There are airport lounges where you need to be a first class or business class passenger or a frequent flyer to be able to gain access to them. But did you know there is such a thing as a pay-per-use lounge?
If you’re traveling via Clark International Airport (CRK)—which now has flights to Qatar, Dubai, Singapore, and South Korea—you may opt to unwind, recharge, or work while waiting for your flight at the cozy Plaza Premium Lounge, which is located at Level 3 of International Departures.
For a two-hour use at PHP2,480, you can enjoy free-flowing food and drinks, including draught beer and vegetarian food. It has comfortable, plush seats, working desks for those who would like to dive into their emails and Excel files. It’s also equipped with charging stations, Wi-Fi access, a telephone, and television. You don’t even have to go far if you need a puff because the lounge has its own smoking room. If you need to take a shower, it also has shower amenities, including towel, shampoo, and soap.
The lounge in CRK is actually one of three Plaza Premium Lounges in the country. There’s an international lounge at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Level 1, Pre-Departure, Terminal 2) and a domestic lounge at Mactan Cebu Airport Terminal 1.
ANCX was at the CRK recently and we got to meet the Plaza Premium Group (PPG) execs, including Head of Marketing Communications (Southeast Asia), Cheng Siew Yee. According to her, the Hong Kong based company was established in 1998 by Song Hoi-see, previously an investment banker. Mr. Song, a Malaysian, would fly business class during his years as a banker, Cheng tells us, but when he left the company he had to start flying economy where he experienced the discomfort of having to sit on airport floors and the hassle of having to look for charging stations. “So he came up with the idea to have airport lounges where people can pay to go in,” she says.
Fast forward to 2022 and PPG is now in over 250 locations, more than 70 international airports, 30 countries and regions, and serving 20 million travelers annually. Regional General Manager (South East Asia) Steven Lim tells us PPG has won “World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge” honors for six consecutive years from 2016 to 2022 at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.
In order to provide a more holistic range of aviation hospitality services, PPG also offers a meet and assist service called ALLWAYS. You simply wait and relax at the ALLWAYS lounge while the staff take care of your travel needs—baggage handling, luggage wrapping, hotel bookings, even flower arrangements and dinner reservations, etc. This service also guarantees fast track Customs, Immigration and Quarantine checkpoints.
At CRK, you can also find TGM Root98 and Bar right beside the Plaza Premium Lounge. It’s the company’s airport dining outlet promoting a fusion of Japanese and Korean (JAKO) cuisine. As the name suggests, it has a bar with a wide range of alcoholic drinks.
Expanding its business portfolio even further, PPG has also developed Smart Traveller, a mobile-app-based global airport membership programme offering unique perks, benefits and rewards, and runs an Aerotel, a book-by-hour airport hotel, with one branch in the Philippines, located in Cebu.
To learn more about PPG’s services, visit https://www.plazapremiumlounge.com/en-uk