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Airports Aim to Make Travel More Enjoyable From yoga classes in Dallas to rocking chairs in Charlotte, N.C., airports gussy up the pre-flight experience.

By Bruce Schoenfeld

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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It was a brilliant idea. Some enlightened employee put a ping-pong table, two paddles and a ball in the main terminal of Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport, just outside security. Immediately my fears of a delayed flight became fantasies. Let a storm roll in off the lake! I'd hold court for hours, whacking slams from check-in all the way to baggage claim.

Once upon a time, an airport was a glorified waiting room, a quick pit stop en route to boarding the plane, where a trip officially started -- with a drink before takeoff, a flip through the in-flight magazine, a long stretch of the legs in anticipation of being well-treated.

These days, air travel is … well, you know how it is. Because of reduced schedules that make layovers longer, and unpredictable traffic jams at security checkpoints that force us to show up hours in advance "just in case," we're spending more time inside airports than ever. That's a pain. But it's also an opportunity.