Layovers can be some of the worst experiences in air travel, especially when the airport you’re stuck in was not designed for comfort (not every city has an airport with a 40-metre-high waterfall and multistorey slides). Thanks to what Emirates-owned airport services firm dnata (Dubai National Air Transport Association) calls a “democratisation” of airport lounges, premium options are no longer reserved for just a small group of high-fliers with top-tier frequent flier status or elite credit card membership. A “rising cohort” of millennials and their focus on “authentic and seamless travel experiences” has helped to “democratise” premium airport services, so that they are accessible by passengers taking economy class and low-cost carriers too, dnata’s regional chief executive officer for Asia Pacific, Dirk Goovaerts, told Business Insider. “With digital exposure, consumers also have increased expectations and seek instant solutions that can meet their needs. Changi or Daxing – which is Asia’s best airport? “From the very moment they enter the terminal doors to when they leave the airport, passengers are looking for swift and top-notch service throughout the entire process,” he said via email interview. On top of that, millennial travellers also want value and convenience and look for “great experiences without having to invest in luxury products like first-class travel”, Goovaerts said. As a result, more and more travellers are expecting to have access to airport lounges, especially if they are frequent travellers, he added. To accommodate the shift in consumer demand, lounge access is now being introduced to more consumers through third-party partnerships with bank cards, club and lounge membership programmes. Some also allow travellers without any of these affiliations to use their facilities as long as they make an advanced booking and pay a stipulated entrance fee. In the case of dnata’s marhaba lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3, there is no pay-per-use scheme for members of the general public. However, entry into the marhaba lounge is available to travellers through a wide range of airline loyalty programmes, credit card schemes and various club memberships. Before a recent trip to Japan, I took a break at the T3 marhaba lounge, which is being used by Singapore Airlines as the KrisFlyer Gold lounge while its actual lounge undergoes a revamp. Here’s what it was like: There are two reception counters at the front of the lounge. Unlike some other lounges, which have darker and more ambient lighting, the marhaba lounge is brightly lit thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows. A look inside Qatar Airways’ US$75 million Gulfstream G700 Apart from KrisFlyer Gold members, the marhaba lounge is currently also accessible to business class passengers on a wide range of airlines, including China Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, SriLankan Airlines and Myanmar National Airlines. Members of several airport lounge programmes and clubs – Priority Pass, Lounge Key, Lounge Club, Diners Club International, National University of Singapore Society (NUSS), TAV Airports, Lounge Pass and DragonPass – also have access. There is a relaxing area where travellers can sit in comfortable semi-reclined chairs. Here, there are televisions and power points to charge electronic devices. If you like to watch the planes land, you can sit facing the window, where ample sunshades prevent the glare of the sun from hurting your eyes. Of course there are charging points every where … … and also reading materials. There are plenty of seats in the lounge, with just enough space in between the rows of tables for trolleys and cabin-size luggage to pass. 5 airlines with the best new business-class offerings It was very crowded when I visited during lunchtime, so I had to readjust my luggage a number of times to make way for people to pass. The space did clear out quite quickly though, since travellers always have somewhere to rush to when at the airport. The best tables for dining, in my opinion, are the ones by the window. Not only do you get a great view of the runway, you’ll also get larger tables and the most comfortable dining chairs. The lounge provides all-day dining with and an international buffet. According to Goovaerts, travellers today are more sophisticated and selective in areas such as food. For instance, many are more discerning about what they consume and actively look for lighter and healthier options even at the airport. The satay was surprisingly tender and tasty – highly recommended. Also a hit: mango panna cotta. There was a wide variety of drinks from coffee to juice. Can Daxing International Airport help China overtake the US in aviation? The cucumber lemon infused water was a really refreshing touch, especially since being on a flight can make one feel really dehydrated. Of course there are soft drinks and alcohol too. And perhaps most importantly, there are showers (hooray!) for passengers who just feel dirty after being in the same clothes for an extended period of time. Goovaerts told Business Insider that an increasing number of travellers are looking for an “elevated airport experience” in lounges that provide premium and personalised services. The bathroom was minimal, but nice and sleek. Bonus points for a hairdryer. But there was no baby changing station, so if you have a child, you’ll need to exit the lounge and use the changing stations in the terminal itself. As you can see, the shower facilities are still very new. There is even a rain shower to soothe those tired shoulders after a long flight. To be honest, Changi Airport is so well-equipped that there really isn’t a need for travellers to look for a lounge to relax in. Having said that, I found the marhaba lounge’s large buffet offerings and comfortable dining arrangements very helpful because I did not have to think too hard about what to eat and whether or not I’d be able to get a comfortable seat in the shortest time possible. The clean shower facilities were also a big plus point. We review Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Upper Class’ on its new A350 luxury jets However, if you’re heading to the lounge this holiday season, I would suggest avoiding mealtimes since the place is not very big and can serve fewer than 150 people each time. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter . This article originally appeared on Business Insider .