FRIDAY, FEB. 17: Quite often I red eye into an east coast airport from out west on my way home to Bermuda.
That’s the nature of the beast as my wife and I have relatives out in California and British Columbia.
Our last trip we flew back on US Airways into Philadelphia, arriving just after 3am.
It’s not really worth getting a taxi and going to a hotel, only to practically turn around to get on the flight.
But that’s certainly better than trying to sleep in the lounge.
If only there was a better answer!
Well, lucky enough, there is.
Nestled in the walkway between Terminal A and Terminal B in the Philadelphia Airport is a fantastic alternative called Minute Suites.
Minute Suites provides a bed to sleep on for those travellers who don’t want to traipse over to the hotel and then have to come back through airport security.
My wife and I used the one in the Philly airport in January. It has a functional day bed that sleeps one and a lower pullout bed that can accommodate a second person.
It comes with pillows and blankets.
It was an island of tranquility allowing us to get three hours of restful sleep.
The room, which is 7ft by 8ft, also had a work-station (desk, chair, phone) with free Internet access and a flat screen TV, just in case you wanted to unwind that way.
The HDTV can also be used as a computer with a mouse and wireless keyboard.
It cost $30 for the first hour and each additional 15 minutes cost $7.50. Our three hours cost us $90, less than the price of a hotel and without losing any additional time of travelling to the hotel and back.
The room is functional — you’re not going to be bathed in luxury here, but it is clean, quiet and it was well worth the price for us.
Those who stay overnight from 11pm to 7am can get a special discount with a flat rate of $120.
But it’s not just for sleeping.
As I mentioned above, it has a desk with Internet so those of you who may just want a quiet place to work while waiting for your next flight can book a room as well.
What it doesn’t have is a shower and toilet, you’ll have to go over the public restroom to use the facilities.
The Philadelphia location is the second one to open. The original location is at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, which makes it convenient for those of you using Delta or Air Tran to get back to Bermuda.
The Philadelphia Minute Suites is larger than the Atlanta one with 13 rooms and two workstation cubicles.
The Atlanta airport location does not have the pullout bed.
Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management staffs the hotel with students from its programme.
The company plans on expanding out to other airports with the next two locations to be at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.
Those ones will have showers, making them an even better deal.