Nine in ten Australian travellers plagued by stress ahead of international journeys

Published on 26 Mar 2018

American Express and Plaza Premium Lounge open new American Express Lounge and new Plaza Premium Lounge at Melbourne Airport to help travellers relax and refresh before their travels

26 March 2018, Melbourne – American Express and Plaza Premium Group announced today the opening of new airport lounges at Melbourne Airport offering visitors a space to escape and unwind before their flights.

The latest study commissioned by American Express shows that nine in ten Australian travellers (89%) find international travel stressful, with the worry beginning before they even arrive at the airport.  While 59% arrive the recommended two to three hours before their flight, almost a quarter (23%) arrive over three hours in advance, with timely airport arrival the largest concern. 

With so much waiting time, Australians cite overpriced dining options (49%), loud passengers and families (37%) and lack of quiet areas to relax (30%) as top stress points in their travels.

“Airport lounge access continues to be one of the most valued benefits for our card members and we know from the success of our airport lounge in Sydney that travellers appreciate the stress-free environment and complimentary dining that our American Express Lounges offer,” said Naysla Edwards, Vice President of Brand, Charge Cards and Experiences at American Express A/NZ.

“This new addition to our Global Lounge Collection builds on our ongoing commitment in providing our premium card members with premium travel benefits and experiences, and expanding our network of lounges in Australia,” Edwards added.

Located in Terminal 2 at Satellite Level Departures, the new lounge from American Express is operated by global premium airport service specialists Plaza Premium Group who also opens its own Plaza Premium Lounge today in an adjacent space.  With a total space of more than 700 square metres, both lounges offer guests a full premium service with two elegant bar areas, guest services and comfortable seating.

The design of Plaza Premium Lounge in Melbourne, conceptualised in Hong Kong and created by Australian Architects Mitchel Squires & Associates and Marsden Collectives, includes several unique and outstanding design elements featuring the Plaza Premium Lounge’s abstract ‘honeycomb’ and ‘cabin’, set to parallel cabin seating inside an aircraft. As for the AMEX lounge, it represents amalgamation of centurion’s DNA featured throughout the lounge design. Facilities and services include: complimentary food and beverage featuring Australian produce and barista service, Wi-Fi, copy facilities, flight information screens, and a selection of local and international magazines and newspapers.

“Thanks to the partnership with Melbourne Airport, we are glad to add Melbourne to our Plaza Premium Lounge network. Our new lounge will offer exceptional hospitality and best-in-class facilities to travellers. In addition to running our own lounge, after working with American Express to launch their airport lounge at Sydney and Hong Kong International Airports, we are thrilled to extend the offering to travellers out of Melbourne.  With two distinct lounges side by side, every traveller will be able to experience a premium way to enjoy their time ahead of their journey,” said Linda Song, Executive Director of Plaza Premium Group.

Lounges continue to be an appealing airport feature for most travellers, with 59% of overseas travellers having used a lounge in the last three years and more than a third (36%) of all business travellers favouring time in lounges before their flights.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Property Linc Horton said he is pleased to welcome both Plaza Premium Group and American Express to Melbourne Airport. “It’s fantastic to expand our lounge offering for Melbourne’s international travellers who continue to grow at record speed.”

“In the 2016/17 financial year, we welcomed more than 35 million travellers overall and that number is forecast to reach almost 70 million by 2038. We’re excited for the future and are focused on improving our infrastructure to enhance the traveller experience.  Opening two new lounges that appeal to different market segments is a win for the airport and for our international travellers,” said Horton.

Last year, Melbourne Airport saw a record breaking 1.02 million international travellers for December alone with over 10 million international travellers for the calendar year.

Plaza Premium Lounge at Melbourne Airport is now open daily from 6am to 11pm and 2- hour access is priced at $60 per person. A special opening deal is available until the end of April 2018 – buy lounge access for one person and get a second one completely free.

For more information visit for the Plaza Premium Lounge network and visit for everything travel-related, from booking holidays to destination guides.

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