You're stuck in an airport with several hours between long-haul flights, it's the middle of the night, you're desperate for some quiet and rest – where to go?
Terminal hotels are great but not all terminals have one, and they can be expensive for just a few hours. Business lounges are better than the main concourse but not much chance of lying down for a nap. The in-between solution is the sleeping pod, now making an appearance at airports around the world.
At the upper end, the Yotel, found at London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Amsterdam's Schiphol, is the Ritz of airport sleep pods. Inside each you'll find a workstation, flat-screen TV, bed, power point and even a bathroom with monsoon shower. Hot drinks are complimentary and there's 24-hour room service.
A more basic version is Abu Dhabi Airport's GoSleep, basically an armchair that converts to a bed with a roll-top for privacy. Dubai Airport has recently installed a dedicated sleep lounge with single Igloo pods, essentially the same as the Go-Sleep, and Yawn double cabins, with a double bed, bedside table, baggage storage, a fold-down table and even a kid-size pull-out mattress, all packed into four square metres of interior space.
Just a few steps outside Tokyo Narita's Terminal 2, the 9H capsule hotel is a very Japanese solution to the terminal sleeping pod. Stow your clothes and luggage in a locker, take a shower – towels, shampoo, conditioner and toothbrush provided – slip into the sleepwear provided then head for your snug capsule.
Munich, New Delhi, Hanoi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Italy's Bergamo and Moscow's Sheremetyevo are among the airports that now offer sleeping pods. In the USA, the Minute Suites are the same concept, now blossoming at airports nationwide.