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A New Trend in the Spa Experience

Thousands of people every year are stranded in airports for hours at a time due to weather delays, mechanical malfunctions or security issues. Now, weary and stressed out travelers have a productive and positive way to spend this seemingly empty time by indulging in the latest spa trend: the airport mini spa.

Airports across the country have discovered that the mini spa is a welcome respite to travelers passing through its terminals. The XpresSpa opened July 28 in JFK airports Terminal 4, the fifth spa in the company's chain. Owner Moreton Binn plans to open five more spas in airports in Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham and two more in New York, one at LaGuardia and another at JFK.

Other airport spas around the country include the Jet Setter Sp in the pre-security area of Terminal C at Boston's Logan International, Manhattan's Oasis Day Spa is located in the JetBlue Airway's Terminal 6 at JFK and the Passport Travel Spa in the pre-security terminal area in Indianapolis as well as at post-security kiosks. Detroit's Metro airport offers passengers pure oxygen at the eight-chair OraOxygen bar, as well as rubdowns, aromatherapy and more. These spas offer passengers a variety of relaxing options including hot stone massage, facials, manicures and chair massage.

These mini spas are not to be considered a small imitation of the traditional day spa. The treatments are tailored to travelers in a hurry, with business geared more toward walk-in clients than those with appointments. The décor of these spas also tends to be more masculine and neutral as men account for a large percentage of the mini spa clientele.

"We opened the doors and we were mobbed by people waiting for connecting flights. They've already got their boarding passes. Their luggage is checked. They're past security. By then, if they have two hours (before a flight), they really have two hours," Binn said. "The passengers love it. I mean, how many pretzels, cinnamon buns and wok and rolls can you eat in two hours?"

References: "Mini Spas arrive in the nation's airports," by Jayne Clark of USA Today. Printed in The Clarion Ledger, Mississippi, Aug. 15, 2005.





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