After ordering an expensive service for travelers, the toilet was a surprise: for such money, you need to “make” a hole in the floor


Lack of sleep causes headaches, sometimes even a feeling of dizziness. Irritability and anger arise, spines appear in the back, the legs are not enough pain, they also tend to swell. Some people begin to sweat profusely due to lack of sleep, there are also people who complain of heart palpitations, numbness in their hands or feet, sometimes everything that I have listed here. This is how I try to describe to you how people who travel far and fly for many hours feel after 15-20 or more hours of travel.

When you have to transfer from one plane to another, when you have to wait five hours in one airport, and maybe eight in another. Hour by hour, not only fatigue increases, but also all the problems that accompany it. What to do – everyone asks me. Believe me, I hear this question very often from compatriots I meet at airports. They ask how to recover, how to restore strength.

Even before the trips, people ask how to fly around the world and not feel overworked. Oh, if there was a simple recipe, I would use it myself. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

But the biggest airports in the world understand your troubles, they hear your complaints and cries about aching heads and backs. That is why special cabins for “reloading” or, it can also be called, specialized short-term hotels, are opening in them. So that those who fly for many hours, who change airport after airport, could at least recover a little.

I have seen offers to rest in such cabins in New York, Atlanta, Singapore, London, Doha, Abu Dhabi and a number of other major airports in the world. But I hadn’t tried them until now. I don’t know why, maybe someone offered too little? Or maybe the money was a pity? However, this thing is not cheap.

For the first time, I was tempted by sleeping cabins a week ago, when I flew back to Vilnius from Cape Town, South Africa. I had a 5 hour layover at Istanbul International Airport and at the same time I was completely exhausted after the first 11 hour flight.

All I wanted was to fall into bed and sleep. I was walking through the Istanbul airport with my nose hanging down, and once again the “Recharge cabins by Yotelair” advertising sign caught my eye. In which it is written so directly: come, lie down, sleep and recharge your batteries. Man I am weak, I was tempted, I went to the place where that magical rest is offered.

The good thing is that such cabin hotels do not require any pre-registration. All guests come to them without waiting, when they feel like it. There is always an on-call administrator who receives visitors both day and night. The conditions are always the same.

“We have an hourly rate. You take the cabin for at least an hour, you can even stay in it around the clock. You have to pay 25 euros per hour,” she tells me.

They ask you to pay upfront, like with prepaid phone cards. The more you learn in advance, the more you will be able to use. The money you paid will expire – and so will your time in the cab. Although the price seems high in my opinion, still, for the sake of the experiment, I decide to take the cab for a couple of hours. And I immediately ask if it is possible to rest in one for two people, because we are traveling together.

“No, we only have one person each. If you need a double room, go to our Yotelair hotel, it is one floor below. There you will pay 175 euros per day for two people. And the room will belong to the day,” explains the employee on duty.

Well, since we only have two, maybe three hours of sleep, we decide that the more economical option will be to take two separate cabins. We pay 50 euros each, the whole round 100 for two people.

I was surprised how long it takes to check in as a guest. For about 15 minutes, the employee copies the documents – not only the passport, but also the plane ticket, then you have to fill out the form, then she marks something else there, takes care of things. I’m even surprised that everything is so complicated.

“Yes, yes, the system here is even more difficult than in hotels in the city. We have more security requirements, we have to register all guests in several systems, it’s a lot of work with that,” the employee does not hide.

Sleeping cabins at Istanbul Airport

During this time, they offer to familiarize themselves with a special menu for the “residents” of the cabins. This is called “Grab+Go”, which translated into Lithuanian means “Take and go”. The first thing I notice is the man in the white shirt on that menu holding a cup of coffee or tea. He is Lithuanian, the actor Žilvinas Tratas, who has recently become famous for his scandalous statements, and is a favorite of women. And if it’s not him, it’s a complete copy of him, a guy who looks crazy like him.

I looked on the menu, maybe it will be written somewhere who he is, but neither the name nor the surname was there. “Do you know who he is?” I asked the employee. She looked at me strangely and turned her head. Understand – he doesn’t really know.

There is, of course, more information in that menu. A bottle of still water is 2 euros, lemonades are 3 euros each, potato chips are 4 euros, a sandwich is 6 euros, and that coffee held by Trat or a man who looks like him is 2 euros.

While I analyzed the menu for five minutes, the administrator did not have time to register me. They told me to sit and wait. At that moment, I was worried if my precious minutes in the cockpit were running out or if the clock had not yet started ticking.

“No, no, relax, we’ll start counting from the moment you pass our security gate, when you swipe our card,” he explained. While she was there doing the paperwork, a line formed behind me. 4 more came to recharge. They were milling about impatiently, waiting to be accepted.

Sleeping cabins at Istanbul Airport

I finally got my card, which had a piece of paper stuck on it with my name and cabin number – ‘038’. And the time that I can be in the cabin is also indicated. The first somewhat disappointing thing is the cabins without a private bathroom – neither a shower nor a toilet. It is small – a single bed, white, clean bedding, next to the bed – a desk with a chair, above it – a mirror. There is also a bench next to the bed where you can sit or place your suitcase if you have one.

Another advantage is that there is a TV hanging on the wall in front of the bed. There is also a Wi-Fi internet connection in the cabin, you can use it as much as you want while you are in the cabin. Well, since most of them come with the purpose of getting some sleep, it is not known how much the people of the Internet use it. But he is, that’s good.

I looked around the room, but before bed I really wanted to use the toilet quickly and get in the shower to freshen up. My precious sleep time was counting, but what are you going to do – rules are rules. I went looking for toilets and showers. I found it, but it turns out that the shower is already an additional service, if you want to use it, you have to pay. And the toilet is free. But not as many Europeans expect. Turkey, Istanbul, so the toilet is Turkish.

Sleeping cabins at Istanbul Airport

Don’t be afraid, not some strange and unseen one, but one that many Lithuanians know very well from ancient times – a hole in the floor. I don’t like it that much, I really don’t like it, but there is no other option. Or it is also paid, so I had to forget my hobbies and not look for anything else, because time is ticking, it is decreasing. The threat of not sleeping.

That’s it, I don’t remember anything else. Very tired, I fell into those white cabin beds. I was surprised how good the soundproofing was. You can’t hear anything going on around you, and best of all, you can’t hear the airport announcements that are constantly being made there. Silence and peace are ideal conditions for sleep. The personal air conditioner also contributes to this – you can adjust the heat or coolness you want before falling asleep.

You can sleep until the last second while you own the cabin. And when the time is up, the employee comes to wake you up. And, of course, there is a rush to leave the cabin as soon as possible, because it needs to be prepared for others who want to rest. The cabin hotel has a 24-hour cleaning crew, which cleans everything after each visitor, changes the beds.

Sleeping cabins at Istanbul Airport

Although this type of cabin is new to me, they are extremely popular at Istanbul Airport. Out of 35 booths, 16 were occupied when I arrived. When I left, 20 were already occupied. And at that time new guests were waiting for the administrator. As far as I understood from other guests, most of them stay in them similarly – for 2-3 hours, no longer. Apparently, those who want to spend 5-6 hours or more, calculate that it is better to take a room at the airport hotel.

When booking rest in such cabins, it is very important to trust your ability to fall asleep quickly. If you can’t do that, I don’t know if booking a cab is really worth it. Well, you get peace of mind, you get to stretch your legs, jump out of your clothes, but is it worth 25 euros an hour? It’s up to you how much you value your fatigue.

The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: ordering expensive service travelers toilet surprise money hole floor


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