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The Elemis Spa that once sat between the British Airways First Class lounge and the Concorde Room was confirmed as a permanent casualty of the pandemic a few weeks ago and now the often forgotten Business Center in the First Class lounge has been confirmed as a permanent casualty too. It hasn’t, however, taken British Airways long to come up with a plan for the spaces that these two facilities once occupied.
As of yesterday, the British Airways ‘Forty Winks’ lounge is open in the space that was once the Business Center in the T5 First Class lounge featuring seven ‘EnergyPods’ from Restworks which the airline says allow customers in need of some pre-flight rest the chance to “power nap”.
Per British Airways:
“The EnergyPod is the world’s first chair designed exclusively for power napping. With its unique combination of gravity neutral positioning and privacy visor, the EnergyPod is the premiere nap pod for short rest in the workplace. By providing nap pods for rest in its First and Concorde lounges, British Airways is supporting customer wellbeing and helping beat jetlag while on the move.”
Other features of the EnergyPod:
- Reclining the EnergyPod elevates the feet and reduces pressure on the cardiac system. The seat contour relaxes the muscles of the lower back with a slight bend of the knees.
- The EnergyPod features high quality synthetic leather upholstery. Soft and smooth, the cushion in the EnergyPod is extremely comfortable. It is also durable and easy to clean.
- Two internal compartments within the EnergyPod ensure the safe storage of personal belongings. There is ample space for a bag.
- There is a privacy visor that can be rotated to the desired position with a gentle pull. The visor provides semi-privacy without overly enclosing, blocking out distractions, and concealing the user.
The Heathrow First Class ‘Forty Winks’ lounge is complimentary and operates on a self-service basis so there’s no option for customers to pre-book. Travelers can use the ‘Your Menu’ lounge app to check if a pod is available in real-time or they can check the screen outside the entrance to the lounge.
Customers using the new lounge can set the timer on the EnergyPod to the desired duration or use the one-touch start button for a “perfect pre-programmed 20-minute nap”. The EnergyPod reclines to elevate the feet and promote relaxation while the adjustable privacy visor can be swiveled into place to block out “distractions”. Complimentary audio content for use while in the lounge and traveling can be downloaded via the Restworks Mobile app.
With the British Airways First Class lounge being the only BA lounge currently open in Heathrow Terminal 5, it’s being used as a First Class and Business Class lounge so, for the time being, the Forty Winks Sleep Lounge is open to all lounge-eligible travelers.
Going forward (when the Business Class lounges reopen), the current sleep lounge will only be open to travelers with access to the First Class lounge while the space once occupied by the Elemis Spa is expected to host a separate sleep lounge for guests with access to the Concorde room.
Unlike users of the First Class lounge, Concorde Room customers will be able to book a Pod via dedicated hosts, they’ll able to request a time they would like to be woken and they’ll be able to choose a hot beverage with which to be woken. Water and hot towels will also be provided.
British Airways has also confirmed that it will be bringing the Forty Winks Sleep Lounge concept to its lounge at New York JFK T7 “when global travel restrictions ease” but the airline failed to say where in the lounge the pods would be placed, how many pods there will be or which passengers will have access.
Cleanliness would be a concern I’d imagine but the 20 minutes aspect makes this absolutely worthless. If someone arrives at the airport and is desperately needing sleep but only has maybe 6-8 hours to connect, offering 20 minutes is tantamount to punishment.
[…] If you ignore the missing self-serve bar and the perspex dividers, the main lounge area doesn’t look much different from 15 months ago, but the business center has now been closed (to be replaced by the new sleep pods): […]
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