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Could Capsule Hotels In Airports Reinvent Long Layovers?
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High demand

Statista forecasts that carriers will have served over 4.5 billion passengers by the time this year is over. This is more than double the number of people served 15 years ago. To cope with the demand, some airports have already built in-house hotels. Meanwhile, others have introduced sleeping pods, which can be famously found at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

However, to balance comfort and necessity, companies are introducing premium capsule hotels into the mix. CHG World has been developing on the success of CapsuleTransit at Terminal 2 of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). This build is a container hotel inside the Malaysian capital’s airport. It also offers extra amenities, such as a locker, bottled drinking water, dental kit, slippers, toilet, and shower facilities.

CapsuleTransit KLIA

The entrance to a CapsuleTransit hotel. Photo: CHG World

Different options

The company believes in spreading out accommodation throughout the airport, rather than having one block on one side. Therefore, the firm has been introducing two more services to accompany the CapsuleTransit.

The World's Best Airports for Layovers

In various corners of KLIA, the CapsuleTransit MAX is gearing up to be launched. This is an upgraded version of the capsule, with an en-suite shower attached. A block of these premium capsules requires at least 1000sqm of space.

Furthermore, the other introduction is the Interstellar project. This is an artistic construction that has the space of a traditional sleeping pod, and will be able to be placed airside. With all three options, the company hopes to offer a service that covers all ends of the airport, catering to different types of travelers.

Altogether, there are currently 204 landside CapsuleTransit pods at KLIA. Additionally, there will be 70 Interstellar pods open by the middle of next month. 204 CapsuleTransit MAX landside rooms are also planned for May 2020.

Passengers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 have had the option of taking a break at a capsule since 2014. Photo: rushdi13 via Flickr

Customized service

Last week, CHG CEO Ryan Loo spoke about his products at The Trinity Forum in Doha. He explained the process of placing rooms in and around the airport, rather than remotely, in one place.

“Rather than having hotels that are bigger than airports, you can break down them down and put them inside. They can spread across different areas and different gates. They can be airside or landslide,” Loo shared at the conference.

The executive then shared that passengers don’t have to pay for an all-night stay, but can pay for the time that suits them. So, if a traveler’s layover is only for a quarter of a day, they can choose an option that fits the length.

“We allow passengers to have a customized service. Not just an overnight service, but a three, six or 12 hour one. You can use an app to book it then use your mobile phone to lock the door.”


Capsules can offer convenience when a standard hotel is too far away or pricey. Photo: CapsuleTransit

Gaining ground

With capsule services starting to hold a presence in key airports, it is likely that we will see them more regularly. This will be a blessing for many of those who suffer while trying to sleep on a rock-solid airport bench.

It costs around $25 to stay in a CapsuleTransit room for three hours, which will tempt many of those with delayed flights! Ultimately, airports will also be keen to hold as many rooms as they can in the least amount of space required.

Would you stay in one of these capsule hotels? Let us know your thoughts on the accommodation in the comment section.

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