Some airport lounges are enclaves of noise and bad manners and appallingly arrogant behaviour. Men and women bellowing into cell phones, screaming at computer speakers and boasting loudly to each other of business deals, golf scores or airline points.
There was a time when lounge behaviour was quite different from this when first and business class passengers were treated into the Library like silence of neutrally decorated mega-living rooms. Those days are past. the quietest place in Chicago for instance is in a waiting area not yet prepared tot ale aircraft passengers. In JFK, there’s no retreat anywhere. But let me tell you of the last bastion of civility in the world of flying. Japan Airlines Lounge forbids the use of cell phones in the public ares. There are private rooms in the Lounge where you can use your phones as much as you like without disturbing anyone else. These rooms are properly marked with cell phones.
The Lounge is cool without being refrigerated and comfortably lit. The music insists that your relax and as with so much Japanese space, the design draws you gently away from troubled thoughts.
There are other alliances that manage decent Lounges as well where a bonus is placed on respectfulness and civility. It seems to me that design is a key component of this atmosphere as well as an utter determination to let passengers live out their social media nightmares in the washrooms, the Burger Kings or the bars. If your time in the Lounge is 3 or 4 or even more hours between flights, given a choice, you’ll always take the airline that expects a little more from its clients.