The VIP lounge market is expanding with two new players (American and United). The requirement remains the same – a first or business class ticket, now extended to the holders of certain credit cards and guests in certain luxury hotels (with anybody else sometimes charged thousands of dollars). But now the lounges are aspiring to function as five-star hotels with, for example, the Qatar Airways salon in Doha having 12 private rooms where stopovers can sleep and shower. The Flagship Lounge of American Airlines now has restaurants on top of the hot and cold buffets, drinks and cocktails except in Chicago’s O’Hare (where United opened its first Polaris Lounge complete with restaurants, sof beds with Fifth Avenue nightwear, showers and valet service ). These upgraded VIP lounges are the product of alliances enabling the costs to be shared by member Airlines such as Star Alliance and Sky Team – the former already has seven exclusive lounges across the world and the latter six with more to come next year in both cases.