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British Airways’ first Airbus A350-1000 (Photo: Airbus)

British Airways Adds Sleep Pods to Lounges

On Monday, British Airways opened its brand new “Forty Winks” sleep lounge at London Heathrow International Airport. The lounge will feature complimentary meals and nap pods for eligible customers, including Club World travelers.

British Airways wants to support its customers’ pre-flight health and wellness needs with the new lounge. Only one is currently open at the carrier’s First Lounge at London Heathrow, though two more are expected to open once travel restrictions ease: one at Heathrow’s Concord Room at Terminal 5 and the second in the Concord Room at JFK Terminal 7 in New York.

The lounge, which was introduced in partnership with Restworks – a company dedicated to workplace wellness and fatigue management – will feature “power nap pods” for customers to get some shuteye during travel. The one-of-a-kind “EnergyPod” is the first chair build specifically for power napping and has been commonly used in the workplace for rest. Now, BA is bringing the unique chair to its First and Concord Lounges to help passengers beat jetlag and support their wellbeing.

The chair induces sleep with many innovative features, including gravity-neutral positioning and an adjustable privacy visor to block out light and other distractions. The chair also reclines to elevate the customer’s feet, has a one-touch start button for a 20-minute power nap and features complimentary audio content to use while in the lounge. If customers are interested in a longer rest, they can set the EnergyPod’s sleep timer to a desired duration.

For now, First Class’ Forty Winks Lounge will operate on a first-come-first-serve basis, so customers cannot pre-book a nap pod. Instead, to see if one of the seven pods is available, customers can check the “Your Menu” lounge app or the screen outside the entrance. Once inside Forty Winks, customers can expect standard health safety measures, like hand sanitizer stations and antibacterial wipes to wipe down the pods between each use.

While BA’s First Class Lounge will be self-service, the Concord Rooms Lounges, when open, will allow travelers to pre-book an EnergyPod. They will also be able to set a time they would like to be woken and can choose a hot drink to enjoy to help wake up. The lounge will also provide hot towels and water to help refresh customers after a short rest.

Director of Brand and Customer Experience Tom Stevens explained, “We can’t wait to welcome our customers back after a very difficult year, and we’re always looking for new ideas to support our customers’ health and wellbeing pre-flight. In late 2019 we carried out a survey of over 100,000 lounge guests asking what they would like to see featured in our lounges. Sleep pods were right at the top of their list. Our ’Forty Winks’ nap lounges will offer a dedicated rejuvenation space for customers as they return to the skies, all self-serviced via the ‘Your Menu’ lounge app. Beating jetlag and catching a snooze on the go has never been easier!”

Restworks’ Global Managing Director, Christopher Lindholst, said, “Being able to rest while travelling is an important way to stay healthy and energised, and what better way to use your dwell time than to catch up on some sleep. We are excited British Airways is making this important investment in customer wellbeing.”

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