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Need a Nap? JetBlue Has a Pod for You

SmarterTravel

Need a pre- or post-flight nap, or just a little quiet time in the midst of the airport’s hustle and bustle?

If you happen to be in the JetBlue terminal at New York’s JFK airport, you’re in luck. Or rather, you might be in luck, depending on how many other JetBlue flyers are similarly inclined.

In conjunction with MetroNaps, “the premier provider of workplace rest facilities,” JetBlue this week placed four MetroNaps Energy Pods in the departure area of Terminal 5. The pods feature a reclining almost-lie-flat seat, with a “privacy visor” partially shielding the napper’s head, built-in audio system, and timed waking.

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For the next year or so, using the pods will be free, for up to 20 minutes at a time, on a first-come, first-served basis.

A comfy place to pass quality time in an otherwise hectic environment… how could that not be a good thing?

On the contrary, according to a New York Post reporter who test-napped the chairs: “JetBlue’s new nap pods are a nightmare.”

The only way I could have fallen asleep in this thing is if it were spitting out Ambien.

There are kids climbing all over the machine, the leather feels cheap – and they placed the things right next to the bathrooms, not the brightest idea.

Right off the bat, I knew there would be no counting sheep for me as I climbed into the “JetNap EnergyPod” – more like an uncomfortable, $12,985 lounge chair loaded with germs.

Once inside, I was bombarded by an array of airport aromas, lights and sounds that were not blocked out by the privacy visor like JetBlue promised.

To make things worse, I was forced to leave my bags in an out-of-sight storage bin, which felt like it could be easily accessed while I drifted off to dreamland for 20 minutes.

And so on and so forth in the same vein, concluding thusly: “I’d rather lie on a blanket on the floor.”

Presumably, some JetBlue customers would opt for a nap pod over a spot on the floor. How many remains to be seen.

Reader Reality Check

Other than concern for my bag’s security during nap time, which I share with the Post reviewer, the pod idea appeals to me. You?

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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