Wednesday, May 15, 2019
The lounge, with food and drinks, is the 14th location for Airport Lounge Development Corp.
Passengers looking to relax, work – or even shower – at Jacksonville International Airport have a new venue, if they have the credentials or the cash.
The Club JAX lounge opened Wednesday, offering private space, unlimited drinks – including alcohol – and light food.
Demand appears strong. During an opening party for the venue Tuesday afternoon, at least six people were told to “come back tomorrow” as they tried to enter.
The Club JAX is to the left of the Pet and Service Animal Relief Area, between Brighton Collectibles and Auntie Anne’s. It is straight ahead as passengers pass through the TSA checkpoint.
The more than $1 million space was developed by Airport Lounge Development Corp., based in Plano, Texas. It is operated by Sodexo, an airport lounge management company.
Chris Gwilliam, vice president of business development for Airport Lounge Development, said the company chose Jacksonville for its 14th location after a “great conversation” with the Jacksonville Airport Authority.
Gwilliam said the city’s growth and lack of a priority pass network club in the airport made it a good fit for the company.
The 3,000-square-foot-lounge includes space for 52 guests. It comprises six zones called resting, productivity, relax, children, refresh and replenish. The refresh bathroom includes a shower.
Gwilliam said not all the lounges include a children’s area, but one was included in Jacksonville because of the number of leisure travelers.
The Club JAX features photos by Jacksonville photographer Mark Krancer and food items designed by Jacksonville chef Jonathan Insetta, the owner of Black Sheep Restaurant Group.
The lounge is open daily from 4 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Breakfast items are available until 11 a.m.
Passengers with any airline can enter with a Priority Pass benefit offered by many credit cards or a Lounge Key, Club or Pass membership.
Any passenger can enter by paying a $40 fee. A 10% discount is available for Jacksonville Passport and AAA members. Children ages 2 and under are free.
Once inside, everything is included. That includes alcohol for those over 21 and light food items. Local craft beers from Intuition Ale Works and a special “First Coast Margarita” made with spirits from Manifest Distilling are featured.
For those curious about the value of the $40 charge and haven’t visited the airport recently, consider that a house margarita at Chili’s Bar & Grill just across the concourse is $11.99.
Airport Lounge Development also has U.S. clubs in Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Seattle and San Jose, California. In London, it has clubs at Gatwick and Heathrow.
by: Monty Zickuhr Managing Editor