LaGuardia Airport Sleep Guide

If you find yourself with a layover at LaGuardia Airport, there have been recent unfavorable changes in sleep options. In October 2023, Minute Suites closed its 5 Suites at Terminal B, leaving LaGuardia’s renovated $8 billion Terminal B without a reliable sleep option, despite plans for increased work and relaxation spaces.

The current choices are limited to the 2 hotels near the airport or braving the uncomfortable airport floor. Regrettably, there are no modern innovative sleep solutions like sleep pods or cabin hotels available.

Does LaGuardia Have Sleeping Pods?

Unfortunately, LaGuardia Airport currently does not have any sleeping pods available for travelers and the only sleep innovative solution that was provided by Minute Suites was shut closed in October 2023. I wasn’t able to find any evidence that sleeping pods such as those designed by GoSleep have ever been available in LaGuardia as they once were at JFK’s Terminal 5.

While the $8 Billion improvement and redevelopment of Terminal B created more spaces for travelers, there are currently no information of future plans to introduce sleeping pods or other innovative compact hotel designs such as YotelAir, or capsule hotels.

I noted that Escape Pods, a company offering tech-enabled workspaces has listed LGA on its website but upon further fact-finding, I was able to confirm that Escape Pods hasn’t actually installed any pods at LGA. See the snapshot below from its website showing zero number of pods at LGA:

A snapshot showing zero Escape Pods at LGA
A snapshot showing zero Escape Pods at LGA

There is no publicly-available information on why LaGuardia closed the 5 suites that were available for travelers but it appears that they have updated their website to remove LaGuardia as one of the airports it operates in. LGA isn’t the only airport listed among the busiest US Airports without sleep technologies. I recently wrote about Arizona’s Phoenix Airport too without sleep pods.

Can you Sleep in LaGuardia Airport?

Yes. You can sleep in the landside area of the airport (areas before security) as it remains open even after the last flight departs at around 11pm. The landside is open for those with layovers or morning flights and want to stay at the airport overnight. You will find great spots to sleep in several food courts especially in Terminal B and can even enjoy free WiFi and charge your devices.

Based on informal online sources, it seems that LaGuardia Airport (LGA) does not officially recommend that passengers remain in the airside area past security during its closure hours from around 12 AM to 4 AM.

However, following the renovation of LGA’s Terminal B, the enforcement of this no-sleep rule in LGA’s airside seems to have relaxed. I confirmed that passengers can indeed stay and sleep in the newly refurbished Terminal B’s airside area overnight, which offers a much cleaner environment compared to the landside.

In the next section below, I’ll provide a detailed overview of various sleeping options available in Terminal B Landside.

Take Note of Homeless Population:

There are mentions of a homeless population within the airport, but the reviews suggest that they mostly keep to themselves and do not bother travelers. Some initiatives are in place to address this issue, but it remains a part of the overnight experience at LGA.

It is worth noting, however, that most articles such as New Yorker’s article linked above are from 2015. I’ll update this post when I find credible info on the presence of homeless people after the redevelopment of Terminal B.

Does LaGuardia Airport Close at Night?

LGA’s landside area before security is open and accessible 24 hours a day, but ticketing counters for various airlines and TSA checkpoints close after the last flight departs at around 12 AM, reopening at approximately 4 AM. This timeline provides a general idea of what to expect.

However, I found information on American Airlines’ (AA) website specifying that AA’s ticketing in Terminal B starts as early as 3 AM. To ensure smooth travel plans, assume that airside access is unavailable from 11 PM until about 4 AM the following day.

To summarize, LGA landside is open 24 hours a day but the airside after security remains closed and no one can enter after it closes at around 12 midnight to around 4am. If you, however, check in before they close the TSA check-points, you can stay in the airside overnight although the cleaning crew may be busy at work. The airside will remain closed but you can stay inside until morning.

If you’re scheduled for an early morning flight, it’s crucial to be airside and checked in with TSA before they close the airside sections for the night. This is particularly important if your flight departs early, for example at 3:10 AM, before the TSA checkpoint reopens to allow access to your gate.

