by Megan Whiteaker

Whoever said it’s not the destination but the journey that counts must never have had to put up with an airport. Long lines, grueling security check points, bad weather, over-bookings and lost luggage — today’s skies are both physically and mentally exhausting.

But breathe easy my fellow jetsetters, salvation has reared her gorgeous Zen-like head. Airports through out the U.S. and the world have embraced the spa and it doesn’t look like they’ll be leaving anytime soon! Now, travel weary passengers can wait out their grueling layovers in a comfy massage chair while be pampered as the rest of the world scurries on to their destinations.

Unlike their resort based counterparts, airport spa treatments are tailored to accommodate travelers in a hurry and are geared more toward walk-ins than appointments. Most spas offer short treatments like a 15-minute chair massage, manicures and pedicure. With all the heightened security measures, travelers are required to arrive at the airport earlier and earlier, they now have a relaxing way to spend their time.

Demand is the reason why airport spas are popping up these days. A traveler can release stress, muscle tightness and other uncomfortable feelings caused by traveling. Kristen Cabanban, a spokeswoman for the O’Hare International Airport said airports are trying to accomodate travelers.

“With the delays that occur and the extra security, people have time to spend,” she said. “We might as well make it enjoyable.”

As a result, spas around the country are finding immense success.
“We opened the doors and we were mobbed by people waiting for connecting flights,” said Moreton Binn, CEO of XpresSpa. “They already have their boarding passes. Their luggage is checked. They’re past security. By then, they have two hours before their flight. The passengers love it.”

Here is a guide to some spa-a-licious establishments that are popping into airports near you:

10 Minute Manicure

Unique Factor: An array of services based on your available time, while ensuring you leave looking your professional best.

Number of Locations: 10 across the country

Treatments: manicures, pedicures, nail sets, waxing, chair massages

Treatment Length: all services range from 10 to 45 minutes

Cost: varies by location

Hours of Operation: 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday

butter LONDON

Unique Factor: Like no nail salon you have ever imagined, butter LONDON is famous for two things: their rapidly growing chain of airport nail salons and their non-toxic product line.

Number of Locations: four across the country

Treatments: manicure and pedicures

Treatment Length: 15 to 40 minutes

Cost: $20 – $40

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m.- 9 p.m.

For more information about butter LONDON view our feature article.

d_parture spa

Unique Factor:“Travel without the stress.” Travelers with delayed flights now have a reason to be happy instead of agitated; a legitimate excuse to treat themselves to a relaxing massage.

Number of Locations: three across the country

Treatments: hair cuts, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, chair massages

Treatment Length: 10 minutes to one hour

Cost: $10 to $90

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday

Massage Bar

Unique Factor: The idea of providing a permanent site for quick, relaxing tune-ups flamed the fire of Massage Bar, Inc.

Number of Locations: six across the country

Treatments: back and foot massages

Treatment Lengths: 10 to 30 min.

Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday


Unique Factor: “Premium Class” large scale, nationally structured Spa, exclusively operating at airports. A first class, upscale 5th Avenue Spa concept transformed into a successful airport spa wonderland.

Number of Locations: 21 locations around the world by June 2008, 34 by December 2008

Treatments: sinus and stress relief – head massage, foot and leg massage, back and shoulder massage, full body massage, manicures, pedicures, facials and waxing

Treatment length: 10 to 30 minutes

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., Monday through Sunday

Attention Tango Divas! XpresSpa is offering a special deal for Divas! Visit the bottom of the page to print out the Tango Diva Certificate.

So the next time you find yourself bored and waiting for takeoff, mosey on over and check out the local airport spa and treat yourself to a mani, pedi or back and neck massage. Go on you deserve it, happy travels.

Airport Spas


Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Back to Life


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary International Airport


Massage Garage

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun International Airport

The Salon Spa

XpresSpa (two locations)

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong

Regal Airport Hotel Health Spa

Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg International Airport

The Intercontinental Airport Sun Hotel

London, England, United Kingdom

London Heathrow Airport, London, England

The Molton Brown Travel Spa

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport

10 Minute Manicure

Singapore, China

Singapore Changi Airport

Plaza Premium Lounge

Toronto, Canada

Pearson International Airport

10 Minute Manicure

Vancouver, British Columbia,Canada

Vancouver International Airport

Absolute Spa


Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore/Washington International Airport

Destination Relaxation

Boston, Massachusetts

Logan International Airport

Jet Setter Mini Spa

Polished Spa

The Hilton Health Club and Spa


Chicago, Illinois

O’Hare International Airport

Backrub Hub

The Hilton Athletic Club

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

10 Minute Manicure (two locations)

Columbus, Ohio

Port Columbus International Airport

Massage Bar

Dallas, Texas

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport

The Grand Hyatt DFW Stay Fit Spa

XpresSpa (two locations)

Denver, Colorado

Denver International Airport

A Massage

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit Metropolitan Airport


Fort Meyers, Flordia

Southwest Flordia International Airport

10 Minute Manicure

Houston, Texas

George Bush Intercontinental Airport


Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis International Airport

Passport Travel Spa

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport


Miami, Florida

Miami International Airport

Jetsetter Spa

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville International Airport

Massage Bar (two locations)

Newark, New Jersey

Newark Liberty International Airport

d_parture spa (two locations)

Massage Bar (two locations)

New York City, New York

JFK International Airport

10 Minute Manicure (two locations)

Elmis Travel Spa

Molton Brown Travel Spa

The Oasis Day Spa

XpresSpa (five locations)

Orlando, Flordia

Orlando International Airport

d_parture spa

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia International Airport


Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh-Durham International Airport

XpresSpa (two locations)

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh International Airport

Polished Spa

XpresSpa (two locations)

Sacramento, California

Sacramento International Airport

butter LONDON

Massage Bar

San Francisco, California

San Francisco International Airport


Seattle, Washington

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

butter LONDON (two locations)

Massage Bar (two locations)

Aspa at the Marriot Hotel

Sterling, Virginia

Washington Dulles International Airport

10 Minute Manicure

butter LONDON

The Massage Bar