XpresSpa at the JFK Airport

"Dwell time,” airport terminology for the amount of time a passenger spends at the airport waiting before or between flights, has increased significantly since 9/11. As of 2007, for example, dwell time for passengers at JFK was a whopping 136 minutes. The silver lining to this phenomenon is that airports are now becoming more like malls, with better food, shopping and personal amenities.

This is great news for entrepreneurs like Marisol Binn, who, with her husband, Moreton, in 2003 launched XpresSpa, a chain of 34 airport spas across the United States and internationally. Seven years ago, there was a Philip Morris smoking lounge at JFK Terminal One. After New York State’s ban on smoking in public areas, the Binns leased that smoking lounge and started a trend that “turned unhealthy habits into healthy ones,” explains Marisol. XpresSpa offers massages, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials and reflexology; the choices are endless.

Today, the company continues its growth worldwide with plans for a total of 40 full-service spas by December 2011. Some of the newer stores will be co-branded with Regis Corporation, a multibillion-dollar New York Stock Exchange firm. The first XpresSpa/Regis partnership will be in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, offering hair styling, wash and dry, and blowouts, plus haircuts and shaving for men.

The award-winning XpresSpa is the number-one specialty retail and service brand found exclusively at airports, so it’s no surprise that airports are asking the company to open two or three locations at a time. New York’s JFK has six; LaGuardia, two. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has two. San Francisco will have four; Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, two; and the list grows.

They also have a wide selection of XpresSpabranded travel and spa-related products in addition to a branded line of facial and skincare products. All services are given in their Signature Massager Lounger in which customers can recline, relax and enjoy the experience.

XpresSpa is a haven for weary passengers. “In this fast-paced world, people need to recharge,” says Moreton. The spa’s most popular treatment is the foot massage, offered in increments from 10 to 45 minutes. “If you get a good foot massage, it has an effect on your whole body,” explains Marisol. In fact, it might be too good—clients sometimes doze off and need a gentle reminder that the treatment is over and their plane is boarding. xpresspa.com

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