This Hotel Is Purpose-Built to Solve Travel Woes—But You Can’t Stay There

With Skyview 6, a new hotel tailored for pilots and flight attendants, American Airlines takes a stab at solving some of the biggest grievances of work travel.

Skyview 6 Lobby; courtesy of American Airlines.

Frequent fliers are privy to a shared set of pain points: sad hotel gyms, a dearth of healthy dining options, gate-checked luggage full of damp clothing from sitting too long on a rainy tarmac; the list goes on. At American Airlines’ new 600-room hotel in Dallas, this and other feedback from pilots and flight attendants has shaped the airline’s flashy new employees-only lodgings, Skyview 6. The company tapped a slate of A-list firms to oversee the architecture of the hotel, which is part of the airline’s Fort Worth headquarters and training hub. Commercial design power player Gensler handled interior architecture alongside design architect Pelli Clarke and Partners, all under executive architect HKS.

While the words “corporate” and “training” are a bit of a snoozefest, the amenities are anything but: a 73,000-square-foot workout center puts most high-end gyms to shame, while a coffee bar, food market, cafeteria, and tavern provide a refreshing change of pace from stale airport food. Each floor is decked out with a communal lounge allowing colleagues to gather, study, and unwind without ceding their personal space. And, for truly frequent fliers, having laundry on each floor might feel miraculous.

A snapshot of the sprawling fitness center; courtesy of American Airlines.

Speaking of snoozing: guest rooms are clad in an inoffensive palette of whites, grays, and blonde woods with midcentury-inspired lighting and décor. At pilots’ requests, they feature magnetic blackout curtains to help the jet-lagged catch shut-eye no matter the hour, while motion sensor–activated lighting helps guests orient themselves amid groggy “what year is it?” wakeups. En-suite bathrooms each come with a Bluetooth-enabled mirror, which can play music, podcasts, or weather forecasts—the latter being of particular importance to people who operate planes for a living.

“This was the gold standard for what it could be,” Allied Pilots Association spokesperson Dennis Tajer told the Wall Street Journal after a recent visit, compared to the “dark, dank hotel” he stayed at for training last year. Despite making up the country’s population of most frequent fliers, hotels tailored to the needs of pilots and flight attendants are few and far between. Aside from JetBlue’s nearly decade-old JetBlue Lodge, located near the airline’s training facilities in Orlando, Skyview 6 may be in a class all its own.

One of 600 rooms at the hotel; courtesy of American Airlines.

The accommodations seem to be a hit with employees, leading some to wonder when they can expect similar standards for work travel elsewhere: “The finishes and the amenities are much higher-end than the hotels we often frequent [on layovers],” Ellie Boothe, a flight attendant, told the WSJ.

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