Get a quick head massage at the airport spa | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Get a quick head massage at the airport spa

Minutes before leaving for the Mumbai airport earlier this week, Meenakshi Chaturvedi received a text message from the airline that her flight to Kolkata was delayed by an hour.

mumbai Updated: Jul 04, 2010 02:15 IST
Soubhik Mitra

Minutes before leaving for the Mumbai airport earlier this week, Meenakshi Chaturvedi received a text message from the airline that her flight to Kolkata was delayed by an hour.

Chaturvedi, however, ignored the alert and headed straight to one of the spas at the domestic terminal.

A quick visit to the bookstore followed the 15-minute head massage before she took off for a business meeting at Kolkata's Park Street.

The 36-year-old is amongst a growing breed of Indian fliers who demand a lot more than slick check-in counters, clean toilets and food courts.

“I spend about 30 hours a week at airports. This is the best way to utilise the time,” said Chaturvedi.

Mumbai airport that caters to about 20,000 passengers daily is shaping its terminals to cater to frequent travellers like Chaturvedi.

In addition to a retail spread, spas and fancy bars, on Friday it became the first Indian airport to have a hair salon.

The salon opened by celebrity hair stylist Jawed Habib is targeting people looking for a quick shave or a facial before a business a meeting.

“Our concept is groom and go. It is a 15 to 20 minute service before you catch a flight,” said Habib.

By September he is planning to open another salon in the international terminal and other metro airports such as Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata by the next year. Also, in another six months you could book a facial on online before leaving your house or taking off from another airport.

Many airports in the world such as Amsterdam's Schipol or Changi airport in Singapore have become aerotropolises (airport cities) having malls, hotels, casinos and movieplexes.

According to market research conducted by Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) on an average 500 passengers visit the four spas at the airport every day.

“The new Indian traveller is in the age group of 25 to 40. They avail of facilities such as spas, salons and bars,” said the MIAL spokesperson.

These fliers are a mix of people on business trips and tourists who have average monthly earning of Rs 1 lakh.