Layover Stress Begone: ‘Relaxation Rooms’ Debuting at U.S. Airports

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Business travelers most commonly frequent airport mini-suites.

If the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport mimics a small city, then why not have small hotel rooms to match?

Atlanta-based Minute Suites LLC has created its own solution to airport stress, creating mini-rooms within airport terminals that offer fliers a rent-by-the-hour option for a daybed, television, desk and free wireless Internet. The company has already opened in Atlanta and Philadelphia and will add Minneapolis and Dallas-Fort Worth this year.

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The tiny rooms add to the growing amenities offered within airports, especially large airports such as Minneapolis-St. Paul, a Delta Airlines hub, that already boasts a spa, hair salon and gourmet-style restaurants. Minute Suites says over half its users are business travelers, which makes sense.

The “relaxation rooms” may allow some quiet time for doing work or watching television, but the sleeping factor will surely attract those exhausted on a long layover. There’s just something appealing about a flat, solid surface with a bit of cushion (sleeping across bumpy and gap-filled chairs doesn’t entice too many folks). Plus, that clever feature of a door adds a much-needed boundary between your shut eyes and the supremely bored children who always seem to consider you the most entertaining item in the entire airport.

While the concept remains relatively new in the U.S., European and Asian travelers may find the trend surprisingly normal. Industry watchers say the trend has been slow to catch on in the U.S. because of the relatively cheap nearby hotels, unlike the often-pricey offerings in Europe and Asia.

In Minneapolis, the 14 “relaxation rooms” being built on Concourse D in Terminal 1 will start at $30 for the first 30 minutes and $120 for an overnight stay. But without bathrooms inside, customers must plan their stay wisely.

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