12 Places for Sleeping in Austin Airport as Pod Alternatives

If you’re concerned about where to rest due to a long layover, flight delay, or early morning flight at Austin–Bergstrom International Airport(AUS), our guide on options for sleeping at Austin Airport might reassure you. Although this airport ranks among the busiest in America, it unfortunately does not score well for sleep quality and has limited investments in amenities like sleep pods for travelers.

Here, you’ll discover what sleep options are available inside the airport, along with information on sleep pods, designated rest options, areas to sleep in the landside and airside, in-airport hotels and hotels near AUS to get some sleep.

To ensure our guide is comprehensive, we’ve included detailed sleep score metrics, offering a complete overview of how this airport ranks as a layover destination. You’ll find information on amenities like smoking areas, luggage storage solutions, 24-hour food options, WiFi, mobile charging stations, and more.

Does Austin Airport Have Sleep Pods?

Unfortunately, Austin Airport has not installed any modern sleep solutions such as sleep pods offered by brands such as GoSleep or Minute suites. Although the airport is equipped non-sleep-pods by Escape Pod, it’s important to understand that Escape Pod’s pods are intended as a workspace solutions, not for sleeping. It lacks bedding amenities such as a bed and is too compact for lying down.

This can be quite a disappointment for passengers looking for a convenient place to rest during long layovers or delays. Unlike some airports that offer innovative sleep solutions like the Minute Suites or GoSleep pods found in other locations, Austin Airport has yet to introduce such amenities. This lack of investment in sleeping facilities means travelers will need to look for alternative options to catch some rest.

Can I sleep at Austin Airport?

Sleeping overnight at Austin Airport can be challenging due to the lack of dedicated sleeping areas, quiet rest zones, and overnight food options, which diminishes its appeal for extended stays. Austin Airport doesn’t cater specifically to overnight travelers, making it less sleep-friendly compared to other airports. However, passengers can still manage to stay overnight under certain conditions.

Only passengers who have a late connecting flight are allowed to sleep airside in the Barbara Jordan Terminal. Once the security checkpoints close, other travelers are required to move to the landside areas of the terminal. While there are no designated sleeping spots, travelers have found makeshift resting areas using benches near check-in counters, behind barriers, or in quieter spots near the baggage claim area.

Overall, while staying overnight at Austin Airport is possible, it’s advisable to be prepared with items like earplugs and eye masks to improve sleep quality, given the airport’s limited facilities for comfortable resting.

Is Austin Airport Open 24 Hours?

Austin Airport is open 24 hours , accommodating both layover passengers and those with early flights by allowing them to stay overnight. However, access to the airside is restricted after the TSA security checkpoints close at approximately 8:30 PM.

Passengers who have already checked into the airside prior to the closure of the security checkpoints will be required to relocate to the landside area following the departure of the last flight and the ensuing closure of the airport. Access to the airside is granted again once the TSA security checkpoints reopen at 3:30 AM.

When Does Austin Bergstrom Airport Open?

Austin Airport operates 24 hours, but please note that TSA security checkpoints and airline check-in services, including baggage drop, close overnight and resume operations at 3:30 AM. While you can access landside areas anytime, official airport operations kick off with the start of TSA security screenings at 3:30 AM, though some airline ticketing counters (excluding baggage drop-off services) may open as early as 2:30 AM, as indicated by American Airlines on its website.

Travelers have access to four TSA security checkpoints at the Barbara Jordan Terminal, all leading to the gates. The first checkpoint opens daily at 3:30 a.m. As of February 2024, Checkpoint 3 is closed due to construction on the West Infill project, expected to be completed by 2026 as stated on the State’s website.

