We’ve all been there — it’s a snow storm, rain delay or mechanical issue and you’re stranded in an airport. Your flight is delayed or cancelled with no solution in sight. Your only hope to get some sleep is sitting up in an uncomfortable plastic chair, surrounded by others attempting the same thing. Then, the thought hits you in a moment of hangery and exhausted frustration, ‘I would give my first born to comfortably lay horizontally for even just a few minutes! When will someone invent sleeping pods for airports already?’ Well, the time is finally here. A number of companies are cornering the market in accessible sleep units. Unfortunately getting them into airports is another matter.
Sleep pod options for business travelers
A well-rested employee is a happy employee. Along with taking vacation, people who sleep well are more productive. This may be why we’re seeing a trend of sleep pods in offices. Business travelers need this rest as well. Below are a handful of sleep pod companies entering airports.
- izZzleep- Opened sleep capsules in the Mexico City airport earlier this year. It includes hourly rates, nightly rates and even showers.
- Yotel Ltd.- A mini-hotel operator which can be found in four European airports. You can find Yotel at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, London Gatwick Airport, and London Heathrow Airport. They also offer mini-hotel options in New York, Boston, and soon San Francisco and Singapore, with hopes to be opening in American airports soon.
- NapCity- Found in the Munich airport, they offer a tiny escape with a small bed, internet access and tv. Charges are calculated on the actual time of use. And the cleaning staff is notified to sanitize and clean the cabin after each session.
- MinuteSuites offer comfortable cabins to nap, relax or work. They can be found at the Hartsfeild-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Sleep pods in airports
With so many companies entering the field, why are sleeping pods in airports not a common and frequent occurrence. As Skift describes in a recent article, there is often resistance from the airports themselves. Revenue is the driving factor against commonplace sleep pods. Why sleep when you could spend time in a bookstore, duty-free shop or restaurant? This is especially conflicting since most sleep pod companies would prefer to be located inside security checkpoints, directly competing with these other options.
Another obstacle, is disrupting the relationships between airports and the nearby hotels. When cancellations and delays hit airports, these hotels are bombarded by the wary traveler. What happens to them if efficient sleep pods care readily available without leaving their gate? How does this affect local ground transportation companies too?
Most sleep companies are asking for a longer-term lease commitment, in order for airports to realize the proper return of the business model, says Jo Berrington, a vice president at Yotel. She also said in the Skift article that the company’s ideal airport business size is about 60 – 150 cabins. Can you imagine a sleep pod colony of this size?
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