“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. In 2007, for example, the average dwell time for passengers at New York’s 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 (including one at McCarran) across the US and abroad. Seven years ago, there was a Philip Morris smoking lounge at JFK Terminal One. After New York’s ban on smoking in public areas, the Binns leased that lounge and started a trend that “turned unhealthy habits into healthy ones,” explains Marisol. XpresSpa offers massage, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials, reflexology—the choices are endless.

Today the company continues its growth worldwide with plans to have a total of 40 fullservice spas by December 2011. Some of the newer stores will be co-branded with hair salons operated by 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 blow-outs, 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. JFK has six; LaGuardia, two. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has two. San Francisco will have four; Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, two; and the list grows.

They also have a wide selection of XpresSpa-branded travel and spa products in addition to a 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 fastpaced world, people need to recharge,” says Moreton.

The spa’s most popular treatment? 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,” says 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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