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Do the Current Airport Nap Options Leave Out the Budget Traveler?

February 21, 2014 at 1:23 PM | by | ()

Over the past few years, we've reported on the increase in opportunities for private naps and showers popping up at airports across the globe. Just yesterday, we told you about an opportunity in Vancouver, and we've also dished on other ways to rest and refresh during layovers, including Napcabs, Sleepboxes, and Yotels.

The quality these havens vary and thus, so does the price. In some cases, admission is included in business class tickets, but those flying economy are on their own. Some have different minimum lengths of stay, while others will let you rent by the hour. In the case of Napcab, rates start at about 10 Euros an hour.

Now, that sounds pretty reasonable up front, but consider a 3-hour nap at this rate. That would cost 30 Euros, or just over $40. That's the equivalent of a $266/night hotel room, assuming the semi-standard 20-hour hotel room purchase, checking in at 3 p.m. and out at 11 a.m. (40/3 = 266/20). Is $266 a night a budget-friendly rate? Not so much.

So, in all the excitement over the chance to get under the covers at the airport, we forgot to ask the million dollar questions: How much are we willing to pay for it, and do the current options leave out budget travelers? We've talked about this before, the fact that airports in remodel mode tend to forget about those of us counting our pennies.

The silver lining, we suppose, is that as business and upscale travelers move into the lounges and rent-a-beds, we'll be able to upgrade from the floor to stretching out on the seats next to the gate.

[Photos: Flickr]

Archived Comments:

No economy napping

Why would a budget traveler expect to be able to find a cheap "nap" station in the first place? It is a luxury after all. Space at airports, and the services required to maintain that space, are expensive! If I were a budget traveler, I would never expect to have such a luxury available in an airport for a cheap price. That is what budget travel means.

Re: No economy napping

Not sure I agree with that logic. I think the main, long term goal of an airport is to facilitate travel, and to create an experience that makes people want to choose its service (flying) over the other options (train, etc) in the future. Making airports comfortable places to be for all people, regardless of what budget they are on, only benefits them in the long run. It's like Sky Harbor's decision to have all its restaurants charge "street prices." The purpose is to give people a good experience. They could totally charge more, but they don't, because eating a reasonably priced meal is not a luxury, it's a reasonable expectation of comfort while traveling. I kind of see the idea of a comfort station in the same way. My hope is that airports can see beyond dollar signs from high end travelers and try to please all passengers. For every luxury lounge or expensive trendy restaurant, there should also be a reasonably priced establishment. Otherwise, we're just creating high-end shopping malls.