What do you do if you’re waiting for a connecting flight but have a long delay? Or if you’re travelling with a young child who is cranky if they don’t get a proper nap, what do you do then? The answer comes in a 6ft by 2ft pod that is light proof, sound proof and comfy enough to sleep in.
Helsinki is the third airport to install these GoSleep capsules after Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as it is the biggest hub used by passengers connecting from Western Europe to Asia. The sleeping pods can be used by anyone looking to get some rest in the airport and are charged by the hour. The GoSleep pods have a reclining seat, large blind, charging point and luggage compartment to make sure the occupant is comfy and secure while they get some sleep.
The cocoons are charged at $9.70 per hour and provide a refuge for passengers with a gap between flights or who have delays in their schedule. This makes them much cheaper than a hotel room, which is the only other option for travellers bar the floor. Being able to pay for just a few hours of comfort instead of a whole night makes a big difference, and maybe that is why the pods are becoming so popular.
Helsinki currently has 19 permanent pods and may install more in the future if they prove to be a big hit. Abu Dhabi was the first airport to install GoSleep pods last year and offers pillows, blankets and headrest covers to travellers as well as selling eye masks, socks and earplug separately. Helsinki, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are some of the busiest hub airports in the world that have built their business model on catering for passengers changing flights. Over 80% of passengers at Dubai International airport are transit passengers changing flights and, while some love to eat or shop, many also wish to nap. Dubai has also installed 10 Snooze Cubes which are 8ft by 6ft and are like a mini room. These contain photos of holiday destinations and are made in New Zealand.
Munich has gone for a different approach and has installed eight Napcabs that have wi-fi and allow passengers to charge their devices. These allow travellers to sleep for two hours at the price of $33 and are cheaper between 10pm and 6am. GoSleep pods, however, are looking to be the favourite for airports with other hub-style terminals in Asia, the US and Europe interested in installing them. Between 500 and 1000 are estimated to be installed this year and will give passengers a cost effective choice for mid-travel napping.
According to Napcabs, the usual guest is too tired to find another option and will sleep for two or three hours in the day and five or six during the night. The majority of guests are transit passengers and over half travel on business, but the small cabins also become popular with other passengers when there are many delays. Napcabs, along with Snooze Cubes and GoSleep pods are also popular with parents that have small children as they allow the child to sleep in a proper bed for a short while.
While these passenger friendly beds may not influence your choice of airport, they will definitely be a great convenience to you while travelling, especially if you experience long delays or stopovers. Expect to see more of them appearing at airports over the course of the year.