Helsinki Airport Opens Free Lounge With Real Beds

helsinki airport relaxation lounge
Photo: Juho Suoperä

If you’ve ever tried to sleep on one of those hard airport terminal chairs as announcements blare over the PA system and passengers jostle into you with their luggage, you know how hard it is to get any decent rest while waiting for your flight.

Skift reports Helsinki Airport is giving travelers a reprieve by opening a relaxation lounge where travelers can sleep, rest or work in peace. The lounge has pod style chairs and even real beds, so passengers can choose the relaxation option that best suits them. The walls and ceilings are designed with acoustic technology to ensure a quiet environment, and the décor is meant to reflect the calming Finnish landscape, with ice and northern light motifs incorporated into the design.The relaxation area is open to passengers 24 hours a day, and here’s the best part -– it’s absolutely free. While we’ve seen a number of airport terminals incorporate mini hotel suites and pod sleeping areas in recent times, most charge by the hour for the privilege. Thankfully, in Helsinki that’s not the case. There’s no need to be a member of an airline loyalty program or fork over any exorbitant fees to get some shut-eye here.

3 Ways The FAA’s Relaxed Regulations Will Make You More Productive

The New York Times recently reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has officially ruled that regulations regarding the use of electronic devices on planes when flying below 10,000 feet can be relaxed. This will prove to be a convenience for all passengers and it will likely make flights more comfortable for many (fewer unsolicited awkward conversations, more playlists filled with music that takes you to your happy place). But this move is bound to increase productivity on planes for those who prefer to work while flying when possible. Here’s why:

1. Setup
When flying coach, like I pretty much always do, a compact existence is the key to a smooth flight. This means that if you want to bust out all of the things you need to conduct work after electronics are finally approved for use, you have to set-up your mobile workspace like a ninja to not interfere with the person beside you. This often leads to me not doing any computer work at all. The loosened rules, however, will make it possible for those who need to work to set up their little workspace when they first get to their seat and have some elbow room to work with. Sure, people will still have to fold their tray back into the seat in front for takeoff, but at least everything will be out and usable.2. Interruptions
Most people who work on the computer need to be able to focus. It can be difficult to get back into the swing of work if you started when you first boarded the plane but then had to power everything down for a chunk of time below 10,000 feet. We won’t have to power down now and can instead keep chugging along, hopefully much more focused than before.

3. Distractions
Unlike interruptions that cause us to power down in the middle of work, distractions can, in some cases, take an even bigger toll on plane productivity. If you get hooked into conversation with a neighbor who loves talking, which is easy to do if you can’t wear your headphones and at least pretend to be listening to music at the beginning and end of a flight, you’ll be less likely to accomplish what you had hoped to on the plane. These new regulations should help with that.

Cheers to the FAA for making such a sensible ruling and to all of you aspiring to increase your plane productivity: go get ’em tigers. Or, you know, go get ’em as long as your battery lasts.

FAA Could Ease in-Flight Gadget Use, GoGo Goes Public

Photo Of The Day: “Working From Home” In Santorini

Imgur

We’ve posted about Greece a fair amount lately. From rare animals to nude beaches, the topics have run the gamut. And today, we feature a more simple focus. Reddit user Andromeda321 is visiting Santorini, Greece for a work-related conference all week. They report daytime highs of 80° and cheap rent for week-long stays. And with a view like this, what’s not to love?

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at OfTheDay@gadling.com.

Photo Of The Day: Moroccan Leather Tannery

Leather tannery in Fez, Morocco
You can smell the tanneries in Fez, Morocco, long before you can see them. The stench comes from the diluted bird excrement used to soften animal hides as they’re turned into leather. The soft leather is then dyed in these large vats by men working hours at a time on each hide in harsh summer heat. Then the hides are hung to dry on the roofs around the old quarter.

Flickr user Mark Fischer captured this image of a tannery worker in the dyeing vats from the balconies surrounding the tannery. It’s basically an assembly line at ground level, so tourists aren’t allowed in, but the smell is often enough to keep most people at bay.

Do you have a great travel photo you’d like to share? Submit it to the Gadling Flickr Pool, and we could feature it as our Photo of the Day. Or submit it via Instagram, mentioning @GadlingTravel and using the hashtag #gadling.

The Kimchi-ite: 10 More Differences Between South Korea And The Rest Of The World

In the U.S., there is the art of tipping. In Finland, there is no such thing as college tuition; it’s almost completely subsidized by tax Euros. And in Ethiopia, food is eaten only with the bare right hand. Given South Korea‘s unique history and culture within Asia, there is no shortage of comparisons that can be made between it and the rest of the world. Even though I already reported on “10 Differences Between South Korea And The Rest Of The World,” more and more unique cultural curiosities are revealed to me everyday – things I couldn’t have possibly conceived of back in Florida.

1. Fan Death
Possibly the most internationally notorious Korean cultural quirk is the belief that if you fall asleep in a closed room with a fan on you will die. Theories include the fans causing hypothermia or even that the fan is removing all the oxygen from the room. Today, the myth is largely dying out with the new generation, none of my Korean friends believe it whatsoever, but they mention that they heard about it all the time when they were younger.

2. Koreans work more
On average, Koreans work 2,057 hours per year, 14% more than Americans, who on average work 1,797 hours per year. That’s an additional six workweeks per year. But that doesn’t really show the whole story and is probably only the officially reported and paid hours. It isn’t entirely uncommon for people to work 6 days a week, clocking in over 10 hours each day for a typical office job, with little or no overtime pay.3. Conscription
All South Korean males between the ages of 18 and 35 are required to serve in the military for between 21 and 24 months. This two-year commitment is a matter of much pride, controversy and angst amongst Korean men.

4. Don’t whistle after dark
Whistling at night is considered bad luck; it’s thought that it will beckon snakes and spirits.

5. Free and amazing delivery
Delivery is gold is Seoul. You can order virtually anything, at anytime, anywhere you are. Usually there are no delivery fees and you will often get full-blown, non-disposable plates and metal utensils. All you have to do, is leave it all out front of your apartment and the delivery guy will come by and pick it up later. Many restaurants that are not known for delivering in the U.S. have fleets of delivery scooters in Seoul – even McDonald’s.

6. Please eat. Don’t let it get cold
If you eat dinner at a restaurant with others, you will almost definitely not receive your food at the same time as each other. Your food just comes as it is finished in the kitchen.

7. No falling or springing
When my Facebook feed was recently flooded with status updates from my American friends groaning over an hour of lost sleep due to daylight savings time, I just laughed and savored the fact that my sleep schedule was not affected. Like most of the rest of the Eastern world, Korea does not observe daylight savings time. I personally love it. It allows me to get a better feel on the passage of time over each year.

8. Rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Within Korean cuisine, there is no such thing as breakfast food or even specific lunch or dinner food. Most meals can be had during any time of the day, and all meals are accompanied by a helping of kimchi. McDonald’s does serve a typical Western breakfast menu, but the Korean restaurant next door does not.

9. No waiting on hold
Customer service is seen as essential, and business hotline wait times are kept to an extreme minimum, with people getting angry if they are left on hold for more than three or four minutes. When I tell people that it isn’t uncommon in the States for you to be on hold for an hour or more when calling the cable company on the weekend, they simply cannot believe it. One Korean friend who used to live in New York City once called the Metro Transit Authority and hung up after being on hold for 20 minutes, thinking that it was impossible to be left unattended to for so long and so her phone must be broken.

10. Limited travel patience
Earlier today, my Korean girlfriend asked me how far Disney World is from where I grew up in Miami. I replied, “Oh, not that far … less than a four-hour drive.” She simply could not believe that I would call four hours away “not that far.” South Korea is a relatively small country, about the size of Indiana. Driving from one extreme end of the country to the other takes five hours. Even then, there’s still the option of high-speed rail, which will cut down your travel time to just three hours.

Be sure to check out the first list of Korean eccentricities here. As always, you can find more on Korean culture, food and eccentricities from previous Kimchi-ite posts here.

[Photo credit: Jonathan Kramer]