Travel can be exhilarating, but let’s face it, it can also be exhausting. There’s something about airports that can turn even the most seasoned traveller into a bleary-eyed wanderer in search of comfort. This is where airport sleeping pods come in – a game-changer for those long layovers or unexpected delays. As someone who has napped in places ranging from uncomfortable airport benches to cozy hotel beds, I’ve got the inside scoop on these futuristic sleep havens. So, let’s dive in!
Understanding airport sleeping pods
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what these pods are. Airport sleeping pods are small, self-contained units designed for short-term rest. They’re a bit like a cross between a sci-fi escape pod and a compact hotel room, offering a private and quiet space in the midst of the airport hustle and bustle.
Features to look for
Not all pods are created equal. Some are basic, offering just a bed and a charging port, while others are like mini luxury suites. Here are a few features to keep an eye out for:
- Comfortable bedding: Because nobody wants a crick in their neck when they wake up.
- Power outlets: To keep your devices charged and ready to go.
- Wi-Fi access: For those who need to stay connected.
- Privacy and security: You want to feel safe and secluded.
- Climate control: Because nobody likes waking up in a sweat.
The cost factor
Prices vary widely depending on the airport and the type of pod. You could be looking at anything from $15 for a quick nap to over $100 for a night’s stay. Remember, it’s usually cheaper to book in advance.
My personal experience
As a frequent traveller, I’ve tried a few of these pods, and let me tell you, they can be a lifesaver. I once had a 10-hour layover in Dubai, and the sleeping pod there was like finding an oasis in a desert. However, I’ve also been in pods that felt more like a claustrophobic’s nightmare than a restful haven. So, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
The good, the bad, and the snugly
- The good: Some pods are so well-equipped it’s tempting to miss your flight!
- The bad: Inconsistent quality. Some pods can be a bit worn out or not as clean as you’d hope.
- The snugly: Most pods are compact, which is great for feeling cozy but not so much if you’re claustrophobic.
Locations and availability
Airport sleeping pods are popping up all over the world, from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam. Major hubs like Tokyo’s Narita and London’s Heathrow are leading the way. However, they’re not available in all airports, so it’s worth checking in advance.
Booking sleeping pods in top US airports
Navigating the bustling airports in the United States can be a challenge, but for those in need of a rest, sleeping pods offer a unique solution. Let’s explore how to book these little havens of tranquility in some of the top US airports.
New York’s JFK Airport
JFK’s Terminal 5 is where you’ll find these modern marvels. You can book them through various online platforms or directly at the airport. It’s advisable to book in advance through the airport’s website, especially during holiday seasons.
- GoSleep Pods: Located near Gate 23, these luxurious pods offer a comfortable long leather mattress, a breathable privacy screen, a reading light, electrical outlets, and optional noise-cancelling headphones. You can book online at https://airportllc.com/sleep/pods/sleep-pods-jfk/ or directly at the GoSleep kiosk in Terminal 5.
- JetBlue Sleep Suites: Available exclusively to JetBlue Business Class passengers, these private suites offer a comfortable bed, a TV, Wi-Fi, and a charging station. You can book these suites by contacting JetBlue customer service.
- Minute Suites: Located near Gate B39, Minute Suites offer private, soundproofed rooms with a comfortable bed, a TV, Wi-Fi, a workspace, and optional shower access. You can book online at https://minutesuites.com/locations/.
- Escape Pods: Located in Terminals 1, 7, and 8, Escape Pods offer basic, single-person pods for napping or sleeping. Pods come equipped with a comfortable chair, TV, Wi-Fi, and a charging station. Some pods even have massage chairs or showers available. You can book Escape Pods online at https://escape-pods.com/locations/jfk/ or directly at their kiosks in the terminals.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
This busy hub also offers sleeping pods. The best way to book is online via the airport’s website or a third-party site. If you’re more of a spontaneous traveller, you can try your luck with walk-in availability, but there’s no guarantee, especially during peak travel times.
My recommendation: Minute Suites offer private, soundproofed pods where you can nap, relax, or work. They come equipped with a comfortable chair, a TV, and Wi-Fi. Some locations also have showers available.
