Video Games Are Airports’ Latest Money-Making Scheme
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Airports across the US want your money. And they’re going to more and more creative lengths to get you to open your wallet.
First it was installing “smart glass” to get passengers to spend more at restaurants. Now, in a new bid to increase “dwell time” — or how long passengers spend lingering in airport terminals, shops, bars and restaurants killing time and spending money before a flight — airports across the US are turning to video games and virtual reality. So far this summer, game lounges have popped up at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and New York’s JFK.
JFK’s Terminal 4 got a new virtual reality experience center with 12 different stations and headsets that feature both games and immersive virtual experiences. The tech firm behind the venture, PeriscapeVR, says that 750 people visit the VR stations at JFK per day.
Dallas offers flyers with time to kill two Xbox lounges by Gameway, one at Gate 32 in Terminal B and another at Gate 16 in Terminal E. There are 22 gaming stations at the Terminal E location and 14 at the one in Terminal B. Each is connected to an Xbox One that has 19 popular games for every type of gamer. The array includes shooting games, action games, sports games, kids games and fighting games.
But, PeriscapeVR says the airport gaming trend is just starting to heat up: they’ve received 300 calls from other airports to ask about installing the virtual reality tech.
“We’re always looking for ways to surprise our customers,” a spokeswoman for DFW told Bloomberg.
“I travel frequently and like most travelers, get stressed and bored,” PeriscapeVR founder and CEO Lynn Rosenthal told GamesBeat. “At airports, people can have three to four hours of dwell time. There’s not much to do. There were many times I wanted to escape into VR. Who doesn’t love being underwater with a whale, stunning jellyfish and sea anemones in TheBlu or the thrill of playing Beat Saber?”
The market for video games at the airport is supposedly diverse, too. “With 50 percent of Americans playing video games at least three hours per week or more, and the average gamer being a male who’s 35 and a female in their mid 40s, this demographic perfectly aligns with who is traveling at the airport,” Gameway Co-Founder Jordan Walbridge told Dallas Business Journal.
And, there’s major money behind the video game venture. Gameway charges $0.42 per minute of play or $20 for unlimited play. PeriscapeVR charges $10 for 10 minutes with a video headset, according to Bloomberg, or $35 for an hour (they also offer discount rates for larger blocks of time). That is steady income, especially for airports struggling to make a profit.
Ever since the advent of ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft, US airports have missed out on an old standby for cashflow: parking. Traditionally, parking made up about 40% of airport revenue, and Uber and Lyft have taken a significant bite out of that.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees