Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Airport Lounges
Reload this Page >

Minute Suites ó The Travelerís Retreat

Minute Suites ó The Travelerís Retreat

Reply

Old Nov 21, 09, 10:24 am
  #16  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: ORD/MDW
Programs: AA, HH, MR elite. Fly mostly AA/WN/B6.
Posts: 18,665
Originally Posted by Evan! View Post
2 hours - $60.00
3 hours - $90.00
5 hours - $150.00
The rate seems to me to be insanely expensive for what you get. For the price of two or three long stays, most FF elites could purchase a one-year lounge membership. Not only that, there are other airside retreat-type spaces in other parts of the world that give you much more for much less. Reading this thread I thought of the KLIA airside hotel in the satellite terminal at KUL:

http://www.klia.com.my/index.php?ch=95&pg=291

A six-hour stay in a standard room with king bed, TV, bathroom /shower, access to fitness center, etc. is $42. Upgrade to a "suite" (really just a larger room) is $69. It's pretty nice. Even taking the value-for-money differences between countries into account, it makes these Minute Suites look like non-starters.
BearX220 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 09, 9:58 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,278
Members of my family co-founded Minute Suites, so I'm very curious to hear thoughts from fellow flyertalkers. I'm not personally involved in the company, but I talk to the management team with some regularity and I'm sure they'd appreciate constructive criticism.

Today was the official grand opening. The Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a nice feature, and we're hoping there will be more media coverage in the next couple of days.

So far responses seem generally positive. As a penny-pincher myself, I've been skeptical all along as to whether people will be willing to pay, but penny pinchers clearly aren't the target market, and I'm told that in the first few days of operation they've already had a number of very happy customers and are very optimistic about the business's prospects (including one guy who apparently had a suite for 8 hours and said he'd be back).

As has been pointed out, there is no shower or private bathroom. Unlike Yotel and other similar offerings overseas, this is geared specifically toward US domestic connecting passengers looking for a quiet place to work or nap for an hour or two, as opposed to a long-haul international traveler looking for a place to grab several hours of sleep and a shower. And in their market research, they actually found people were turned off by the presence of a shower, as it made it seem more dirty/unsanitary--it also would have required it to be a lot more expensive to support the additional cleaning (they already have a very strict cleaning protocol after every stay) and maintenance.

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out. If it goes well, expect to see a couple more locations in the next year.
themicah is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 09, 10:33 pm
  #18  
Moderator: Delta SkyMiles, Luxury Hotels, TravelBuzz! and Italy
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 25,229
I like the concept. A couple of weeks ago I arrived in Atlanta from an international flight. I was sick, exhausted from not sleeping and had a 4 hour layover. I was traveling Business Elite on Delta and spent my time in the DL Skyclub waiting for my connection. A little room of my own to rest would have been perfect. I would be interested in knowing if any of these suites could accommodate an adult and child, or is this more geared to the business traveler?
obscure2k is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 09, 12:14 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: PHX & PPT
Programs: DL PM, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold, AmExPlat
Posts: 831
I too like this concept, and have had enough DL misconnects and delays through ATL to probably take advantage of this for a couple of hours when I'm exhausted and tired of the crowds and the exhausting wait. There are times when the day has gotten too long, everything has gone wrong with the itinerary, and this would be a welcome respite despite the cost.
BarbiJKM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 09, 12:35 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ORD MDW
Programs: AA, UA, DL , PC Gold, SPG Gold, Avis PC - 2009 FT Fantasy Football Champion
Posts: 6,518
Itís a great concept for the traveler but the price structure limits who will be using them.
At many airports there are hotels with reasonable ďday ratesĒ.
In the case of needing the room over 3 hours, there are hotel options very near the airport that would be more cost effective.
The minute suites have great convenience and could be viable with a price that makes them hard to refuse.
I just think the price range is at the senior executive level vs. the general business traveler level.
sobore is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 09, 3:38 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: DTW
Programs: Dirt Status w/ All
Posts: 4,994
From the pictures it really looks like they are cubicle walls. If so, I can't imagine the sound insulation is any good. I see they do have a "napware audio program" which also makes me think these things are not going to be very quiet.

