At TPG, we sometimes book unconventional flights for the sake of a story, like when I flew nearly 70 hours round-trip from Chicago to Singapore in the name of American Airlines’ elite status.
Sometimes, we take the opposite approach, flying in and out on the same day, aiming to spend as little time in the airport as possible.
Last week, I took a 7 a.m. flight into Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) for a story you can read about soon on TPG. When my day wrapped up earlier than expected, around 2 p.m., I attempted to no avail to book a last-minute seat on the only two nonstop flights back to Chicago before my originally scheduled United flight at 5:45 p.m.
Both late-afternoon Southwest flights were sold out, so I found myself with three hours and no lounge access at BWI (there are a few lounges, but I didn’t have the right credit card to get in). I was particularly annoyed about this window of wasted time since my 4:30 a.m. wake-up call did not allow me to do my usual morning workout.
Just as I headed toward my gate in Terminal D to find a place to sit down and work, I was pleasantly surprised to walk right into a gym — Roam Fitness.
How does it work?
Next to Gate D1, Roam offers travelers in terminals D and E, like me, with sufficient time ahead of a flight, or those who just landed, to squeeze a workout into their travel day. Travelers can purchase a day pass for $25 or an annual pass for $360 ($30 per month).
In addition to Roam’s 1,175 square-foot space, my day pass also included Lululemon leggings, a sports bra and shirt, plus Brooks running shoes. Men are offered Lulu shorts and a T-shirt, plus the same tennis shoes. Lululemon, Girlfriend Collective and Roam-branded athleisure are also available for purchase.
Roam also offers secure lockers to store your stuff and access to Wi-Fi and charging stations. First-time users also get a complimentary boxed Just water.
Guests have access to a cardio section with Technogym treadmills, Skillmill, elliptical bikes and one Concept II rower; a strength area with free weights, benches, assist dip and chin machine, vertical knee raise, TRX system, plyometrics boxes and medicine balls. There’s also a stretching area with floor space for free work, with yoga props, stability balls and foam rollers.
If you are working out preflight, you can keep track of your flight thanks to Roam’s flight information board with information regarding departing flights in terminals C and D.
A day pass also includes access to four full-service ADA-accessible showers with Malin+Goetz products, hair products, deodorant, dental products (toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash) and a shaving kit. If you want to shower at a specific time, be sure to book your shower when you check in, or you might have to wait if it gets busy. Showers are technically restricted to 15 minutes, but it wasn’t an issue for me as I was the only one using them at the time.
Though the bathroom area is fully stocked, you can also buy a variety of other products, including travel-size deodorant and body lotion, face masks, eye patches, boxers, scrunchies, COVID-19 tests and more.
Do other airports have gyms?
Although Roam is the only traditional gym within a domestic airport concourse, you can find fitness spaces at other U.S. airports, including San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the first airport to introduce airport goers to a yoga room. SFO’s yoga room is in the Terminal 2 connector between Terminal 1’s boarding area C and Terminal 2’s boarding area D, as well as Terminal 3 near boarding area E.
There are also a variety of gyms at on-site airport domestic and international hotels, including The Health Club at the Hilton at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) near Terminal 2 and the WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW).
Internationally, you’ll find similar options at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) and Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH).
As of June, Roam is only available for travelers at BWI Sunday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Roam will open at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) soon.
As someone who works out daily and travels frequently, an airport gym is an unexpected feature I will always take advantage of if possible. Especially on days when I take early flights or my travel plans go awry, getting my workout in before landing at home is a game changer.