To book a Minute Suite online, visit their website and select your desired location and date. You can then choose from a variety of pod sizes and amenities.
Here are the links to book Minute Suites online at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport:
- Concourse B (Gate B16): https://minutesuites.com/locations/reservations-atlanta-b16/
- Concourse B (Gate B24): https://minutesuites.com/locations/reservations-atlanta-b24/
- Concourse E (Atrium): https://minutesuites.com/locations/reservations-atlanta-e/
- Concourse F (near Gate F6): https://minutesuites.com/locations/reservations-atlanta-f/
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
O’Hare has been on the forefront of offering comfortable sleeping options for travellers. You can book these pods online, and I recommend checking out O’Hare’s official website for the most up-to-date information and booking procedures. My recommendations are as follows:
- Escape Pods: Located in Terminals 1, 3, and 5, Escape Pods offer private, soundproofed spaces for napping, relaxing, or working. They come equipped with a comfortable chair, TV, Wi-Fi, and a charging station. Some pods even have massage chairs or showers available. You can book Escape Pods online at https://escape-pods.com/locations/ord/ or directly at their kiosks in the terminals.
- Snooze Pods: Snooze Pods are available in Terminal 5 at ORD. They offer basic, single-person pods for napping or sleeping. Pods come equipped with a comfortable bed, linens, earplugs, and an eye mask. You can book Snooze Pods online at https://www.sleepinginairports.net/sleep-guide/sleeping-in-chicago-ohare-airport.htm or at their kiosk in Terminal 5.
- The Spa at O’Hare: If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, The Spa at O’Hare offers private relaxation rooms that can be booked for 30-minute or 60-minute increments. Rooms come equipped with a comfortable recliner, aromatherapy, and calming music. The spa also offers a variety of massage and other spa treatments. You can book appointments online at https://m.yelp.com/biz/terminal-getaway-spa-chicago-4 or by calling 708-696-4444.
San Francisco International Airport
Unfortunately, there are no dedicated pod sleeping facilities like Minute Suites or Escape Pods available for booking at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) as of today, January 26, 2024.
However, there are still a few options for getting some rest at the airport:
- Nap Rooms: The Freshen Up! facility in the International Terminal G offers nap rooms for rent by the hour. These rooms are equipped with a comfortable recliner, blankets, and earplugs. You can book a nap room online at https://www.flysfo.com/passengers/shop-dine-relax/freshen or by visiting the Freshen Up! kiosk in the International Terminal G.
Tips for booking in US airports
- Check the airport’s official website: They often have the most accurate and up-to-date information.
- Use reputable booking platforms: This ensures a secure transaction and often provides the best rates.
- Read the fine print: Make sure you understand the cancellation policy and any additional fees.
- Consider peak travel times: During holidays and summer months, book as early as possible.
- Look for package deals: Sometimes, you can find packages that include lounge access or other amenities.
A final word on US airport pods
The US is gradually embracing the concept of airport sleeping pods. While not as widespread as in some international airports, major hubs are catching up. These pods offer a much-needed respite for weary travellers, and with a bit of planning, you can easily incorporate them into your travel itinerary.
Tips for a great pod experience
- Pack earplugs and an eye mask: Even in a pod, airports can be noisy.
- Set an alarm: It’s easy to oversleep when you’re that comfy.
- Keep your belongings safe: Use the storage provided in the pod.
- Check the check-out time: Avoid any extra charges by leaving on time.
In conclusion, airport sleeping pods are a true game-changer for travellers seeking comfort during their journeys. From the cozy, futuristic pods in JFK to the serene havens in San Francisco International Airport, these facilities are increasingly becoming a staple in major US airports and around the world.
Whether you’re booking online in advance or taking a chance with walk-ins, these pods offer privacy, comfort, and a unique experience in the often hectic airport environment. By understanding what to look for, how to book, and the tips for a great pod experience, travellers can transform their layovers into restful, rejuvenating pauses. So next time you find yourself with a long layover or an unexpected delay, consider taking refuge in one of these snug little pods – it might just become your favorite part of traveling.