoungePair. Thank you so much Daniel, for taking the time to answer our questions. We look forward to travel restrictions continue being lifted so that we can enjoy more lounge access. So we are looking forward to more expansions of your service!
Please tell us about yourself and your role with LoungePair?
I’m Daniel, the co-founder of LoungePair. I manage the non-technical aspects of the business, whereas Todd Heslin (our CTO) is our developer and arguably our chief strategist! On a day-to-day basis, I work on customer experience, collaborating with our lounge partners, and all other gritty aspects of business development.
What is LoungePair about?
LoungePair started in my mind as an ‘idea’ on a trip home to New Zealand from Hong Kong. I was about to visit the Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, and remembered that I had the ability to guest another person.
So I walked to the gate, found someone travelling on their own on the same flight, and brought them in. It was their first time visiting an airport lounge, and an experience that they were thankful for.
It got me thinking about what a privilege it was for someone who has never been to a lounge before. So many travellers think that lounges are the exclusive domain of those flying first or business class, or with status. I wanted to find ways to make it easier for people to get access.
We’ve evolved a bit over the past two years, but our mission today is to teach you all you need to know about airport lounges (via our blog, community site and other resources), and provide you with more affordable access. It’s really that simple.
Whether you decide to use our site, or get access from the lounge directly, ultimately we want the world to discover airport lounges, and become better equipped with the knowledge on how to get access.
How does LoungePair work?
Probably best that I break this down into a series of steps!
- Our customers search for an airport on our web app, and select a lounge that they want to submit a bid to. They can do this in real-time at the airport, or six months before travel – the choice is theirs.
- Select your lounge access preferences, such as time and date of entry, how long you want to stay, and how many adults and children will be travelling with you.
- Using a scrollable slider, you can select how much you want to bid for access for your travelling party.
- Add your credit or debit card details. We only charge if the lounge accepts your bid, which can occur at any time, but mainly in the 24-48 hours before requested time of entry.
- Now it’s a waiting game! The lounge can either accept or reject your bid. You can cancel at any time before a bid is accepted. Once your bid is accepted, your card is charged and the amount becomes non-refundable.
- An access code will be emailed to you, which you can show at the lounge entry desk. The lounge will marry this up against their records, and if it matches, they’ll let you in.
For our lounge partners, the concept is also simple.
When occupancy is low, but overheads remain the same, we provide lounges with willing customers, and a new source of ancillary revenue.
Lounges have full control over when they accept bids. That way they’re not giving up their exclusivity or compromising on those who would be willing to pay full cost to guarantee entry – we’re an ‘alternative’ sales channel.
What can Canadians or travellers to Canada look forward to the most when using LoungePair?
Savings on the walk-up price of lounge access! Especially for those who don’t have a credit card or other means of access to airline-operated lounges.
This means that Canadians and others travelling to or via Canada will be able to bid for access to airport lounges in the following cities:
We’re always working to onboard new partners, and look forward to announcing new offerings in North America soon.
What can we look forward to with LoungePair?
We’re currently working on ways to put airport lounges in front of thousands of people daily when they book their flights, which is the most ideal time you want to be thinking about lounge access – watch this space.
Any closing thoughts?
The COVID pandemic has been hard on us and the travel industry on a whole. Lounges have had to open and close often with little warning. Some countries like Australia and New Zealand have very little international flights beyond repatriation, so independent lounges remain shut.
As such, our focus over the past six months has been on continuing to develop the platform, and engaging with our existing community of users on ways that we can best serve them in coming years. We want to position ourselves to be ‘the place to go’ for airport lounge access in coming years.
We’re very perceptive to feedback from our customers, and read everything that comes our way, so please get in touch if you have any feedback on what we’ve built here.