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Plaza Premium Lounge Offers Ila Spa Treatments at Heathrow

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Between long security lines, delayed flights, and mind-numbing jet lag, it seems impossible to shake the anxiety that comes along with traveling. Thankfully, Plaza Premium Lounges offer a place to decompress before taking off—regardless of airline or traveler loyalty memberships. Their first European lounge recently opened at London Heathrow.

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How Can I Make the Most of an Airport Layover?

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Quick access to a city center via public transport makes it easy to steal away for a few hours and take in some sights—and even a meal. Here are six airports we love, all with convenient luggage storage.

Heathrow, London

Minimum layover needed for two hours in the city center: 5 hours
Travel Time to City Center: 15 to 20 minutes
How to do it: Heathrow Express to Paddington ($57 round-trip; trains every 15 minutes)
What to do: A short ride on the Tube gets you to Waterloo, where you can walk along the South Bank for views of Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Shard’s glass spire. End with a tagliolini with clams at Gordon Ramsay’s Italian-inspired Union Street Café.

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Runners to Hit the Tarmac for Charity in Chicago

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This fall, Chicago’s two airports give new meaning to the word runway. On September 21, Midway Airport is hosting the second annual Midway Fly Away 5K, benefiting the Special Olympics of Chicago. And on October 5, O’Hare International Airport gets in on the action with the O’Hare 5K on the Runway, which raises money for military vets through the Wounded Warrior Project.

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How to Prepare for an Icelandic Eruption

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Remember the great Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010 that spewed ash across European airspace, stranding millions of travelers throughout the continent—and beyond? Iceland may be giving us a repeat performance, this time care of the Bárðarbunga volcano (that's Bardarbunga to English speakers), which has been increasing its seismic activity over the last week.

A few days ago, the agency that monitors the volcano raised the threat level to the aviation industry to ”orange,” the second-highest rating, putting airlines around the world on alert for possible flight disruptions due to ash clouds. Though it’s still unclear if the volcano will actually erupt, travelers planning to fly to or through northern Europe in the coming weeks should be prepared. Here’s what you need to know:

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DART Brings Travelers Right to the Heart of Dallas

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Dallas/Fort Worth is the third busiest airport in the world (and larger than the island of Manhattan). It only makes sense that there’s now a way to easily travel from the hub into the city itself.

The Orange Line extension of DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) opened this week, and finally connects travelers and locals via light rail from Terminal A in DFW straight into downtown Dallas. This means visitors can access key destinations in the city, such as the popular Dallas Arts District and Fair Park, as well as large convention centers for business travel. The Terminal Link takes passengers between terminals within DFW, to get to or from Terminal A.

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New Centurion Lounge Debuts at New York's LaGuardia Airport

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Less than a year after debuting a Centurion Lounge at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport—which we profiled in detail here—American Express is at it again, this time in New York LaGuardia's Terminal B. Like its counterparts in Texas and Las Vegas's McCarron International Airport, the 5,000-square-foot space provides all you would expect from a world-class airport lounge, including high-speed Wi-Fi; numerous power outlets; private, noise-buffering work stations; and a food-and-beverage program that goes beyond stale bagels for breakfast and an uninspired wine list.

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Surf’s Up in Munich Airport

201408-hd-munich-airport-surfingjpgWe already know that Munich International Airport is one of the best for a long layover—and now it's even better, thanks to “Surf & Style,” an indoor wave-riding pool located between Terminals 1 and 2.

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TSA Offers $15,000 for Ideas to Improve Airport Security Checkpoints

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Think you know what it takes to make airport security checkpoints less hellish? The Transportation Security Administration has put a call out for ideas on Innocentive, asking for ways to create a more efficient screening process that accommodates all levels of travelers—standard, premier, and TSA Pre✓™—employees, flight crews, and passengers in wheelchairs.

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Finnair Opens New Helsinki Airport Lounge Complete with Finnish Sauna

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On August 4, Finnair is upping the airline lounge ante with a new Premium Lounge at Helsinki Airport, open to Platinum and Gold Finnair Plus members and other oneworld top-tier customers. Set near Gate 36 in the non-Schengen area, the space has interiors by dSign Vertti Kivi & Co—and includes everything you’d expect from the design-forward carrier: Eero Saarinen’s renowned Tulip and Womb chairs, Marimekko tableware, and Iittala Ultima Thule glasses—originally created for the airline in 1968. Other perks: private shower suites and a Finnish sauna, complete with Finland-made toiletries that incorporate forest berries.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

 

Photo courtesy of Finnair

Say Hello to the Bio-Dome Airport

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First impressions of a new country are inevitably colored by the airport you arrive in -- landing in JFK feels hugely different from, say, Denver International. Which is why Singapore's Changi Airport, one of the busiest in the world, has decided to raise the bar with a $1.5 billion facility expansion. 

SEE MORE AT THRILLIST

Photo courtesy of Safdie Architects.

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