German Airport Gives Travelers New Ways to Relax
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Airports can be chaotic places. Lines, timetables, cancelations, confusing terminal layouts: even the most zen traveler probably experiences a spike in their blood pressure once in a while.
Airports have always done a pretty good job of giving people things to take their minds off of the inherent stress of air travel. At pretty much any terminal on earth, you can calm your nerves with some retail therapy, a cocktail or a Big Mac. The latest airport trend moves away from the food court/duty free/airport bar idea by providing spaces where people can relax in a healthier way. Major hubs like Chicago O’Hare and SFO have opened dedicated “yoga rooms” over the past few years.
Some airports have meditation rooms or some sort of chapel or prayer room that is not associated with any particular religion.
The airport in Frankfurt, Germany is taking the idea of peaceful places a step further by making quiet spaces even easier for travelers to access.
The airport, which is owned and operated by a firm called Fraport, has just opened two yoga rooms, one in each of its terminals. These rooms are free for any passengers to use. They are fully equipped with the necessary mats, mirrors and cushions. There are even video tutorials so that novices can try a few poses while they are waiting for their boarding time to arrive.
READ MORE: Yoga For The Air Traveler
Options for non-yogis
The other feature that Fraport has added to its terminals is a bit more unique and, arguably, more accessible. State-of-the-art “silent chairs” have been installed in both terminals. These chairs are shaped in a way that blocks the constant ambient noise that is ever-present at this and every other major airport on earth.
The chairs have built-in speakers. Travelers can sync their phones or media players to the sound system so that they can listen to their music without headphones. In addition to the sync-ready speakers, the silent chairs have a small table and USB and power connections. So reluctant travelers have an excuse to sit down (“I just have to charge my phone for a few minutes”).
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A growing trend?
The yoga room trend is certainly worth noting; it demonstrates that airports are aware that travelers want other ways to de-stress besides shopping, drinking or eating. Furthermore, Frankfurt’s silent chairs show that at least one hub understands that many people don’t want to have to use yoga as an excuse for a few minutes of quiet time before their flight. The chairs make it convenient for anyone and everyone to get a few minutes of peace in what can be a very stressful environment.
The silent chair idea seems to have been embraced by travelers. Fraport has said that it intends to add more silent chairs to each of its terminals before the end of this year.
More by Josh Lew
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