Flying Solo: Dublin Airport trials new €5 seat for solo passengers
New 'MySpot' seat and pod offer private space, tea, coffee and hand luggage storage... for a fee
Flying solo? Instead of scrambling for seats in airside restaurants or lounges, what about setting up camp in a private pod?
That's now an option - albeit on a trial basis - at Dublin Airport.
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A new initiative called 'MySpot' provides a dedicated seating and private pod area specifically designed for passengers travelling on their own, the airport says.
The seat and pod are located at Terminal 1's Gate 103 until mid-December, where staff are on hand to help passengers who'd like to try them out.
Both contain charging facilities, a compartment for storing hand luggage, and users can have tea, coffee or water delivered as part of the service.
And the price?
If the trial is successful, passengers will be able to reserve the seat online from €5, or the pod from €10.
“We conduct regular surveys throughout the year and we know that more than 56pc of our passengers travel alone,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison.
“Solo passengers typically grab a drink and a sandwich and proceed directly to their boarding gate. This group finds it challenging carrying hand luggage and other items such as tea or coffee when travelling alone,” he added.
During the trial period, passengers will be greeted by a MySpot staff member who will explain the product, the airport says.
If the trial is successful it will be available at other boarding gates through an online booking system appearing next to other Dublin Airport travel services such as Executive Lounges, Fast Track and Platinum Services.
The seat and pod come as solo travel continues to grow worldwide, thanks to growing air networks, business travel and the steady rise of independent female travellers.
Last year, a British Airways survey found over half of female respondents had taken a trip alone... and 75pc were considering one.
Another recent survey of 500 Irish and UK customers by tour operator Travel Department found that Irish people were three times more likely to travel alone than their UK counterparts.
Four out of five respondents who travelled alone were women, the company says.
Dublin Airport's 'MySpot' seat and pod were designed by Dubliner David O’Coimin, who is Chief Executive and founder of the Nook by Do Company.
The trial is one of a number of new projects being developed at the airport under an initiative known as The Future Factory, which creates and tests ideas around the airport campus - products like its tetra cartons and cans of water, for example, and steel bottles which can be refilled at Hydration Stations.
“We have already received very positive feedback from solo passengers trialling the service with some passengers saying they would check-in earlier to use it and others commenting that the pod was very comfy and private,” Mr Harrison said.