Home to the headquarters of Walmart and gateway to the Ozarks, the Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) has been growing considerably in recent years. XNA, also known as Bentonville Airport is the second-largest commercial airport in the state (behind Little Rock). In 2022 XNA transported 1,682,351 passengers (up 36% from 2021).
The XNA airport authority and board have approved plans to add a 3,255-square-foot Escape lounge that will have the capacity for about 50 travelers. This new lounge will be located near the Arkansas Traveler News and Café just past the security checkpoint. Like other Escape Lounges lounges, it will have a kitchen, bar, and beverage area. You should expect to be able to get coffee, snacks, beer, wine, as well as other refreshments. The new Escape Lounge is planned to open in November 2024.
The walk-up rate for lounge access is $45, but discounts are available if you pre-book online. American Express Platinum and Centurion credit card members, including two guests, can get free access to the lounge. Also, American Express Delta Reserve card members can get free access if traveling on a Delta flight. There are also discounts for the military and children under two are free of charge. As with most other lounges, you must have a same-day boarding pass to access the lounge.
Escape Lounges is a brand of CAVU, a subsidiary of Manchester Airports Group. CAVU has 15 Escape Lounges in the United States, with plans to open more. The airport intends to invest about $280,000 into the project to upgrade some aspects and branding of the lounge. CAVU will have a 15-year lease, and is required to share a portion of its revenue with XNA.
Currently, there are no airport lounges in the entire state of Arkansas, but the XNA Airport has Escape Pods where travelers can relax and work in silence.
Related: To learn more about Escape Pods, read our review of the Escape Pods from AUS.
XNA Airport offers airline service from Allegiant, American, Breeze, Delta, Frontier, and United Airlines. The airport is in motion to entice Southwest Airlines to open service to XNA as well.
As I have been writing recently, it's always exciting when a new state gets its first airport lounge. Those who travel to and from XNA should be very excited about this news. I was at XNA in 2022, and thought the airport was nice and comfortable but missing a lounge!