Sleeping in airports: Tips

Situations differ. Some travellers are sleeping in airports regularly to save on accommodation. Others may get stuck because of flight delays and cancellations. Then there are also times when it just makes no sense to book a hotel, and you’ll decide to stay in the airport instead. The one thing all of these travellers have in common is the question - ok, but how to make the experience of sleeping in the airport better? Or, in some case, at least less miserable.

Because it's the reality of travel nowadays. Flights get delayed and cancelled every day. And overnight layovers has become a norm in many cases.

Man sleeping in airports

Sleeping in airports

Can you sleep in an airport

Can you stay in an airport overnight? Is it even legal?

Speaking of staying at an airport overnight - mostly yes, you’ll encounter no problems at all. Unless the airport is closed at night, which would mean that your only option might be spending the night somewhere outside.

So do the research beforehand to find out if the airport will be open at night.

Can you sleep in an airport overnight? Again - mostly yes. As long as it’s open during the night. One thing you should remember, though, is that airports around the world differ a lot from one another. Some are better for sleeping there, offering facilities such as sleeping pods / sleeping capsules and airport lounges with beds. While in some airports there might not even be enough chairs for everyone to sit down.

Attitude towards travellers staying in the airport overnight differs as well.

Depending from the airport you may experience anything from sympathetic and nice attitude to rude airport staff not letting anyone to sleep.

If you're having a long layover, ask if there are showers in the airport. More and more airports offer shower facilities as part of their lounges, some of which are available to everyone.

Guy sitting on the chair - Sleeping in airports

Do your research

One of the easiest ways to make your experience better - do a quick research.

Before going on a trip:

  • Find out how big is the airport your are going to spend the night at.
  • Check the guide to sleeping in airports - sleepinginairports.net, to read other travellers’ reviews.
  • Find out what are the facilities of the particular airport (lounges, showers, restaurants, charging stations, etc.).
  • If you have an overnight layover, check if the particular airport is open 24/7. If it's not you may not be allowed to stay inside the airport during the night.
  • Find out if any of the cafes and restaurants are open during the night. If not, pack some snacks.
  • If you definitely don’t plan to sleep on the airport chairs, check if there are comfortable sleeping pods or airport hotels.
  • Can you leave the airport during a layover? Check if you don't need a visa, if you're thinking of leaving the airport.

Sleeping pod hotel

More and more airports around the world now are introducing sleeping pods, sometimes called nap pods. There are several brands offering such services in the airports, such as Yotel, GoSleep and NapCabs.

Sleeping pods offered by Yotel, GoSleep and NapCab are similar to any modern capsule hotel, and offer privacy in the busy environment of the airport.

Majority of such capsules have a reading light, internet access, power connectors and luggage compartment. Some of them even resemble a tiny hotel room and feature a work space.

Empty hall of the airport

Airport hotel

Sleeping in the airport or in an airport pod? Does it sound so bad that you even don’t want to consider such options? Don’t worry, you don’t have to sleep in the airport or in an airport pod if you don’t want to. Stay in an airport hotel instead!

Most airports have at least one airport hotel.

An airport hotel is a hotel that is very near the airport, or is even located within the airport. To make sure that you'll have a nice place to have a proper rest book the room in advance, though.

Worst and best airports to sleep in

Some of the most sleep-friendly airports are:

  1. Singapore Changi Airport - world’s best airport for already 6 years. It has several rest zones and plenty of rest chairs, as well as several airport hotels, lounges, shower facilities and various attractions.
  2. Seoul Incheon Airport - one of the busiest airports in Asia. It has plenty of chairs, relax and nap zones, as well as airport lounges and airport hotels. Shower facilities are available free of charge.
  3. Helsinki Vantaa Airport - it has plenty of seating, including reclining chairs. There are a couple of lounges and airport hotels as well. The airport offers shower facilities (for a fee).
  4. Munich Airport - has several rest zones, lounges and sleep pods, as well as an airport hotel. There are comfortable rest chairs in T2. The airport offers shower facilities (for a fee).

Some of the worst airports for sleeping are:

  1. Rome Ciampino Airport - partly because it's closed during the night.
  2. Paris Beauvais–Tillé Airport, which is also closed during the night.
  3. London Luton Airport - the airport is noisy and crowded, and is short on chairs.
  4. Berlin Schoenefeld Airport - the airport is short on benches, and those benches that are available aren’t comfortable, as reported by travellers online.

Waiting room at the airport

Staying in the airport during the day

It's possible. But remember - if you're travelling with checked luggage that you still have to check-in, mostly you'll not be able to do it earlier than 2-3 hours before the flight. So you'll not be able to go through the airport security earlier than that.

Do airlines provide hotel for long layovers?

Sometimes they do.

Mostly if the layover is at least 8 hours long. Check the information available on the website of the airline you're flying with. Or contact the airline via Twitter or Facebook.

Do you have a long layover but it’s not during the night?

Still you can get some sleep in a hotel. Check out DayUse app to see all available daytime hotel rooms. Day-rates are considerably cheaper than the overnight stays - up to 75% off the overnight stay price!

Have a safe trip!