Hot New Concept in Airport Relaxation

On a quick layover in Atlanta, I had an opportunity to check out Minute Suites, a new service for travelers who want a quiet break. It was reported in USA Today here.

I’ve got to say, it’s a pretty interesting concept. For $30, travelers can have an hour of peace and quiet in a private room. And this is quite a feature-rich room.

You get a bed, desk, alarm clock, large screen monitor which can be used as a tv (satellite hookup) or a computer monitor, and an amazing eight power outlets. If you wish, the monitor can even track your flight or someone else’s flight.

Already this might be enough to make someone shun the airport lounges but Minute Suites is not done. For those who desire rest, they offer disposable pillow covers, a blanket that is nicer than what you get on an airplane (which you can keep) and an audio program they claim will give you the feeling of three hours of sleep in only 26 minutes.

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If you prefer to simply get work done or just relax, these suites – Minute Suites calls them Travelers Retreats – provide most everything you need. They offer a computer with high speed internet, a desk to work from, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. Alternatively, you can relax on the provided sofa bed and operate the computer or tv right from there.

Adding another touch of luxury, Minute Suites includes a hot towel service for guests. You can also control the room temperature, and each suite has a ceiling exhaust fan as well as a sprinkler system.

If sleep is the preferred choice, you can awake to either their supplied alarm clock, a call to your cell phone, or a polite knock on the door. After all, the pleasant staff does not want you to miss your flight. I suggested they consider also offering ear plugs and sleep masks like you get on trans-con flights. We’ll see what comes of that.

They claim the rooms have a “sound masking system” but if I had to pick on a weak point, this would be it. Even with the door closed it was easy to hear some of the chatter in the terminal as well as voices in the next room.

Understandably, no food or drink is allowed in the rooms. They are just being realistic here. Really, how many people want that Burger King smell when they are trying to take a nap?

The cost is $30 for the first hour and $7.50 for each additional fifteen minutes. I wondered whether this was a lot so I compared it to the airport lounge fees.

The fees for existing lounges are typically $40-50 per day, per person. However, that price includes at least some food and drink, as well as showers and meeting rooms in some lounges. 

On the other hand, the lounges are certainly much more crowded, power outlets more sparse, and there is never a place to lie down and sleep.  For more about airport lounges, check out this article.

The Minute Suites rate applies regardless of how many use the room. In other words, the charge may seem pricey for only one person but for two or more, the price is more appealing. For four people, the cost is quite modest and yes, four can fit in these rooms quite easily.

Presently there is only one Minute Suites location in the U.S., and it’s in the Atlanta airport in Terminal B.
Their current hours are 7am-11pm. This is good enough to accommodate most travelers who want a nice break. 

If you have sufficient time between flights while traveling through Atlanta, this may be just the thing for you.

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