Can you Sleep at Airport Lounge, Parking Lot, Terminals etc

I don’t recommend that you rely on sleep at regular airport lounges for three reasons;

  • First, most standard airport lounges are not equipped with sleeping facilities, though a few provide comfortable seating, quiet sections, or specialized sleeping areas equipped with recliners or beds.
  • Secondly, majority of airport lounges close for the night, usually by 10 p.m., and all visitors must exit.
  • Thirdly, some airport lounges do not allow their guests to sleep in their spaces.

However, if you have the privilege of accessing certain premium or first-class lounges, or if you find yourself in select lounges in international terminals, you may find suitable spots to sleep as number of them remain open 24/7.

Sleeping in regular airport lounges can be a great way to save money on hotels, but it’s not always allowed, aren’t open around the clock or lack comfortable sleeping facilities. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about sleeping in airport lounges, including which lounges allow sleepers and what amenities they offer.

Can you sleep at the airport?

Yes, the majority of airports allow passengers on layovers to rest in areas before security checkpoints (landside), and airports that are open 24/7 typically provide opportunities for sleep on both the landside and beyond security (airside).

Depending on your preference, you have the option to sleep at locations either before security (landside) or beyond it (airside). Essentially, sleeping at the airport is possible with a range of both free and paid options, to meet various sleep prefences/budgets.

If you want to sleep at the airport for free, find a quiet, and low-traffic area in the terminal waiting areas. If you have your own sleep gear such as sleeping bag or mat, you can just lay it on the floor. If you don’t have your own sleeping bag look for benches or chairs with no armrest at different waiting areas and use them as makeshift bed. In a few airports such as Dublin and Changi, you may be lucky to find comfortable spot in a reclining chair at designated rest areas. In very few airports, you may also find lounges that allow you to sleep.

If you don’t mind paying for sleep at airports, you have two main options. The first option is booking a hotel at or near the airport and this is perfect if you have an overnight layover but the drawback is that most of them tend to be pricey. If you have a short layover and just need a quick nap without leaving the airport, you can opt for innovative sleep solutions, commonly known as pods, are available from providers like Minute Suites, YotelAir, Sleep n Fly, and GoSleep.

Yes, most airport do not have bylaws prohibiting transiting passengers from catching some Zs and it is totally legal to sleep in airports. Airports are public spaces, and many fliers with overnight layovers, experience flight cancellations, or need to catch early flights are allowed to rest in terminal areas.

However, I have found a few domestic airports such as LGA that are trying to keep away homeless people from making airport terminals their permanent sleeping place and impose rules on who can sleep at both pre-security(landside) and post security(airside). In most airports with homeless population, access and sleep in the airside is strictly prohibited if you don’t have a boarding pass.

Note that the rules can vary significantly depending on the airport and its specific policies.

Some airports may have restrictions on where you can sleep, such as limiting sleep to pre-security areas or designated rest zones. Others might be closed during late hours, not allowing passengers to stay overnight inside the terminals. There are also airports that are open 24/7 but may still have guidelines about sleeping, such as not allowing it in certain areas for safety and security reasons.

It’s always a good idea to check the specific airport’s policy if you plan to sleep there. Additionally, maintaining a low profile, being respectful of airport operations and other passengers, and ensuring your belongings are secure can help avoid any potential issues.

6 Steps for Good Sleep in Airports:

Step 1: Research Sleep Options at the Airport:

Get comprehensive insights into potential sleeping locations at airports using online airport sleep resources such as AirportZZZ.com and Sleepinginairports.net.

At Airport ZZZ, you will find up-to-date information on the latest innovative sleeping solutions like sleep pods, detailing their features, costs, and exact locations. Additionally, Airport ZZZ covers sleep alternatives to sleep pods, including complimentary sleeping areas within airports and hotels situated within a 2-mile radius of airports, many of which offer free shuttle services.

Meanwhile, Sleepinginairports.net offers broad overviews and detailed reviews for hundreds of airports, focusing on various airport sleeping experiences.

This information can be crucial for budget-conscious travelers, as airports like Changi and Dublin feature designated rest zones equipped with comfortable reclining chairs that rival paid options like GoSleep pods.

Moreover, some airports boast unique sleeping locations, such as car rental waiting zones (for instance, at Houston Airport), which you might miss without consulting these thorough guides and fellow travelers’ reviews.

