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San Francisco Airport Opens Public Lounge, Aims to Encourage Innovation


The latest amenity for travelers passing through San Francisco’s airport is a free public lounge built for meet-ups to exchange ideas.

A trend among airports is to somehow distinguish passenger experience by creating a unique sense of place. Beyond retail shops, food and beverage options, airports are now exploring a variety of new services, one of which came to fruition in the form of a public lounge in San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

#Converge@flySFO lounge is an 850-square-foot room, complete with work tables, lounge chairs, free Wi-Fi, power outlets and a white board wall. It’s available for free, and you can learn more about how it works here.


 “This emphasis by airports on connecting culture, places and people is setting off a new phase in airport development,” explained Hildegard Assies, co-founder of airporttrends•com. According to Assies:

By creating an authentic identity airports are taking on a new role as a ‘cultural connector’ and story teller. Besides being a space that handles passenger flows with a great shopping center attached, airports are evolving into meaningful destinations themselves — an urban place where technology, culture, work, leisure and people connect.

SFO’s take on this could be considered the city’s latest manifestation the famous start-up culture it’s known for, providing a space created to stimulate an exchange of ideas on topics such as technology, travel, politics and so forth.


It’s expected that travelers seeking to make use of the lounge will be promoting their topics, times and other details on social media alongside the hashtag #Converge@flySFO. SFO will then repost the meet-up information across its social networks.

“If you think about it, airports are such natural places for people to get together with one another,” said Doug Yakiel, public information officer for SFO. “Our hope now is this becomes a location that is kind of the go-to place for the tech elite as they travel through SFO.”

[Photos: San Francisco International Airport]

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