Finding some private space to work, sleep or just keep your distance while waiting for a flight at an airport is getting easier with more sleep pods becoming available

31 July, 2020

In the heady days when we were all jetting around the world for endless meetings it was a frequent occurrence that we had to wait at an airport, often for many hours, for a connecting flight. Lying down to actually get some sleep was a rare pleasure. Finding somewhere private to get those important emails and reports written could be a real challenge, even if you had access to a premium lounge.

It may be sometime before our flight schedules mean many lengthy waits at airports but when it does it’s good to know that there are an increasing number of private sleep pods available at airports around the world.

Most of these are rented by the hour so you can just check in, set an alarm and get some shuteye or plug in and get some quality work done, or maybe just while away a few hours with a good book while keeping some distance from your fellow passengers. Some of the pods are within lounges so you’d need to have access to the lounge first but there are an increasing number in terminal buildings too. Some even have bathroom facilities so you can freshen up.

There is always the option of checking into an airport hotel for a few hours but that’s not always possible, either because of finances or time available. If you want to make the most out of those few hours you have and don’t want to leave the airport then one of these sleep pods could be the answer.

There are a variety of different styles operating and how they handle cleanliness in these days of Covid-19 is going to be an issue but many are providing full comprehensive cleaning regimes after every use to keep us safe so it’s worth checking them out. There are many across the world.

At Dubai International Airport you can currently find sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounges at Terminals 1 and 3 with some sleep pods also available within third party lounges. A new one will be opened in the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal lounge. The concept belongs to ONGROUND Hospitality, recently acquired by Airport Dimensions, which offers sleep pods and cabins that operate on the pay by the hour basis. Another sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge is apparently about to be launched outside the UAE too.

Dulles International Airport in Washington DC has a Sleepbox Lounge located in Concourse A. There are 16 private rooms with 24/7 concierge and maintenance service and you can book by the hour. There are a range of sizes depending on your desired level of comfort and how much you want to pay. Sleepbox is planning to expand to more airports across the US.

At Munich, Berlin Tegel and Frankfurt airports there are Napcabs available. In Munich they are in four different locations throughout the terminal building, next to Gates G, H and L and also next to the Service Centre. In Berlin Tegel there is just one located in Terminal B and in Frankfurt in Building 301/302.

The cabins are fully self service and provide a bed, workspace, multimedia touch screen, docking stations, air conditioning and flight information. There is space to store your luggage and hang a coat. Cabins are locked after use so cannot be used again until fully cleaned.

The sleep pod found in the most locations worldwide is GoSleep. These contemporary Finnish designed seats provide a comfortable chair that reclines back into a flat bed should you wish. There is space for hand luggage under the seat and multiple docking station points.

If you put the seat into a full recline then there is a sliding pull down privacy shade that helps block out distractions and background noise. Soft interior lighting makes for a restful time while you while away the hours, although ear plugs are recommended.

These GoSleep pods can currently be found airside in Amsterdam, Helsinki, Perth, Moscow, BeloHorizonte, Dubai, Baku, Tallinn, Hangzhou, Xi’an, Beijing, New York JFK, Mumbai, Bangalore, Haneda and Abu Dhabi airports.

When we all get back to travelling, have to wait for a transfer flight and want some personal space it’s worth checking out if any of these, or others, are at the airport. Even if you just have a couple of hours it could be worth having some quiet space to work and stay socially distanced.