Business, Economics and Jobs

Abu Dhabi airport debuts world's first cocoonlike sleep pods


A man sleeps amongst the luggage of his traveling companions near the Air Australia ticket counter at Honolulu International Airport on Thursday, Feb. 16 , 2012.


Kent Nishimura

Weary travelers looking to catch a nap inside an airport can rarely escape the noise and bustle of the terminal. But one airport has a unique, egg-shaped solution.

But this week, Abu Dhabi International Airport unveiled cocoonlike sleeping chambers inside one of its terminals. The 10 GoSleep pods are chairs that convert into flat beds and feature a sliding shade that isolates the occupant from noise, light and crowds.

The GoSleep pods, designed in Finland, cost about $12.25 per hour of use.

Thirty-five additional pods will be installed later this year with upgrades, including Web access, secure storage for luggage and other valuables, and power ports to charge laptops, mobile telephones and other devices.

"Abu Dhabi Airports Company continually strives to enhance the experience of passengers travelling to, from or via Abu Dhabi International Airport," Mohammed Al Bulooki, the airport's chief commercial officer, said in a statement. "The introduction of 'GoSleep' sleeping pods is another step towards exceeding customers' expectations and delivering world-class levels of service."

While in-terminal freestanding chairs are new, podlike units have been around for some time.

Several airports around the world offer sleepy travelers "micro hotels" with accommodations that range from capsules that the user must crawl into, to compartments the size of a small bedroom.

And several pod hotels have popped up in worldwide cities—including New York, Tokyo and Bangkok—as an alternative to traditional hotel rooms for short-duration stays or budget-conscious travelers.

So, road warriors ... would you plunk down some cash to snooze in an airport pod, or do it old school and lie down on an empty row of gate-side chairs?

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