Private Bedrooms (Capsules) at Airports -- Powerful New Venture

Casule bedrooms in London's Gatwick airport are just the beginning of something new. A brilliant entrepreneurial idea that will sweep through the airports of the world in short order. Just when you think the next great idea will be hard to come by, think of a private bed just feet away when flights are cancelled or delayed and you are far from home. I have nothing to do with this emerging company (Yotel), but I am sold on the idea. Who wouldn't be in today's dismal air travel environment.

Capsule bedrooms in London's Gatwick airport are just the beginning of something new.  A brilliant entrepreneurial idea that will sweep through the airports of the world in short order.  Just when you think the next great idea will be hard to come by, think of a private bed just feet away when flights are cancelled or delayed and you are far from home.  I have nothing to do with this emerging company (Yotel), but I am sold on the idea.  Who wouldn't be in today's dismal air travel environment? Yotel is modeled on the Japanese capsule hotels.  The venture is designed to follow the class system of the airlines -- first, business, and economy.  The small bedrooms go from first class luxury to standard -- different beds and other features.  Anyone who travels frequently, and there are many of us, can see where this idea will go -- and how fast.  I can even see deals between this business and the airlines where one pays with frequent flyer miles.I bet these guys will have a lot of competition as well.  I certainly hope so.  I can't wait for these to come to the States.  

 

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    July 16, 2007

    I don't know. Are there enough stranded travelers to make this an economically feasible business. I can see a shower service but not sure I would use a hotel - and I used to travel quite a bit.

    Thanks for the article.

  • Anonymous

    July 16, 2007

    I am decidedly less sanguine about this. The better European carriers - Virgin and BA - as well as the better Asian carriers - Singapore and Quantas - have been offering bed/concierge services to their passengers connecting through their hubs in upper classes for years. So, the business opportunity here is very small - it would only be particularly attractive to layover passengers on long haul flights who are flying economy, most of whom aren't going to be willing to pay for these services.

  • Anonymous

    July 16, 2007

    Any widespread application of this in the US would need to rely on airline service and delays becoming still worse which may not necessarily be a bad bet.

  • Anonymous

    July 16, 2007

    There is a long list of amenities that are better for both layover long-haul travelers and those stranded at an airport than a tiny little claustrophobic closet. For starters try city or area tours, outdoor lounges or gyms. I admire the vision of improving the travel experience, but there are better places to start.

  • Anonymous

    July 17, 2007

    Dumb idea going nowhere. Airports already have cheap hotels. Why would I go to sleep and risk missing my flight if the delay is only a couple of hours?

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