Way too expensive IMO.
tev9999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 09, 8:15 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,278
Originally Posted by obscure2k View Post
I would be interested in knowing if any of these suites could accommodate an adult and child, or is this more geared to the business traveler?
All the suites are the same size. It's definitely aimed primarily at the business traveler, and the daybed probably wouldn't be very comfortable for two people to sleep on. But there are no restrictions on children and if sleep isn't the goal, it would make a perfectly acceptable space for a parent and child to hang out (or for the child to nap while the parent got some work done or whatever).


Originally Posted by tev9999 View Post
From the pictures it really looks like they are cubicle walls. If so, I can't imagine the sound insulation is any good. I see they do have a "napware audio program" which also makes me think these things are not going to be very quiet.
The walls are very well sound-insulated and the noise masking and napware systems (as well as the lighting, etc.) are individually controllable by suite. I haven't tried it myself, but I'm told that you can make it extremely quiet, blocking out all sound from the terminal and the adjacent suites with only a little white noise.
themicah is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 24, 09, 9:37 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: US
Programs: DL GE
Posts: 1,654
I had the luxury of a 12 hour layover in ATL. This would be not cost effective for me at all in that case.

After I ate and had as much fun one could have in ATL (about an hour) I went into the SC in C.

In the corner room there was a dude talking on his cell phone but I can fall asleep in any environment. Woke up and there was 10 other people sleeping in the room with me! LOL

I assume once people see someone sleeping, they keep their cell either out or very low, this allowed everyone else a chance to come in and crash, so it is possible.
pragakhan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 09, 12:56 pm
  #24  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,715
I wish more airports had these. I seem to recall there being both these and shower for rent in NRT. I took the shower option. It wasn't overly expensive, but did a great job of getting rid of plane grime and I felt so much better.

Some people might prefer a lounge, but if I wanted a place to catch a nap, I don't think a lounge is where I would go. If I wanted to have a drink, I don't think the minute suites is where I would go.
thegeneral is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 28, 09, 2:01 pm
  #25  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: ORD/MDW
Programs: AA, HH, MR elite. Fly mostly AA/WN/B6.
Posts: 18,665
Originally Posted by sobore View Post
Itís a great concept for the traveler but the price structure limits who will be using them... I just think the price range is at the senior executive level vs. the general business traveler level.
It is a great concept, agreed, but I just find the price point completely prohibitive. I wouldn't pay those rates out of my own pocket, and I would find it very difficult to expense back to clients or the company. Companies I've worked for in the past have bought my lounge memberships to facilitate my working / staying in touch during hub layovers, too. But two long stays in a Minute Suite and that's about the price of a one-year lounge membership.

I guess there are so few suites per installation that they only need a few businesspeople who have zero price consciousness to make it pay.

Originally Posted by themicah View Post
...in their market research, they actually found people were turned off by the presence of a shower, as it made it seem more dirty/unsanitary...
I guess I find this a little hard to believe, as many premium airline lounges overseas have showers that don't turn off their clientele... and one thing I WOULD pay for is a post-redeye or post-TATL/TPAC shower. A few weeks ago I arrived at DTW off back-to-back longhauls ex-DEL, hadn't shaved or cleaned up in 40 hours, with 8 more hours ahead of me... I would have paid $50, right there, for a shower and shave. But not to lie down in an empty cubicle.
BearX220 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 28, 09, 3:49 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NYNY
Programs: Marriott LT Ti & Ambassador, UA Silver, AA Gold, Amtrak Select Plus, Uber Diamond
Posts: 798
I couldn't see myself being able to fall asleep in one of these, I have alot of difficulty sleeping in unfamiliar/new places (my lifestyle doesn't work well with that anyway).

