Airline Qantas new transit lounge at Perth Airport was designed by Australian industrial designer David Caon and SUMU design, in consultation with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, using an evidence-based approach to wellness. It includes lights meant to reduce jet lag.
The lounge offers a range of unique features including “light therapy” in the shower suites to help adjust the body clock. Customers can activate bright light via a switch for 15 minute sessions. The lounge also boasts a wellbeing studio with stretching classes, a refresh area providing hydrating face products, and an open-air dining terrace with a BBQ serving gourmet dishes by Neil Perry.
Philip Capps, Qantas head of customer product & service, says an emphasis on wellness in the lounge design was a whole new approach to long-haul travel. “We’ve brought together some of Australia’s best culinary, design, and scientific minds to create a lounge experience that will help set our customers up to feel better throughout their journey,” Capps says in a release.
Peter Cistulli, PhD, Charles Perkins Centre professor of sleep medicine, says the overarching goal was to enhance the passenger travel experience and optimize wellbeing. “We’ve worked with the University of Sydney’s School of Physics to create an airline-first bespoke body clock intervention using bright light to help kick start the adjustment of customers’ body clocks. Applying light at appropriate times helps reduce the effects of jet lag,” Cistulli says. “The lounge is just one aspect of our partnership with Qantas to improve the wellbeing of travelers. We’ve also worked together to influence the menu and timing of the food and drinks service on the Perth to London route, cabin lighting design, and temperature in the 787 and we are interested in seeing how customers will respond.”
The inaugural Qantas 787 Dreamliner from Perth to London—a 17-hour journey—departed from Perth on March 24 and landed in London the following day. Menus for the flights between Perth and London were designed to maintain hydration, aid sleep and reduce jetlag, and include poke bowls as well as homestyle comfort food.
The lounge is open to customers transiting in Perth when traveling on QF9 from Melbourne to London and QF10 from London to Melbourne. It is also open to customers beginning their journey in Perth to London. Eligible customers include customers traveling in Business, Gold, Platinum, and Platinum One Frequent Flyers, oneworld Emerald and Sapphire customers, and Qantas Club members and their guests.
The University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre is working with Qantas to help develop the airline’s new approach to long-haul travel. This is the first integrated, multidisciplinary collaboration between an airline and a university around health pre, during, and post flight. The Centre brings together researchers across a variety of fields from nutrition to physical activity, sleep, and complex systems modeling.