Where to Sleep in Austin Airport: 5 Best Spots to Sleep in Austin Airport (Airside)

  1. Terminal 7 – Near Delta, Lower End: Highlighted for its two long and wide benches accompanied by tables, making it an ideal spot for multiple travelers to lay out comfortably. Reviewed positively for its spaciousness, though it becomes noisy around 4:30 AM as the airport gets busier.
  2. Terminal D, Gate 8: Described as a quiet zone, especially after midnight. Seats near the windows provide a secluded spot to lay down, with good Wi-Fi and minimal foot traffic.
  3. Airside Mezzanine: Offers peace away from the bustling terminal areas. A small camping mattress, heavy-duty earplugs, and an eye mask are recommended for a good night’s sleep till morning. It’s relatively peaceful, with occasional announcements and cleaning activities during the night.
  4. Main Terminal, Ground Floor Near Gate 1: Known for its quietness as the gate is currently unused, except for the occasional maintenance worker or loud announcement. A comfortable spot for those looking to avoid disturbances.
  5. Barbara Jordan Terminal’s Second Level Near “Fara Cafe”: A hidden gem for solo travelers, providing just enough space for one person with a discrete view from the entrance level, ideal for those with an air mattress or willing to sleep on the ground.

7 Best Spots to Sleep in the Landside When AUS Airport Closes and Airside Access is Limited

  1. Near Check-in Counters: The seating areas near the check-in counters tend to be quieter at night after the counters close. People often overlook these spots, making them ideal for setting up a sleeping spot with less foot traffic.
  2. Baggage Claim Area: The baggage claim area can be a good option, especially near the corners and along the walls. It’s generally less crowded, and you can find some benches without armrests that are conducive to laying down.
  3. Arrivals Hall: Look for seating areas in the arrivals hall. These spots are generally less occupied at night and can offer a measure of quiet.
  4. Behind Art Installations or Large Planters: Often, airports have large art installations or planters that can provide a bit of privacy. Setting up behind these can give you a more secluded spot to rest.
  5. Pre-Security Food Court: The food court area pre-security closes down at night, but the seating area often remains accessible. It’s a great spot to find a table and chairs, where you can lay your head down on the table or push chairs together to lie down.
  6. Near the Entrance Doors: If you have a sleeping bag or mat, the floor near the entrance doors can be a good option. Choose a spot that’s out of the main walkway to avoid being disturbed.
  7. Car Rental Lobby: If there’s a car rental area within the airport that’s accessible landside, these lobbies can be quieter and less frequented at night.
  8. Mezzanine Floors: Some airports have mezzanine floors or upper level seating areas that are accessible landside. These areas can be quieter and offer comfortable seating options.

Review of Austin Airport Sleep Quality:

Sleeping at Austin Airport presents a mixed bag of experiences according to traveler reviews. While it is possible to stay overnight, the environment might not always be ideal due to several factors:

Pros of Sleeping at Austin Airport:

  • Availability of Quiet Spots: Some areas such as unused gates, mezzanine floors, and seating near less busy terminals offer quieter spots for resting.
  • Amenities Like Free Wi-Fi: Certain areas, especially airside, provide free Wi-Fi and power outlets which can be beneficial for travelers needing to stay connected.
  • Safety: The airport is generally considered safe, with security personnel around, reducing the worry about personal safety while sleeping.
  • Occasionally Unbothered by Staff: In certain areas like the mezzanine, travelers reported that even TSA staff did not disturb them while they were sleeping.

Cons of Sleeping at Austin Airport:

  • Lack of Dedicated Sleeping Zones: Austin Airport does not have dedicated rest zones or sleeping pods which are increasingly common in other international airports.
  • Noise: Despite finding quiet spots, announcements, cleaning activities, and the general bustle of the airport can disrupt sleep. Even with earplugs, some noises like loud announcements penetrate.
  • Comfort: Most seating arrangements have armrests or are designed in a way that doesn’t facilitate comfortable lying down. Options are limited to benches or floor spaces, which aren’t ideal for everyone.
  • Limited Overnight Services: Most food outlets close overnight, leaving few options for late-night dining or even basic snacks. This can be inconvenient, especially for those not prepared with their own supplies.
  • Movement to Landside at Night: Only travelers with late connecting flights can stay airside overnight. Others are moved to the landside once the security checkpoints close, where facilities and comfort might be more limited.

