Arrived early for a flight taking off in the early hours from the Kempegowda International Airport? No worries, because you could now relax in ‘Sleeping Pods’, five of which were installed at the airport’s international departure terminal a month ago.
The Pods look like mini-beds with mobile/laptop charging points and safe spots to store hand baggage. The Sleeping Pod Lounge was introduced as a pilot on October 18. The pilot will run for six months and if the passenger response is good, it will be regularised, says a Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) spokesperson.
Built by Aviserv Airport Services, the pods are also equipped with a moveable shade which can be pulled down partially or fully to shut out light, sound and outside movement completely. But these could get even fancier as seen in a few international airports.
Some are equipped with high-definition TV screens. The response from international passengers so far has been really good, notes the spokesperson. “Although we are not a transit airport, passengers who show up early for a 2 am or 3 am flight have started using these. It is not an alternative to a hotel room, but a good option for a few hours of relaxation.” But the Pods, even in the pilot stage, are not free. The BIAL has fixed a rate of Rs 700 for one hour, Rs 1,200 for two hours and Rs 1,400 for three hours. The prices are inclusive of taxes.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, was the first in India to set up this facility. Aviserv says: “Passengers can now look forward to catching their next flight feeling refreshed and well-rested.” But what if they oversleep? To address this, some international airports abroad with sleeping pods have posted airport staffers to wake up passengers at a predetermined time so that they do not miss a flight.