Something about waiting in airports induces a special kind of madness. If you’ve been travelling long enough, are there early or late enough, or have to wait long enough between flights, your brain just kind of snaps. All bets are off. If you’ve been on a plane for 8 hours only to have to wait in the terminal at Changi Airport for another 13 hours before you connect to your next flight (real example), you will do anything to achieve a modicum of comfort. Sleeping upright? Sure. Sleeping over several seats? No worries. Sleeping on the floor using your backpack like a pillow as travellers walk around you? Why not!
But that’s not what you want — it is not by any means the ideal situation. What you want is a comfortable, flattish surface to lie down, and a way to give yourself some semblance of privacy as you snore like a cartoon character. Introducing: the sleeping pod. You might be familiar with these from those videos of Google HQ, or from airports in countries that are better than Australia.
Soon you might be familiar with them from airports that are actually in Australia, with Perth Airport beginning trials from today in concert with Smarte Carte and Finnish company GoSleep. The eight pods, installed in Terminal 1, can be booked in advance, and will cost from $12 an hour.
The pods come equipped with a”specially designed sleek chair similar to a business class flatbed“, with storage for luggage underneath the bed, a moveable shade for privacy, and USB and power outlets for charging.
In a statement, Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said the sleeping pods will be grouse for people with long periods between flights (our words):
As Australia’s Western Hub, passengers connect their flights in a variety of ways, many of those with a short stopover. These sleeping pods provide them and the broader travelling public with a place to relax in comfort. It’s part of our commitment to deliver an efficient and modern airport that provides the level of service and facilities that Western Australia deserves.