Like millions of other travelers, I've been the victim of missed flight connections because of ill-timed airport layovers. Most recently, I was on my way to Key West, Fla., when I got stuck in Atlanta.
I received a hotel voucher from Delta and half-joked, "Can I just stay here overnight?" Because I couldn't stand the idea of potentially missing another flight.
Come to find out, I could've slept comfortably at the Atlanta airport, instead of at the grungy hotel I stayed in 15 minutes away. I don't mean cramming into those germ-filled chairs at the gate, with my legs stuck through the arm rests. I'm talking about Minute Suites.
Minute Suites has expansion plans in the works for Dallas-Fort Worth International and Chicago O'Hare airports.
The founders of this in-airport mini-rest stop worked with a psychiatrist to find the solution to improving the lives of stressed and tired travelers. The result was providing a dark, quiet and comfortable environment for people to rest in — instead of going through the hassle of leaving the airport to stay in a hotel and waiting in the security lines all over again.
You can find Minute Suites in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (at Concourse B, Gate 15) and Philadelphia International Airport (Terminal A-B Link). The company's expansion plans include Dallas-Fort Worth International and Chicago O'Hare airports.
Neither of Houston's airports are in its immediate plans.
Minute Suites "retreats" are rooms equipped with a clean daybed sofa, pillows and blankets. There's a sound-masking system in every suite to help neutralize the noise and a special Nap26 audio program to create an even better sleep. For non-nappers, there's a high-definition television in every suite with work stations and Wi-Fi.
The cost is $32 for the minimum one-hour stay and $8 for every 15 minutes after. Discounts are applied for a stay of four or eight hours more and to military personnel, pilots and airline employees. An overnight stay is $120.
Before you go there, allow me to beat you to the punch. Yes, Minute Suites considered the possibility that hourly rates lend themselves to, well, hourly activities. But because the clientele consists of fatigued travelers, it's more likely that people will sleep than creep.
The rooms are small: 7-by-8 feet. But, for one night, or just a couple of hours, it certainly beats lugging all your baggage out of the airport just to fight the morning crowd anew.