Places to Avoid Sleeping at Austin-Bergstrom Airport:

Based on the traveler reviews, here are the places at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport where fliers reported challenges or discomfort in finding good sleep:

  1. Landside Near Check-In: This area was described as having loud noises, music, and announcements that persist well into the night, making it difficult to sleep. The limited seating available also adds to the discomfort.
  2. Barbara Jordan Terminal: Although not explicitly mentioned for poor sleep quality, the seats with armrests here make it hard for travelers to lie down and rest comfortably.
  3. Near Baggage Claim: One of the reviews mentioned the area near the baggage claim where, despite finding a spot to rest, it was not particularly comfortable and there were disturbances like floor cleaning activities.
  4. Main Terminal During Renovation: The noise from ongoing renovation activities in the main terminal area was highlighted as a reason for disrupted sleep. According to this Austin.gov page, renovations are going to continue in various parts of the airport until 2026.
  5. General Seating Areas: Several areas within the airport, where the standard seating includes chairs with armrests, were noted for being unsuitable for good sleep due to the design that prevents lying down.

What to Expect Sleeping in Austin Airport Overnight:

Noise:

Reviews from travelers indicate that noise is a significant issue when trying to sleep at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Common sources of disturbance include frequent public announcements, the sounds of cleaning crews during the night, and the general bustle of airport activity. Even in areas that are typically quieter, such as the airside mezzanine or unused gates, occasional loud noises can penetrate earplugs meant to block them. This persistent noise factor substantially impacts the overall sleep quality for passengers trying to rest at the airport.

Temperature:

Traveler reviews suggest that temperature control is an issue at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, particularly in areas like the landside near the main terminal and baggage claim floors. These spots are described as not retaining heat well, leading to uncomfortably cool conditions, especially during the night. For passengers planning to sleep in these areas, it may be necessary to bring additional layers or blankets to cope with the colder temperatures, adding another layer of planning for those who need to stay overnight at the airport.

Austin Weather:

Austin, Texas, experiences a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot summers and mild to cool winters. The summer months, from June through September, are particularly warm with temperatures frequently reaching into the mid-90s°F (35°C), accompanied by high humidity which can make it feel even hotter. Spring (March to May) and fall (October and November) are generally pleasant with moderate temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the low 80s°F (18-28°C), making these seasons ideal for outdoor activities. Winters are relatively mild, with daytime temperatures typically in the 50s and 60s°F (10-20°C), though occasional cold fronts can bring brief periods of colder weather. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with occasional heavier showers in the spring and the rare threat of severe weather like thunderstorms.

Escape Pods in Austin Airport: Not for Sleeping:

Austin Airport features six “Escape Pods,” which are high-tech work booths from Jabbrrbox, designed primarily for focused work sessions. It’s important to note that these pods are not equipped for sleep and do not have beds. In addition, these pods are not large enough for an average-sized person to lie down in.

Snapshot indicating presence of pods at AUS

When attempting to make a booking, it seems that only five pods are accessible, contrary to the six advertised on the website. These available pods are located at the Barbara Jordan Terminal, with two at Gate 1 and one pod each at Gates 16, 21, and 23.

Each pod offers a comfortable seating arrangement and is equipped with amenities that support productivity and privacy. You can rent an Escape Pod for 15-minute intervals, with rates starting at $10 for the first 15 minutes. Reservations can be made in advance, and access to the pod is controlled by a PIN provided upon booking, which is valid only during the reserved period. While these pods are intended for work, their design precludes the possibility of lying down for a nap.

Snapshot showing how to book escape pods at Austin Airport

Amenities:

  1. Encrypted Wi-Fi
  2. Power Outlets
  3. Table
  4. Chair
  5. Adjustable Fan
  6. Built-In Microphone
  7. Built-In Speaker
  8. Bluetooth Capabilities
  9. USB Ports
  10. Adjustable Lights
  11. Digital Lock
  12. Web Camera

Here is a link to the Escape Pods page and can make a booking using this link. Bookings are available 24 hrs a day.