Step 2: Decide on the Sleep Option:

Once you’ve researched potential sleep locations at your airport, the next step is to decide on the sleep option that best suits your needs, preferences, and budget. The range of options typically spans from free to paid solutions, each offering different levels of comfort and privacy.

Free Options:

The most readily-available sleeping spots in airports that are free are in benches or chairs without armrests. You’ll find them in the waiting areas in most terminals but busy airports such as Atlanta may have limited armrest-free chairs you can get to use them as makeshift bed.

If you are flying through some highly-rated airports such as Singapore’s Changi Airport, you’ll find designated sleep zones which you can get for free. These areas might feature reclining chairs or quiet zones specifically intended for resting travelers. Although amenities are basic, they’re a step up from standard seating areas in terms of comfort.

Paid Options:

For those seeking more comfort or privacy, paid options vary significantly in terms of what they offer and cost.

Airport Hotels:
  • If you have a long layover and want the most comfortable sleep option, providing full hotel services without leaving the airport, book a hotel within the airport or near the airport. This option offers the highest level of privacy and amenities, including beds, private bathrooms, and sometimes even fitness centers or swimming pools.

Innovative Sleep Facilities:

This category includes a range of compact sleep pod options such as Minute Suites(in SLC, PHL, JFK, ATL, Houston, and DFW) SleepBox, YotelAir(in Gatwick and Heathrow), and Sleep N’ Fly(in Dubai Airport).

These facilities offer a more affordable alternative to hotels and are designed for shorter stays. Sleep pods are compact, providing a private space to rest, often equipped with a bed, charging stations, and sometimes even internet access.

Minute Suites and similar services offer small private rooms with a daybed/sofa, a workspace, and a TV, offering a bit more space than pods. YotelAir and SleepBoxes resemble miniature hotel rooms, providing additional amenities such as private showers.

Step 3: Preparation for Sleeping at the Airport:

The next step is to prepare for your sleep at the airport you’ll be flying through. This will involve bringing appropriate sleep gear such as sleeping bag if you want to sleep on the floor or dressing appropriately depending on the time of year.

First, you need to find your way to the preferred sleep location. If you are new traveler and can’t figure out airport directions, I recommend using all available resources to reach your spot. Downloading a map of the airport’s layout, paying attention to directional dashboards, or even asking security personnel for assistance can make it easy for you to find the space you would like to spend the night.

If you are sleeping on a hard floor surface, you can still make it comfortable but would recommend picking spots with carpeted flooring if there are no benches to sleep on. Use your pillow if you have one, blanket, or even layered clothing to enhance the comfort of less-than-ideal sleeping spots like chairs or floors. If you’re in a sleep pod or suite, take a few moments to get acquainted with the amenities to maximize your rest. Some YotelAir cabins have sleep-enhancing music which you can turn on.

Prior to your travel, get info on the temperatures at your destination airport so you can dress appropriately. And a pro tip. There is no such thing as overdressing especially during Winter.

Step 4: Create a Comfortable Sleep Space

While some sleep pods such as Minute Suites and YotelAir have soundproofing or sound-masking technology, I recommend getting noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to block out the airport’s ambient noise, and an eye mask to shield your eyes from persistent lighting.

Step 5: Ensure your Luggage is Safe:

I suggest always keeping your luggage within arm’s reach, possibly using it as a pillow or fastening it to your body, to reduce the chances of it being stolen. I’ve come across several discussions, particularly on Reddit, where travelers share funny yet effective tips like tying their backpacks around their necks. It may sound amusing, but it’s a practical approach that really does the job. Additionally, if you’re traveling alone, informing someone of your sleep location can add an additional level of security.

Step 6: Set up your Alarm

Finally, making sure you wake up in time for your flight is essential. Setting multiple alarms, preferably on a device that requires you to get up to turn it off, can prevent oversleeping.

In the next section, I explain sleep in airport lounges.

Can you sleep in airport lounges?

Sleeping in airport lounges can be feasible, but it’s generally not recommended to rely on it for overnight rest. Most lounges close by 10 pm, and while some may allow you to sleep before closing, facilities are not designed for extended stays or sleeping.

Merchandise sales drive lounge revenues, and have no motivation to set up spaces for guests to come sleep – sleeping guests don’t make purchases. For this reason, most lounges discourage guests from sleeping on their chairs or in their lounges. Some might even request you to keep purchasing in order to continue seating in their comfortable spaces.

