Flight delayed? Relax in pod hotel

Updated: 2016-09-22 08:06

By Shi Xiaofeng in Hangzhou and Xin Dingding in Beijing(China Daily)

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Miniature hotel rooms, or pods, have become popular in New York because of their cheap prices. Now they are showing up in China and are expected to serve travelers in airports during flight delays.

In the first week since its opening last Tuesday at Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, a new "pod hotel" named Take A Nap has attracted more than 200 customers.

Take A Nap has 10 pods and 28 business class beds in a total area of 309 square meters in the airport's arrival hall.

The pods are imported from Finland and cost about 40,000 yuan ($6,000) each.

"When you are lying in the pod, you feel like a bean between two shells, said Zheng Fang, the hotel manager. "There is no roof or fixed cover, but you can draw up a movable curtain to enjoy a private space."

Take A Nap also offers additional services, including a shower, Wi-Fi, a wake-up call and luggage storage, Zheng said. It charges 60 yuan for four hours in a pod and 10 yuan for each additional hour.

For an overnight stay, the price is 120 yuan for 10 hours between 10 pm and 8 am, she said.

A passenger surnamed Chen, who stayed in a pod on Wednesday, said he flew in from Qingdao in the morning but had to wait for a colleague coming from somewhere else.

"This hotel is just what I need to take a rest while waiting," he said.

Zhu Hui, a Hangzhou resident and a frequent traveler, said the pod hotel is an economical choice for people experiencing delays.

"I always get agitated when my flight is delayed for several hours," she said. "Should I wait at the airport or go back home? The pod hotel is clean, and if the price remains low, as it is now, it's worth a try."

Wang Jian, former secretary-general of the China Civil Airports Association, said pod hotels will come in handy for passengers who want privacy and an internet connection but don't care much about comfort. Young passengers and businesspeople are more likely to use such facilities, he said. "But we still need to wait and see if there is good market response."

According to media reports, capsule accommodations have opened at Tokyo International and Narita International airports in Tokyo, as well as at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Contact the writers at shixf@chinadaily.com.cn

 Flight delayed? Relax in pod hotel

A passenger takes a rest at a pod at Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Tuesday.Su Bin / For China Daily

(China Daily 09/22/2016 page5)