Is Minute Suites Worth The Cost?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 was the day when the first Minute Suites location opened at the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area; and the concept is still around almost nine years later — but is it worth the cost?
Is Minute Suites Worth The Cost?
“Some FlyerTalk members think this concept is a good idea for passengers with long layovers who simply need a quiet place to nap or be to themselves” is what I wrote in this short article on Thursday, December 3, 2009 which gauged the initial reactions of members of FlyerTalk. “Others believe that the rates are too expensive, the space is too small, the accommodations do not have enough amenities — in particular, there is no shower facility — and that the hours are limited instead of being available 24 hours per day, amongst other criticisms.”
Before delving into the prices, the concept of Minute Suites is to offer a temporary retreat for travelers from the hustle and bustle of crowded and noisy airport terminals with a small, secure, quiet and dark environment with which a person may take a nap and recharge prior to continuing on his or her journey.
Since opening its inaugural location at the international airport in Atlanta, Minute Suites has opened three other locations: two at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in April of 2013 and January of 2017; and one at Philadelphia International Airport in March of 2011. Although “Minute Suites has aggressive growth plans in place for the remainder of 2017 and throughout 2018” — according to information posted at its official Internet web site — four locations in nine years is not exactly what anyone would consider aggressive.
When the concept of Minute Suites was first introduced in 2009, the price was $30.00 for first hour for a minimum of one hour; and $7.50 for every 15 minutes after that one hour. Subsequent hours were an additional $30.00 per hour; and after eight hours, a discount of 25 percent was applied — meaning that instead of $240.00, the cost was reduced by $60.00 to a total of $180.00 before any taxes or fees were applied.
- $42.00 for one hour at a minimum, which is an increase of $12.00 or 40 percent of the original rate of $30.00 in 2009; and $42.00 for every additional hour thereafter
- $10.50 per increment of every 15 minutes for the first two hours, which is an increase of $3.00 or 40 percent of the original rate of $7.50 for every 15 minutes in 2009
- $8.00 per increment of every 15 minutes after the first two hours, which did not seem to exist in 2009
- $140.00 for eight hours overnight, which is actually $40.00 or greater than 22 percent less than the 25 percent discount in 2009
- $160.00 for eight hours as a day rate in all locations except for the one in Atlanta
- $30.00 for a shower for 30 minutes — but the shower is only available in Terminal D at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
- $20.00 for a shower with the purchase of a suite rental — but the shower is only available in Terminal D at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
What Do You Get For Your Money?
Each suite comes equipped with:
- A comfortable daybed sofa
- Fresh blankets
- A sound masking system within each suite to help neutralize noise
- A unique Nap26 audio program to help deliver a refreshing power nap
- Alarm clock; but you can request a wake-up call instead
- High definition television equipped with DIRECTV and NETFLIX; and with a simple click on the remote control, the television converts to a computer — equipped with wireless keyboard and mouse — with access to the Internet and the flight tracking system of the airport
- Office chair
- Access to the Wi-Fi system of the airport or a direct connection port
The obvious main advantage to Minute Suites is that each facility is located inside of the terminal of the airport, which means that if you want to rest or relax in a quiet space and do not otherwise have access to an airport lounge, you can quickly and easily use Minute Suites and not have to worry about having to go through the airport security checkpoint to continue on your journey.
Minute Suites also typically costs less than a one-time pass to an airport lounge if you only need one hour to recharge yourself — and not every lounge has a private quiet space to use for a quick nap.
If you are a member of Priority Pass, the first hour of your visit in a Minute Suites is included complimentary with your membership as the result of a partnership between the two entities.
The Atlanta location did not — and still does not — have access to a shower or a washroom; and neither do the other locations except for Terminal D at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. If you need to use the toilet, you must step out into the terminal and locate one to use.
Airport lounges may cost more per one-time visit than one hour at Minute Suites; but if you plan on staying several hours prior to departure due to a long layover or if you arrived at the airport too early, they become the less expensive option — plus, complimentary snacks and beverages are usually offered. Most lounges offer washrooms and toilets; and some offer showers as well — again, usually at no extra charge.
As for either option to stay for eight hours at Minute Suites, you can usually find a decent room at a hotel property nearby for a similar rate — or even less expensive, depending on a number of factors — but with some exceptions, you will likely need to leave the secure area of the airport and be processed again through the airport security checkpoint when you return. You might also need to wait a while for the complimentary shuttle of the hotel property to finally come around and pick you up — if the hotel property has one available. However, you do get a furnished private room with climate control; a full bathroom with a shower and toilet; a closet; and a real bed at a hotel property — and perhaps a microwave oven and small refrigerator as well. You may also have access to a fitness center; a business center; and even a swimming pool.
I have not yet tried a Minute Suites facility; but I hope to do so later this year during my travels and report back with an article which includes photographs pertaining to my experience.
Based on price alone, the rates are a little expensive for what a customer gets in return, in my opinion — especially when taking into account the aforementioned competitive options. Then again, I can only imagine what is the cost of real estate inside of an airport terminal — especially if the company is not a subsidiary of an airline…
Source: Minute Suites.