Wouldn’t it be nice to get a nap when your flight has been delayed? What about when you’re traveling on the cheap and you have a layover that lasts a few hours? Airports around the world are considering this issue and some have incorporated sleeping pods into their design. Are soundproof sleeping pods really a good idea or could there be problems with this idea?

What Are Sleeping Pods?

Sleeping pods are roughly the size of a recliner, but completely cover the person sleeping inside to provide an environment that is free of noise, light, and other interruptions. They don’t use traditional soundproofing materials like mass loaded vinyl or green glue, but some airports even plan on including secure storage space, internet access, and power outlets for electronics. In Abu Dhabi, users are charged $12 per hour to use these sleeping pods. If the user will only be laid over for a couple hours, this can be a great substitute for an expensive hotel room. Not to mention, that passengers won’t have to worry about getting back to the airport on time.

How Could They Be Beneficial?

The most obvious benefit is being able to sleep comfortably in the airport. No longer are passengers having to curl up on uncomfortable seating for a power nap. Another huge advantage is having a place to stay when bad weather has grounded your flight and all the local hotels are booked. Even if you don’t want to nap, a sleeping pod offers a quite environment away from other passengers.

What Could Go Wrong?

Soundproof sleeping pods may offer the ultimate solution to getting a good nap in an airport, but are they truly safe? If a fire were to occur, would those inside sleep pods be able to escape? While fires are a rare thing, it’s something to consider. Another problem is hearing updates about flights. If your flight is grounded, taking a nap in a soundproof pod could result in missing your new flight. Last, but not least, you do have question how sanitary these pods will be. Will they be cleaned on a daily basis or will you be curling up in someone else’s germs?

A soundproof sleeping pod may sound like the greatest technology to the traveling businessman, but are they a good option? Obviously, there are many benefits, but there are also some safety issues to consider. Whether or not these pods become a popular option in America is unknown. However, the airport in Abu Dhabi plans to install 35 more pods this year, bringing the total to over fifty. Who knows. These may become the next big thing.