Contract snags delay amenities at new Atlanta airport terminal

Six months after the Atlanta airport’s splashy new international terminal opened, some of its most buzz-worthy amenities have yet to make their debut.

Special services at the new terminal were to include sleep units, spa facilities and the airport’s first independent lounge, open to customers of any airline who are willing to pay a one-time fee.

Like the airport’s multi-billion dollar concessions deals, however, agreements to operate those amenities and some others have bogged down in contracting issues.

Some won’t open until next year.

The city was “unable to come to an agreement” on a contract with Airport Lounge Development, the company it selected last year to operate common-use airport lounges at each of the airport’s two international concourses, according to airport concessions director Paul Brown. It is rebidding the contract, seeking a company to operate a lounge just on Concourse F, where several international carriers operate. Delta operates its own airport lounges and dominates on Concourse E.

For the sleep units, Sojesma Atlanta won a contract with MiJoy Industrial Services as its disadvantaged business partner, but had difficulty with the city’s contract compliance, according to Brown. The city also plans to rebid that contract, he said.

And the airport awarded a contract to XpresSpa for spa locations at the new terminal, but the company and XpresSpa have been working on the final agreement, Brown said.

A currency exchange contract for the new terminal already spawned months of controversy, including a protest that pointed to problems with the qualifications of the winning firm’s disadvantaged business partner. In April, the city reversed its decision selecting International Currency Exchange and instead awarded the contract to Travelex.

Travelex has been operating temporary currency exchanges at the new terminal. It is seeking approval for the designs of the permanent locations.

The common-use lounge, spa, sleep units and currency exchange locations all are not expected to open until next year.

Most international terminal restaurants are open, includinga food court, Jekyll Island Seafood Co. and Lorena Garcia Tapas Bar. Yet to open is the flagship restaurant, Ecco.

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