Farmers markets
Article updated: 12/23/2012 4:18 PM

Airports trade layover horror for 'terminal bliss'

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In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Marty Rapp relaxes at at ICE Bar in Terminal 3 between flights. Getting stranded at an airport once meant camping on the floor and enduring hours of boredom in a kind of travel purgatory with nothing to eat but fast food. Tough economic times are helping drive airports to make amends and transform terminals with a bit of bliss: spas, yoga studios, luxury shopping and restaurant menus crafted by celebrity chefs.

Associated Press

In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, a diner at Wolfgang Puck Cafe sits in a sidewalk cafe setting in Terminal 3.

Associated Press

In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, travelers enjoy drinks and dishes at ICE Bar in Terminal 3.

Associated PRess

In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, blues musician Cedric "Catfish" Turner has a drink at ICE Bar in Terminal 3 between flights.

Associated PRess

In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, travelers David Janesko and Tess Menotti relax between flights next to O'Hare's Urban Garden where fresh herbs are grown and used in airport restaurants.

Associated PRess

In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, travelers visit O'Hare Urban Garden farmers market in Terminal 2.

Associated PRess

About this Article

Stung by airline bankruptcies and mergers, more U.S. airports are hunting for alternative revenue streams by hiring top design firms to transform once chaotic and dreary way stations into places of Zen-like tranquility and luxury where people actually want to get stuck -- and spend money. As the holiday travel season is in full gear, airports are putting what one designer calls "terminal bliss" on display in hopes of drawing in higher passenger numbers and revenue.
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    • In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Marty Rapp relaxes at at ICE Bar in Terminal 3 between flights. Getting stranded at an airport once meant camping on the floor and enduring hours of boredom in a kind of travel purgatory with nothing to eat but fast food. Tough economic times are helping drive airports to make amends and transform terminals with a bit of bliss: spas, yoga studios, luxury shopping and restaurant menus crafted by celebrity chefs.
    •  In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, a diner at Wolfgang Puck Cafe sits in a sidewalk cafe setting in Terminal 3.
    •  In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, travelers enjoy drinks and dishes at ICE Bar in Terminal 3.
    •  In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, blues musician Cedric “Catfish” Turner has a drink at ICE Bar in Terminal 3 between flights.
    •  In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, travelers David Janesko and Tess Menotti relax between flights next to O’Hare’s Urban Garden where fresh herbs are grown and used in airport restaurants.
    •  In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, travelers visit O’Hare Urban Garden farmers market in Terminal 2.
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