Sleep Pod Alternatives: Hotels Near Austin Airport for Comfortable Sleep:

If you want a hotel that you can park, sleep and fly near Austin Airport with free airport shuttle, consider Courtyard with details below:

  1. Courtyard by Marriott Austin Airport
    • Rating: Excellent (4.8, 19 Reviews)
    • Distance from AUS: 2.7 miles
    • Features: Free shuttle service
    • Shuttle Hours: 04:00 AM – 12:00 AM (shuttle operates 20 hours a day)
    • Shuttle Frequency: Shuttle to Airport every 30min, pickup on demand.
    • View Deal: Link to View Deal
    • Cancellation: Free cancellation

The following two airports provide parking if you need to leave your car and fly out of Austin Airport to pick up at a later date when you fly back. Note that these two hotels currently do not provide airport shuttle and you’ll have to take an Uber or arrange your own transportation from these hotels:

  1. La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Austin Airport
    • Distance: 2.2 miles
    • Features: Includes breakfast, popular among families and business travelers.
    • Parking: Free Parking provided.
    • Price: Link to View Deal
  2. Super 8 Austin Airport South
    • Rating: Great (3.9, 83 Reviews)
    • Distance from AUS: 3.9 miles
    • Parking: Parking provided at the hotel
    • Features: Standard amenities
    • View Deal: Link to View Deal
    • Cancellation: Free cancellation
  3. Residence Inn Austin Airport
    • Rating: Excellent (5.0, 2 Reviews)
    • Distance from AUS: 5.5 miles
    • Parking: Parking provided at the hotel
    • Features: No shuttle service provided
    • View Deal: Link to View Deal

Austin Airport also has two Sleep and Fly locations that are located 0.9 miles from the airport and provide free airport shuttle that operates 24 hours. Check them out on ParkSleepfly website here.

If you need a hotel near AUS airport with 24-hour shuttle, check out Hyatt with overview details below;

  1. Hyatt Place Austin Airport
    • Distance: 1.2 miles
    • Features: Includes breakfast, highly rated for its proximity and value.
    • Price: Link to view Deal

Hilton also provides free shuttles;

  1. Hilton Austin Airport
    • Distance: 1.3 miles
    • Features: Close proximity, premium services, higher price point.
    • Price: Link to View Deal


Here’s an overview of several hotels near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, highlighting key amenities and proximity to help travelers choose suitable accommodations:

  1. Hampton Inn & Suites Austin-Airport
    • Distance: 2.1 miles
    • Features: Offers breakfast, known for comfort and good service.
    • Price: Link to View Deal
  2. Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham Austin Airport
    • Distance: 2.1 miles
    • Features: Budget-friendly, includes breakfast, good for short stays.
    • Shuttle Details: Shuttle runs only until 9 PM and starts again at 4 AM
    • Price: Less than $100 – Link to view Deal.
  3. Holiday Inn Austin Airport, an IHG Hotel
    • Distance: 2.7 miles » Check Rates
    • Features: Modern amenities, suitable for business travelers.
  4. Staybridge Suites Austin Airport, an IHG Hotel
    • Distance: 2.4 miles » Check Rates
    • Features: Includes breakfast, designed for longer stays with kitchenettes in rooms.
  5. Best Western Plus Austin Airport Inn & Suites
    • Distance: 2.4 miles » Check Rates
    • Features: Includes breakfast, best for value and convenience.
    • Shuttle: They offer free shuttle but doesn’t run after 11 PM and doesn’t start early. One review indicated that they had to get Uber to the airport for a morning flight at 4 AM.
  6. Tru by Hilton Austin Airport
    • Distance: 2.3 miles » Check Rates
    • Features: Stylish, free parking, modern design, includes breakfast, good for younger travelers.
    • Shuttle: They offer a free shuttle that starts at 4 AM and runs every 30 mins. Not sure when the last shuttle leaves the airport but one review indicated that when they requested the shuttle once at 11:45 PM, the shuttle showed up quickly to pick them up.
  7. Wyndham Garden Austin
    • Distance: 5.2 miles » Check Rates
    • Features: More affordable, free parking, slightly further from the airport.
    • Free airport shuttle. Couldn’t confirm if it runs 24 hours.
  8. Home2 Suites by Hilton Austin Airport
    • Distance: 2.4 miles » Check Rates
    • Features: Includes breakfast, free parking, pool, spacious rooms with kitchen facilities.
    • Does not offer airport shuttle services
  9. Quality Inn & Suites Airport
    • Distance: 1.5 miles » Check Rates
    • Features: Closest budget option, includes breakfast.
  10. Super 8 by Wyndham Austin/Airport South
    • Distance: 3.1 miles » Check Rates
    • Features: Economical, free parking, free breakfast, straightforward accommodations.
    • Mixed reviews on airport shuttle. Not as reliable.
  11. Atwell Suites Austin Airport, an IHG Hotel
    • Distance: 2.2 miles » Check Rates
    • Features: Newer property, free parking, free/includes breakfast, stylish suites.
    • Shuttle: Runs until 11 PM.

