Flight de­layed? Re­lax in pod ho­tel

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By SHI XIAOFENG in Hangzhou and XIN DINGDING in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers at shixf@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

“Whenyou 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 wakeup 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.

ZhuHui, aHangzhou res­i­dent and a fre­quent trav­eler, said the pod ho­tel is an eco­nom­i­cal choice for peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing de­lays.

“I al­ways get ag­i­tated whenmy 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.

SU BIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A pas­sen­ger takes a rest at a pod at Xiaoshan In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, on Tues­day.

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