Laptop Lane Plans Third Location at Hartsfield-Atlanta
(World Airport; 08/26/98)
Aug. 26, 1998 (WORLD AIRPORT WEEK, Vol. 5, No. 34 via COMTEX) -- Laptop Lane
Ltd., a 2-year-old Seattle company that provides airport cubicles equipped with
computers for travelers, has contracted with Hartsfield-Atlanta International
Airport (ATL) for its third airport location. Initially opening May 12 at
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), Laptop Lane next
opened June 25 in the main terminal at Seattle-Tacoma Airport (SEA) and plans
to open in nine other major airports this year, including San Juan, Puerto
Rico. (See WAW, May 26)
"This is great; we've been working on the Hartsfield location) for two years,"
said Bruce Merrell, president and chief executive officer of Laptop Lane. "It's
not easy to get into airports," he said.
Open only this year in Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport and
Seattle-Tacoma Airport, Laptop Lane has received 97 percent "excellent" or
"good" responses in customer- satisfaction surveys, he said. It's too early
for revenue tallies, but he said the privately held company would keep its
revenues confidential. "The concept's brand new, and we don't want to give away
The business-computer service will open in Concourses A and T at Hartsfield in
partnership with Business Traveler Services Inc. (BTS), an operator of several
self-serve kiosks and business services at Hartsfield. BTS also plans to offer
Internet access to travelers in several kiosks in Concourses C and D and the
Concourse T gates. These kiosks allow computer access to e-mail, but they
don't offer the comfort and privacy of Laptop Lane's offices.
Laptop Lane, now with 25 employees, will offer Hartsfield travelers 11 private,
lockable 6-by-9-foot offices. A technically qualified "cyber-concierge,"
Merrell said, will open an office with a magnetic key and explain the services
available. In Seattle, Laptop Lane offers seven offices, with the same fully
equipped services. Other sites will offer up to 15 workstations, each 36 square
feet to 48 square feet in size.
For $8.95 per half-hour, each office will offer the use of a laptop computer, a
Pentium desktop computer, 24 square feet of desk space, a high-speed (T1) data
line, a multi-line telephone for conference calls, a laser printer that can
print 12 pages per minute, a plain-paper fax machine (both outbound and
inbound), free local phone and fax calls and long-distance phone and fax calls
to anywhere else in the United States for 25 cents per minute, with no
Laptop Lane developed from observing business travelers, more of them
telecommuting for small businesses or sole-proprietors, struggling to find
places in airports to hook up and use their laptop computers between flights.
They soon found the airport clubs crowded and inconvenient to do their work.
The firm banks on business travelers' averaging more than an hour of free time
at an airport, according to Merrell's research. To spend that time
productively, he said, they need airport services near the gate area, with
privacy, services and technology to do their work. "All of us are road-
warriors," he said. Merrell, 206/386-5800,