British Airways is trying something new at its First Lounge: the airline is installing sleep pods at London Heathrow and New York JFK in a bid to reclaim its premium positioning in the post-pandemic era.
Heathrow T5 First Lounge will debut the unique pods this coming week with T5’s Concorde Room and JFK’s T7 first-class lounge to follow. Renamed the ‘Forty Winks’ zone, passengers need not book ahead to enjoy its comforts; instead, they will just turn up at the lounge to see if any pods are available.
How the pods work
Once travellers settle into the pod they can swing down the privacy screen and recline into a ‘zero gravity position’ which designer RestWorks says “elevates the feet and reduces pressure on the cardiac system.” The seat’s contour also helps to “relax the muscles of the lower back with a slight bend of the knees.”
To help passengers sleep even better, each pod contains two internal compartments for stowing travel wallets, smartphones and the like.
RestWorks promotes these as ‘napping pods’ which come fitted with a 20-minute power nap timer. At the touch of a button, a guided relaxation session or a soundtrack of specifically composed sleep music will play through internal Bose speakers. At the end of the nap, the pod wakes its occupant “with a gentle but effective combination of light, sound, and vibration.”
BA lounge staff will complement this with what’s described as “a full concierge service” of hot towels and a wake-up drink.
British Airways’ Premium flight path
The pods are part of British Airways’ blueprint to reset its flight path as a premium airline under new CEO Sean Doyle.
“Over the course of the pandemic, we are innovating and we are doing everything we can to make sure that when the customers come back to us, we are ready and they will have a great experience,” says Doyle.
Those changes will accompany the continued rollout of BA’s Club Suites business class across its fleet.
“From booking until landing, BA needs to feel like a premium experience,” explains Tom Stevens, BA’s director of brand and customer experience.
“Our strategy is to be a premium experience across the board… exciting things will start coming from June onwards.”
Source: Executive Traveller