Austin Airport Sleep Score: 42/100

Sleep Accommodations (10.5/37.5 Points)

  • Innovative Sleep Technology (Pods/Suites): 0/8 points. Austin Airport has Escape Pods, but these are not designed for sleeping as they do not allow an average-sized person to lie down. AUS therefore scored zero as it doesn’t have sleep-equipped sleeping pods such as those by Minute Suites. See list of airports with sleep pods here.
  • In-Airport Hotel: 0/7 points. No in-airport hotel is mentioned in traveler reviews for direct access.
  • Hotels with Free Shuttle Service: 5/5 points. Reviews do not mention nearby hotels offering complimentary shuttle services. There are several airports within 2-mile radius of Austin Airport.
  • Designated Rest Zones: 0/5 points. AUS does not have designated rest zones are queit sleep areas featuring comfortable sleep chairs such as reclining chairs
  • At Least One Identified Sleeping Spot in Each Terminal: 2/5 points. While some spots are mentioned for resting, none are described as good for sleeping.
  • Ease of Access to Free Sleeping Spots: 1/5 points. Access to free sleeping spots is not highlighted as easy or convenient. Most chairs have armrests and other factors such as noise, lighting and temperature make it difficult to find a good spot
  • Access to Day-rooms in Airport Hotels or by Nearby Hotels: 2.5/2.5 points. Holiday Inn Express and Suites is the best day-use hotel that you can book and sleep in from 10 am to 3:30 Pm and cost around $70. Another great option which allows bookings from 8 am to 11Pm is the Canopy by Hilton Austin Downtown which is also priced fairly well for budget travelers.

Seating and Space Availability (5/10 Points)

  • Armrest-Free Chairs: 1/5 points. Most chairs have armrests, making it difficult to lie down comfortably.
  • Availability of Seating Spaces: 4/5 points. Seating is available, but not tailored for sleeping comfort.

Ambient Environment for Sleep (9/15 Points)

  • Lighting: 6/8 points. There is a noticeable absence of specific comments regarding how lighting affects sleep, yet it can be deduced that typical airport lighting is not favorable for sleeping. Points have been allocated for the potential of improved lighting, considering the current renovations. Please share any details if you have experience in this airport.[possible for the score to be lowered in future with more information]
  • Sound Level at Night: 1/7 points. Reviews consistently mention that noise from announcements, cleaning, and general airport operations significantly disrupts sleep.
  • Temperature: 2/5 points. The lack of temperature regulation, combined with the chilly Texan weather at night, is a significant factor affecting sleep quality.

Operating Hours and Accessibility (4.5/10 Points)

  • 24/7 Operation: 2.5/5 points. The airport operates 24/7, allowing for overnight stays. Hoever, only those with late connecting flight are allowed to stay in the airside and others get asked to move to landslide once the last flight departs at around 11 PM.
  • Ease of Overnight Stay: 2/5 points. Staying overnight is possible but comes with difficulties such as noise and lack of comfortable sleeping spots. For those departing early, you won’t be allowed to stay overnight.