Only a few lounges, such as those accessible with a Priority Pass, offer 24/7 access and sleep options like couches or Sleep Pods, subject to membership terms and lounge capacity. Dubai Airport, for instance, provides YAWN Lite Cabins with various amenities for comfortable rest during specific hours.

When doing research for this article, I only found a limited number of lounges accessible with Priority Pass that are open 24/7 and allow guests to sleep in their couches.

If you have a Priority Pass membership, some airports have Priority Pass lounges that are open 24/7, which makes it easy to get some rest when you need to. Cardholders can use their lounge visit entitlement to sleep in a Sleep Pod. If the Cardholder uses a Sleep Pod, they will be charged for that as if it were counted as one of their allocated lounge visits.

On Priority Pass’ website page explaining sleep options at their lounges, airports such as Dubai have sleep spaces at the airside of Terminal 1 Concourse D and Yawn Lite cabins. Yawn Lite cabins are similar to sleep pods and a single YAWN lite Cabin comes with a cotton sheet, pillow, and duvet for one (single) or two (double cabin) adults plus one child under 2 years as applicable (space permitting inside the bed).

Below is an example of sleep options you can get at the Priority lounge at Dubai Airport. Please note that some lounges in some airports may not have similar offerings as the Dubai airport lounges with the following options to choose from;

During peak hours:

  • A 2-hour stay in a single cabin (max. 1 pax) OR
  • A 1-hour stay in a double cabin (max. 2 pax) OR

During off-peak hours 12:00 noon – 22:00 only:

  • 1-hour stay in a single cabin plus 15-minute shower use (max. 1 pax) OR
  • 3 hour stay in a single cabin.

As mentioned above, each sleep cabin or sleep pod usage represents a single lounge visit within the Cardholder’s existing lounge visit allocation for which the Cardholder will, where applicable, be charged.

If a cardholder registers one guest, they will be charged for one cardholder visit and one guest visit on their account. Only one card per visit per Cardholder will be accepted at the time of registration.

According to Priority Pass’ website, each YAWN lite Cabin is equipped with a single (200 x 70cm) or double (200 x 140cm) bed complete with cotton sheets, pillows, and duvets. Each cabin also includes a power socket, USB charger, and LED light. Additional complimentary amenities include earplugs (on request), wake-up service with hot or cold towel (depending on preference), eye shades slippers, travel adapters & shower use during off peak hours.

How long can you sleep at Priority Pass lounges?

Typically, you can enter a lounge up to three hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. There are various regulations for each lounge, although there may be a limit on how long you can stay. Show the receptionist your physical or digital membership card and boarding pass, and you should be able to access the lounge and the receptionist can also tell you how long the specific lounge allows their clients to sleep.

In general, plan for 2 hours considering that you may waste a whole hour grabbing something to each or finding a spot in the lounge to lay your head. At times, it can be tricky finding a safe spot where you’ll feel at ease closing your eyes with your luggage besides you.

Can you sleep overnight in airport lounges?

Yes, you can sleep overnight at airports lounges that are open at night but you’ll struggle to find them as most of them close at night and are designed to for those looking for a short-term resting spot – not really overnight. A select number of Priority Pass lounges are open 24/7 but even then, they limit the stay to 3 hours and may not be a reliable overnight sleep option in most airports.

For airport lounges that are not open 24/7, it would be best to check the schedule of the lounge you wish to use to see their opening and closing hours. Most airport lounges open 5am till 10pm, however, there are some exceptions.

If an airport lounge is open 24/7, it would be best to check if there are any restrictions on how long you can stay in the lounge. Most airport lounges that are open 24/7 have a limit of 3 hours per stay.

To find out which Priority Pass lounges are open 24/7, you can use the lounge finder on their website. As thepointsguy.com noted on this blog, Sleepbox and Minute Suites are the only sleep options available and accessible to Priority Pass members all around the clock in the United States.

Can you sleep in airport lounges with a guest?

Yes, you can often sleep in airport lounges with a guest. However, some airport lounges may have a limit on how many guests each member can bring into the lounge. For example, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport has a limit of two guests per member.

To find out if an airport lounge has a limit on how many guests each member can bring, it would be best to check the specific airport lounge’s website or contact the lounge directly.

What are some other benefits of sleeping in airport lounges?

