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British Airways launches ‘sleep pods’ in the Galleries First lounge

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‘Sleep pods’ will launch today in the British Airways Galleries First lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5.

Seven pods will take the space that was previously occupied by the business centre, which has been chronically underused for a number of years.

This picture of a pod was posted on LinkedIn by a BA employee:

Restworks sleep pods British Airways lounge

Business Traveller reports than an additional five pods will be installed in the Concorde Room – potentially in the space currently occupied by the Elemis Spa – with a further three pods appearing in the lounge at New York JFK.

Here is a picture from the pod manufacturer, Restworks, of one in use:

Restworks sleep pods British Airways lounge

Pre-booking will not be possible. Signage in the main lounge area will apparently indicate if a pod becomes free.

The pods will be overseen by a dedicated staff member who will offer hot towels and a wake-up drink after your session, which the manufacturers suggest will be 20-30 minutes.

I have never tried one of these pods so I can’t give you any sense of what it is like ‘inside’. A common complaint seems to be that you can only sleep in one position, with no space to turn, which can get frustrating. If you are in Galleries First today and decide to give it a try, please let us know.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (55)

  • Lady London says:

    looks like the equivalent of those cafe chairs which are deliberately designed to be comfortable only for a short time so customers leave having done peak spend but in the shortest possible time as subconsciously the seats make them uncomfortable.

    This design looks like it’s been scientifically worked out to be intolerable after 20-30 minutes.

    Contrast that with pods and loungers to available in decent airports around the world like Changi, which understands that travellers may have layovers and long flights between continents through disorienting time changes and providers loungers which are actually intended for rest.

  • John says:

    Not a patch on the sleeping rooms available in the MUC lounges especially the Satellite (currently shut)

  • Chris Heyes says:

    Does anyone think these “PODS” could replace “The Mile High Club” just a thought lol

  • Anna says:

    That looks nearly as bad as having the seat in front of you in economy reclined in your face. Definitely no substitute for a shoulder massage with essential oils!

  • Mike says:

    Have these in the office, don’t really do anything to improve the likelihood I’ll doze off.

    Have BA thought of rebuilding the existing cabanas in the CR, and turning them into something “upmarket” and useful, like suites with proper beds and a proper first class bathroom? Placing these pods in lieu of the Elemis Spa and instead of revamping the cabana experience seems utterly misguided.

    Perhaps it’s a useful gimmick in the First lounge (which First passengers don’t use), since it’s impractical to build enough suites for all who’d like to use one, whereas pods take up less footprint. But for the CR? Completely out of place, if you ask me.

    • ChrisC says:

      Which is why they’ll likely use the soon to be empty spa space.

  • TimM says:

    I think Orgasmatrons (from The Sleeper) would be more popular and take up less space.

    • Anna says:

      In which case, the answer to Chris Heyes, above, might well be yes!

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Anna, Definitely no substitute for a shoulder massage with essential oils! lol
        I’ve got the essential oils ready, just need your OH approval pms lol

    • ChrisC says:

      I thought the machine from Barbarella!

  • Lord Doncaster says:

    Looks like BA was given this for free and are trying to put a positive spin on it.

    All they needed to do was divide the space up like in Qatar’s Al Mourjan lounge snooze room and have benches or lazy chairs

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