I would, however, love to be able to take a good, long shower (20 min+) after a long flight. Anything more than 5 hours and I feel like crap and am longing for a shower. I was going BRU-IAD-PHL and had a long time in IAD. I would've paid quite a bit to be able to take a shower.
newbiztraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 1, 09, 8:49 am
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: FLL
Programs: DL ♦M MM|HH♦|Marr Slvr|CO UA AA US|Pri Cub Plat|SPG|Avis 1st|Htz 5*
Posts: 5,044
USA Today: Airport Check-in: Atlanta makes it easy for fliers to catch Zs
Evan! is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 1, 09, 10:34 am
  #28  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: SE1, London
Posts: 21,742
Seems like a smart idea. After a long flight with distubed sleep it would be a god-send to curl up on a proper bed for a short while. In that kind of state price sensitivity goes out the window, especially with the convenience of being in terminal. Agree the absence of showers is a mistake.
Swanhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 1, 09, 11:14 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: ORD, HKG
Programs: UA GL*G (0.65 BIS MM), AA EXP, Wyndham Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 9,659
Originally Posted by themicah View Post
As has been pointed out, there is no shower or private bathroom. Unlike Yotel and other similar offerings overseas, this is geared specifically toward US domestic connecting passengers looking for a quiet place to work or nap for an hour or two, as opposed to a long-haul international traveler looking for a place to grab several hours of sleep and a shower. And in their market research, they actually found people were turned off by the presence of a shower, as it made it seem more dirty/unsanitary--it also would have required it to be a lot more expensive to support the additional cleaning (they already have a very strict cleaning protocol after every stay) and maintenance.
I have to disagree with that. If one is only targetting US domestic connecting pax, then it is really short sighted. There are many int'l to domestic pax as well, plus they always want a shower after a long flight. Rather than being looking public shower as dirty/unsanitary, unless you are saying the place is not going to be "clean up" after each guest left like hotels do. I can also tell you there are more people looking for a shower rather than a quiet place to rest. If you ever read some of the airline forums, the no.1 or 2 complain about by pax are many airline lounges in the US do not have shower facilities. Even if it does, it often have long waiting time. No one ever get turn off by shower facilities, it is actually the most wellcoming thing by airline pax, if not EK wouldn't built a shower in their 380.

UA also has Arrivals lounge in SFO and ORD for their F and C pax, so do NH in NRT. I can also tell you UA's RCC in NRT, they have 10 shower rooms, in their afternoon busy time, even with so many shower rooms, we still have to wait sometimes 15-20 minutes to get a shower, and they are mostly used by Americans. Any newly built airline operated lounges always come with showers. All of them looking for long hot showers instead of sleep, as the connecting time usually is 1 or 2 hours. I would want a 30 min long shower rather than a 30 min nap time.

THe market research team definately made the dumbest mistake ever.

Last edited by ORDnHKG; Dec 1, 09 at 11:37 pm
ORDnHKG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 09, 12:20 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Berlin and Buggenhagen, Germany
Posts: 3,509
I like the idea of a mini-suite at the airport but at these prices I'd want a shower, too. And I'd want it to be totally soundproof in the sense that I close the door and I hear nothing from the outside or the room next door. No white noise should be needed. I'd also want a window I can look out of so I don't feel like I'm in some cell. The window would need to be done so that it can be totally darkened. This way I can sleep no matter what time of day it is and no matter what time zone change I am experiencing. The AC must be whisper quiet and individually controllable. In addition, I'd want a really fast internet connection (wired would be ok even), a phone where people can call me, and a fax or multi-use office printer, so I can get some work done if need be. Finally, a nice TV with international channels (especially news channels) and a stereo that allows an Ipod to hook up and CDs and DVDs to be played (any region). Playstation would be super cool but I am probably asking too much. With a minibar you could make a real killing. Also offer in-room massage service or spa services. I could even imagine a quick laundry service to be useful. Imagine you come in from Tokyo to LAX after an excruciating flight. For some reason you have 3-4 hours in LAX before you can head on to the final destination. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to get an hour of sleep, order some food, get a great shower, all the while your laundry gets done and your shoes polished, and finally get a nice 30 minute massage in a quiet and private environment? Without having to leave the airport! I could very well imagine to pay in the range of $150 for that for 4 hours if it is done as described above and included the shower and massage.

It should be possible to reserve ahead and get a discount. It should also be possible to get a subscription or a bonus points program. When my flight is three hours late and I miss my connection and instead have to wait even longer, it would be nice to have something like an insurance that guarantees that my room will still be there for me and that I may even get an hour longer than what I had reserved it for. By the way, you should also do a partnership with airlines and credit card companies to accept their miles and rewards points as payment.

So the main attractions for this kind of thing would be:

1. possibility to sleep
2. possibility to shower
3. Quiet and private (conducive to 1 and 2)
4. Furnished to work (also depending on 3)
5. Convenience of having a place to stow your luggage.
6. Convenience of not having to leave the airport.

Given the above suggestions, I think there is a real future for something like this.

Till
tfar is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread