An airport is a big, busy echo box. Its hard walls and high ceilings bounce back all the repetitive announcements, all the whirring and buzzing machines, all the loud conversations, and infant screams, adding up to a maddening cacophony of sensory assault every time we fly.
How do you escape the echo box?
Don’t think outside the box. Think inside a box. A smaller, quieter box.
Meet Jabbrrbox, a new concept that has appeared in Terminal B of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. It’s a personal private space to get some quiet – or escape a bad traveler partner.
What you see from the outside is a row of large, metal boxes lined up against the wall, with a glass panel in each door. It looks like a place to change into a superhero… and maybe it is.
What is inside the Jabbrrbox?
When I step in, I have a seat, a table, and access to a wifi network. There’s a touchscreen that lets me set the mood with colored lighting. There’s also a photo booth option, so I can practice my quest for the perfect selfie in privacy.
People can see I am inside the box, but I don’t mind. I haven’t experienced anyone stopping in front of it to look in.
I do wonder, though, if they will ever add screens for more privacy. It could be a space for breastfeeding moms. Or maybe a place to change into comfortable clothing before a long flight.
It would be hard to nap in the box, though I have managed to stretch out my legs. Mind you; I am rather small – there’s no chance a 6-foot executive could rest up his feet as I did.
Renting a Jabbrrbox also comes with in-and-out privileges. This means you can leave the box and come back as often as you want during the allotted time you’ve paid for. When you book, the system sends you an entry code to get into the box, and this same code can be used to get back in if you choose to head out for a bit, perhaps to take a short stroll to get some food.
Currently, to access the box costs $10 for 15 minutes, $15 for 30 minutes and $30 for an hour. You’d spend at least as much at an airport bar… and there would still be all that noise.