Kiosk Newsbit

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 
 our secrets."

 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,<<

Thanks Kinetic!

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