Aside from the peace and quiet that airport lounges provide, another benefit of sleeping in airport lounges is that most of them have showers. This can be beneficial if you have a long flight ahead of you and want to freshen up before getting on the plane.

Some airport lounges also offer other amenities such as food and drinks, TVs, workstations, and more. To find out what amenities an airport lounge offers, it would be best to check the specific airport lounge’s website.

What are some things to keep in mind when sleeping in airport lounges?

When sleeping in airport lounges, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to be aware of the airport’s security procedures. Make sure to keep track of your belongings and never leave them unattended.

Second, be respectful of other guests in the lounge. Keep your voice down and avoid using loud devices such as phones or laptops.

And lastly, be aware of the airport’s rules and regulations. Some airports do not allow sleeping in their terminals and you may be asked to leave if you are caught sleeping.

Can you sleep in an airport parking lot?

Airport parking spaces are considered private property and airports set their own rules on whether you can park and sleep in your car. If the airport allows you to nap or sleep in your parked car in their parking lot, you should note that you’re paying for parking and overnight parking at airports such as JFK ranges from $36 to $47 depending on where you choose to park.

Think of the airport parking lot as a private space that you need to pay for – just the way you won’t drive to a hotel and sleep in your parked car without paying for a room. The hotel parking lots might kick you off if you try to sleep there without paying for a room, as they may believe you’re trying to avoid payment.

Similarly, for airports, it’s up to each individual airport to decide if they want people sleeping in their parking lots and some may see it as individuals trying to avoid the costs of parking. JFK, for example, explicitly states on its website that “sleeping overnight in your vehicle is not permitted” in any of their airport parking facilities.

What are some other airport sleep options besides sleeping in airport lounges or parking lots?

If you’re looking for other airport sleep options besides sleeping in airport lounges or parking lots, there are a few options to consider.

One option is to book a room at an airport hotel. This option is ideal if you have an early morning flight and don’t want to have to travel to the airport the night before.

Another option is to rent a car for the day and sleep in the backseat. This option is ideal if you’re looking for a cheaper option than booking a hotel room, but it’s important to note that not all airports allow overnight parking.

A third option is to take a nap in an airport sleeping pod. This option is becoming increasingly popular in airports around the world and it’s a great way to get some rest without having to leave the airport.

Do you need a membership to sleep in an airport lounge?

No, you do not need a membership to sleep in an airport lounge. However, there are some airport lounges that are only accessible to members.

If you’re not a member, you can still access most airport lounges by paying a day pass or an annual membership fee. For example, the Amex Centurion Lounge at JFK Airport charges $50 for a one-time visit or $99, $299 or $429 for an annual membership.

Some credit cards also offer lounge access as a benefit. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers free lounge access to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world.

Can you sleep in Dubai airport lounge?

You can sleep at Dubai Airport lounges located at different terminals with the option of Snooze Cube and Sleep n’Fly pods. Snooze Cube is located in Terminal 1 at Gate C22 and Sleep n’ Fly Lounge pods are located in Terminal 1 at D-Gates, Terminal 3 at A-Gates, Terminal 3 at B-Gates and in Terminal 3 at C-Gates.

Are you allowed to sleep at airports?

The answer to this question depends on the airport’s rules and regulations. Some airports do not allow sleeping in their terminals and you may be asked to leave if you are caught sleeping.

Most airports have benches or chairs that you can sleep on, but some airports have designated areas for sleeping. For example, the Vancouver International Airport has a “YVR Sleep Zone” in its domestic terminal which is open 24 hours a day and has 10 recliners, 4 armchairs, and 2 private cubicles.

If you’re looking to sleep in an airport, it’s important to research the airport’s rules and regulations beforehand to avoid any problems.

What are some sleep options at airports:

Sleep pods/cabins/minute suites

Some airports have sleep pods that you can rent by the hour. These pods are private and usually come with amenities like a bed, pillow, and blanket. The following airports have sleep pods that you can rent and take a quick nap;

  1. John F. Kennedy Airport,
  2. Heathrow Airport,
  3. Abu Dhabi,
  4. Munich napcabs/sleep pods,
  5. Atlanta Minute Suites
  6. DFW Minute suites
  7. Charlotte Minutes suites
  8. Dubai airport
  9. Phoenix Airport
  10. Dublin Airports
  11. Fort Lauderdale

Read this other guide on all airports with sleeping pods

Sleep boxes:

Some airports have sleep boxes that are similar to sleep pods but they are usually less private and do not come with as many amenities. Washington’s Dulles Airport used to have SleepBoxes but were discontinued in 2020.