Amenities (13/22.5 Points)

  • Cleanliness: 2/3 points. One review noted that floors can get dirty making it not suitable for sleep although this is normal for most tiny airports with small terminals
  • Security: 3/3 points. The absence of homeless individuals and the presence of others sleeping overnight were positively noted as factors that enhance safety.
  • Wi-Fi and Charging Stations: 3/3 points. Austin Airport provides complimentary Wi-Fi for up to four hours via Boingo. To connect, select Boingo Hotspot under WiFi options then select “Complimentary Wi-Fi” in the Boingo options. After 4 hours, you will be timed out. Should you require Wi-Fi beyond four hours, simply reconnect using the “Complimentary Wi-Fi” option. There are many charging stations in both terminals.
  • Food and Beverage: 0/3 points. No overnight food options
  • Shower Amenities: 0/3 points. No shower facilities are provided at AUS and no paid lounge has shower facilities installed.
  • Pay-Per-Use Lounge: 2.5/2.5 points. The United Club Lounge offers day passes for $59 to guests presenting a boarding pass for same-day travel on United Airlines, Star Alliance, or a partner-operated flight. Located in the Barbara Jordan Terminal, on the Mezzanine Level across from Gate 22, the lounge is open daily from 4:30 AM to 7:15 PM. If you possess a same-day boarding pass for flights either operated or marketed by American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or any oneworld® airline, you’re granted access to the Admirals Club using a $79 day pass. This exclusive lounge is situated in the Barbara Jordan Terminal, on the Airside Mezzanine Level, directly opposite Gate 22. The lounge welcomes guests from 4:15 AM to 9:15 PM daily.
  • Luggage Storage Facilities: 0/2.5 points. Airport does not have storage facilities
  • Access to Smoking Areas: 2.5/2.5 points. Smoking is only allowed in designated outdoor locations

Total Austin Airport Sleep Score: 42/100

  • Sleep Accommodations: 10.5/37.5
  • Seating and Space Availability: 5/10
  • Ambient Environment for Sleep: 9/15
  • Operating Hours and Accessibility: 4.5/10
  • Amenities: 13/22.5
  • Overall Total Score: 42/100

Closing Remarks on AUS Sleep quality Based on its ZZZ Score:

The sleep quality at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) scores a modest 42 out of 100, reflecting significant room for improvement across various categories crucial for comfortable airport sleeping conditions. Here’s an expert analysis of the factors contributing to this score:

Sleep Accommodations (10.5/37.5 Points)

AUS falls short in providing dedicated facilities for sleep. The absence of sleep pods or suites, in-airport hotels, and designated rest zones severely limits options for travelers needing rest. The Escape Pods available are not suitable for lying down, compounding the issue. However, the airport does score points for nearby hotels with shuttle services, and some access to day-rooms at hotels like the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, which offers a temporary respite, albeit not within the airport premises.

Read about sleep pods in Beijing Airport and Capsule Hotel in Japan’s Narita Airport.

Seating and Space Availability (5/10 Points)

The majority of seating in AUS comes with armrests, which hinders the ability to lie down and rest comfortably. While there is general availability of seating, it is not designed with sleeping in mind, making extended stays particularly challenging.

Ambient Environment for Sleep (9/15 Points)

ABIA’s environment poses another set of challenges for sleeping, primarily due to lighting and noise. Typical airport lighting isn’t conducive to sleep, and despite ongoing renovations which might improve conditions, the current state remains unfavorable. The noise from regular airport operations, including announcements and cleaning, further disrupts any possibility of restful sleep. Temperature regulation also appears to be an issue, with conditions often described as too cold for comfort during nighttime.

Operating Hours and Accessibility (4.5/10 Points)

While ABIA operates 24/7, this accessibility is limited by policies that do not allow passengers to stay overnight airside without a late connecting flight, pushing them landside where facilities are even more limited. This significantly impacts the ease of overnight stays.

Amenities (13/22.5 Points)

On a more positive note, ABIA performs relatively well in terms of amenities. The airport offers good security, free Wi-Fi, and sufficient charging stations, which are essential for travelers. However, the lack of food services overnight, no shower facilities, and the absence of luggage storage facilities diminish the overall comfort and convenience for passengers.

Learn more about our Airports ZZZ/Sleep Score here.

Conclusion

Overall, the sleep quality at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is far from ideal, with a total score of 42/100 highlighting numerous areas for improvement. For travelers, especially those facing extended layovers or unexpected overnight stays, the current setup at ABIA can be challenging. While some basic amenities are provided, the lack of comfortable sleeping arrangements and the noisy, bright, and often cold environment make it difficult for passengers to get restful sleep. Those needing to sleep might consider off-airport hotels as a more comfortable alternative until improvements are made within the airport itself.

Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.