Bergamo airport launches sleep-and-go

First of three sleeping pods inaugurated at Orio al Serio airport.

Milan’s third airport at Orio al Serio now offers a new solution for taking that 06.00 flight (with an 05.00 check-in), with the choice between snoozing all night in the airport or leaving home in the small hours.

Passengers can use one of three soundproofed pods – known as “pebbles” – in the terminal based on railway sleeper cars, but much more comfortable.

According to the operator’s website, “airlines prank their customers very often” with problems such as delays over 30 minutes, departures at dawn, cancellations or overbooking, forcing them to sleep on the lounge floor or in an uncomfortable seat with their legs stretched out over their baggage.

Instead, for a starting price of €8 for the first hour and €6 for each additional hour, passengers can sleep in a pod with adjustable lighting, free wi-fi, electrical sockets, a departures display, air conditioning, a desk, an alarm clock and an entertainment module.

Sheets are changed automatically and the air is cleansed for every new user. A “pebble” can be booked on line, and users will be sent a PIN by email to open the door. Passenger can leave the pod for other business without losing a place in the queue – the same PIN will unlock the door again until the customer signs out by SMS.

A free smartphone app manages the whole transaction, with 6-hour “snooze pack” subscriptions from €35 for the “Occasional tourist” – one pack with the first hour free – or three snooze packs for the “Airport sleeper” at €99, to 12 snooze packs totalling €299 for the frequent flyer.