Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Capsule of a Concept

When I flew to Toronto this Christmas, I had to take a taxi from New Westminster to Vancouver International Airport because, for some reason, the SkyTrain doesn't start running until 7 AM on Sundays. I regretted that greatly when the fare came out to $45 even before the tip entered into it - but I paid it, because I didn't want to worry about missing my plane, and because Air Canada encouraged travellers to arrive early during the holidays because of volumes.

Of course, being that this was Christmas Day, most everyone was already where they were going and so passengers were rather thin on the ground in the terminal. Also, my flight was delayed five hours. But early flights are common, and with the recommended arrival times always something to contend with, getting to the airport in proper time can be problematic - if you don't have a car, at least, which I manifestly don't. It only gets worse when you're flying internationally, and you find that from the departure times you've got no choice but to call a cab.

I'm really into choice, myself. I started wondering if there was another way - if there's something that the airport of the future could do to simplify this problem. I think there is: capsule hotels.

A capsule hotel in Osaka, Japan. This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image is from the user Chris 73 and is freely available at under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.

Capsule hotels are just that - hotels where, instead of rooms, you get a small capsule big enough to fit yourself in with a pillow, bedding, a light, and so on. Their main advantage is that they're cheap; $24-48 CDN per night. They're easily stackable and don't take up too much space... and what do airports have, if not space?

I can imagine airports maintaining banks of capsules for brief overnight stays or travellers with long layovers. If it meant I could catch a 6 AM flight without having to stress out about how I was going to get to the airport, I would absolutely head on over at 11 PM the night before and rest my head for a few hours, comfortable in the knowledge that I wouldn't have very far to go at all to make my flight.

It's not for the claustrophobic, though.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great idea. Though I have a hard time seeing how it would fit in our culture. It would probably work out more smoothly here in Canada than the states. I'm imagining security guards constantly reminding kids not to knock on the glass of the pods etc.