Airport napping rooms finally make American debut

Those long layovers spent slouched on uncomfortable airport chairs or, worse, on the carpets, may soon be over. Beginning this month, passengers transiting through the bustling Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport are able to catch a few winks before hopping on that connecting flight elsewhere.



The USA Today reports that the Minute Suite rooms, at 7 feet by 8 feet, are about the size of two office cubicles and equipped with a daybed sofa, pillows and blankets. They also have a system that tunes out noise. For the business traveler, the rooms come with a small desk, Internet access and a flat-screen 32-inch monitor hooked up to Direct TV. Similar nap rooms may soon appear at airports in other parts of the country.
It's nice to finally have U.S. airports make some effort toward customer service. Last year, the air travel industry's customer satisfaction report card was nothing to brag about. Flight delays and cancellations caused by weather, air traffic issues and staff and service cutbacks, made customer satisfaction nosedive in 2008, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 North America Airport Satisfaction Study. Although the new nap rooms don't yet come with spa and shower amenities like their counterparts in Asia and Europe, they are still a welcome change.

The news should especially bring cheer to passengers who get stuck this holiday season in the Atlanta airport -- already notorious for its flight delays and heavy traffic . But at $30 an hour, the comforts may seem expensive to many, especially at a time when consumers are holding on to their purse strings.

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