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|Travel: Napping Nooks make layovers desirable|
|by Jo Giraudo|
|October 19, 2010 11:36|
The next time you are at the Atlanta airport, and on Concourse B, look for them. The Minute Suites are around Gate 15 and are the latest national trend. Hartfield-Jackson is the first airport in the country to test these traveler retreats. Since November 2009 the napping nooks have offered layover passengers a place to relax, conduct business or sleep.
The five private rooms measure 7’x8’ and are enveloped in sound masking walls. There is a daybed, workstation, HDTV, computer and wifi. The tv can switch from satellite programming to the airport tracking system. The diverse staff is friendly and enthusiastic.
The concept has exploded and the Atlanta-based company is expanding into 30 airports across the country. Minute Suites will open its second location in Philadelphia National Airport in March 2011. There will be 13 rooms.
It will cost you a minimum of $30 for one hour of privacy. Each additional 15 minutes cost $7.50. An overnight stay, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., is $120. Will these rooms be taxed as hotels? Is there adequate cleanliness oversite? Will they create a sort of red light district within the airports? Atlanta test results will be interesting.
Sleep pods are also showing up in airport atriums. MetroNaps developed white, ladle-shaped, power napping pods and sold them to Vancouver International airport. They will soon expand east to rival Minute Suites. Attendants watch your belongings while you put on the headphones and drift off to sleep. You will be awakened by a soft vibration. The $12 for 20 minute cost includes post-nap peppermints and citrus-scented towelettes.
Less desirable multi stop and red eye trips could soon become popular. Passengers may want to schedule Minute Suites into their business or leisure travel. Then it won’t be long until airlines increase the fares for the last of the cheap seats.
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