Blankets and pillows:

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, some airports have blankets and pillows that you can use for free. You can also buy your own sleeping bag for airport sleep. Check out this North Face Sleeping Bag brand that I like for its light weight.

Chairs and benches:

Most airports have chairs and benches that you can sleep on. However, these are not always the most comfortable option.

Airport hotels:

If you’re looking for a more comfortable option, you can book a room at an airport hotel. This is ideal if you have an early morning flight and don’t want to have to travel to the airport the night before. Book a hotel near the airport that offers free pick-ups and drop-offs at your terminal and preferably offering free breakfast.

Renting a car:

Another option is to rent a car for the day and sleep in the backseat. This option is ideal if you’re looking for a cheaper option than booking a hotel room, but it’s important to note that not all airports allow overnight parking.

Can you sleep at the airport terminal?

Most airports have chairs and benches that you can sleep on, but some airports have designated areas for sleeping. For example, the Vancouver International Airport has a “YVR Sleep Zone” in its domestic terminal which is open 24 hours a day and has 10 recliners, 4 armchairs, and 2 private cubicles.

If you’re looking to sleep in an airport, it’s important to research the airport’s rules and regulations beforehand to avoid any problems.

What is the best way to sleep at an airport?

The best way to sleep at an airport would be to book a room at an airport hotel. This is ideal if you have an early morning flight and don’t want to have to travel to the airport the night before. Book a hotel near the airport that offers free pick-ups and drop-offs at your terminal and preferably offering free breakfast.

What does this mean to you when planning your next trip?

When planning your next trip, it’s important to research the airport’s rules and regulations regarding sleeping in the airport. Some airports do not allow sleeping in their terminals and you may be asked to leave if you are caught sleeping. However, most airports have benches or chairs that you can sleep on, but some airports have designated areas for sleeping.

If you’re looking for a more comfortable option, you can book a room at an airport hotel. Another option is to rent a car for the day and sleep in the backseat. This option is ideal if you’re looking for a cheaper option than booking a hotel room, but it’s important to note that not all airports allow overnight parking.

Wrapping it up:

In conclusion, airports have different rules and regulations regarding sleeping in their terminals. Some airports do not allow sleeping in their lounges, parking lots or terminals and you may be asked to leave if you are caught sleeping. However, most airports have benches or chairs that you can sleep on, but some airports have designated areas for sleeping. If you’re looking for a more comfortable option, you can book a room at an airport hotel.

Nathan Kip

My name is Nathan Kip and I founded this blog, Airport ZZZ as a way to document and engage with clients in my travel consulting business. Airportzzz.com is the only source of over 2,000 fun things flyers could do during layovers.

Over the past 7 years, I have designed and planned tour packages for hundreds of clients and have recently focussed on the mission of changing boring layovers to excellent mini-vacations by giving you the best suggestions on must-do activities when flying over different airports.

Next time you or your friend are looking for suggestions on what to do in some airport, remember Airport ZZZ or Airportzzz.com. On this site, you’ll get the best suggestions available on the internet regarding hand-picked activities that will fulfill your airport experience.

I have obtained a license to provide professional tour guidance at Airports in the US and across the world. Why should you listen to my suggestions? I have flown through more than 100 airports in the world and fortunately, I have picturesstories, and tips to share with you regarding all the fun stuff you can do as you wait for your next flight.

Aside from gaining thousands of flying miles, I am also a travel consultant assisting clients with bookings and specifically advance tour bookings of things to do at airports when the layover is longer than 5 hours.

To make a 15-minute free things-to-do consultation with me, use my email, nate@airportzzz.com.

This is only recommended for flyers with long layovers of over 5 hours. If your layover is 3+ hours, you can still reach out but we cannot guarantee the ideal package that will change your layovers to mini-vacations. I only support clients flying through US airports and a select number of cities across the world.

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Name: Nathan Kip

Profession: A professional travel consultant with a focus on airport activities to do during layovers

Email: nate@airportzzz.com

Phone: +1 945 348 889

Website: airportzzz.com

Location: 322 Main Packway Street, Boston, US

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