It’s important to note that although LaGuardia Airport does not have an a hotel or hotels inside the airport, several nearby hotels offer free shuttle services. Planning well in advance allows you the option to stay outside the airport comfortably before catching your early morning flight.

In the next section, I have explained in detail different free sleep areas inside LGA – both in the airside and in the landside.

Where to Sleep at LGA: Viable Free alternatives to Sleep Pods:

Terminal B Food Courts

Terminal B houses two food courts known for being accommodating spots for travelers looking to rest. The downstairs area offers an array of chairs and tables, complemented by USB power outlets and Wi-Fi, ideal for a quick nap.

Alternatively, the upstairs food court at the terminal’s end provides similar amenities with the addition of proximity to food and souvenir shops, making it a convenient spot for overnight stays.

Gates 14-20 in Terminal B

The area near Gates 14-20 is particularly noteworthy for its large, round couches without dividers and can get some sleep duing your layover at LGA. These couches were added as part of a recent refurbishment effort, providing ample space and comfort for sleeping, despite potential disturbances from regular announcements and construction activities.

Airside in Terminal B

Staying airside in Terminal B can offer a relatively peaceful overnight experience. This part of the airport is cleaned regularly and remains open, allowing for undisturbed rest without the hassle of being asked to move, even during the usual close hours from 12-4am.

Note that some online sources including forums such as Quora indicate that you can’t sleep on the Airside and this was true before the redevelopment of Terminal B. I was able to confirm from recent travelers that you can indeed sleep on the Airside in Terminal B. You should, however, note that you may be asked to move by the cleaning crew.

Landside of Terminal B

The landside portion of Terminal B, specifically along the back wall, presents a quieter option for those looking to sleep. This area avoids the bustle of the main thoroughfares, providing a more secluded environment for rest, though comfort may be slightly reduced by physical obstructions like poles.

Long Hallway Leading to the Gate Area in Terminal B

For travelers seeking solitude, the long hallway leading to the gate area in Terminal B offers a less crowded alternative for overnight rest. While space may be limited, this option is worth considering for those needing to stay the night.

Ticket Counter Level in Terminal B

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the public area of the ticket counter level became a designated resting area for travelers with early morning flights. Equipped with long wooden benches, this spot was highlighted for its safety and availability, though it was noted to be on the colder side.

Outside Terminal B

As a last-resort option, the area outside Terminal B has been mentioned for those unable to find a comfortable spot indoors due to airport closures. While not the most comfortable due to potential exposure to elements, it serves as a backup for travelers with limited options.

Terminal B Airside vs. Landside:

  • Travelers have slept both airside and landside in Terminal B. Airside seems to be cleaner and newer but lacks food options during the night. Landside, particularly around the food courts, offers places to rest, though comfort levels can vary.

Review of LaGuardia Sleep Quality:

Pros

  • Cleanliness: Generally, areas within LGA where people find to sleep are described as clean and safe.
  • Variety of Locations: LGA offers several spots for catching some rest, including food courts in Terminal B, areas near certain gates with comfy couches, and quieter spots along back walls and hallways. This variety means you can likely find a place to settle down, depending on your preferences for noise levels and crowd density.
  • Amenities Access: Many sleeping areas provide proximity to bathrooms, charging stations, and, during the day, food outlets. The presence of USB power outlets and Wi-Fi in certain areas is a significant plus for those who want to stay connected or entertained before dozing off.
  • Security Presence: The noticeable security presence throughout the airport can offer peace of mind, making it easier to relax and sleep without concern for personal safety.

Cons

  • Comfort: A common complaint revolves around the lack of comfortable sleeping arrangements. Many areas offer seating with armrests or hard surfaces, making it difficult to find a good sleeping position.
  • Noise: Announcements, construction noises, and other background sounds can significantly disrupt sleep. Earplugs are recommended by some travelers.
  • Temperature Concerns: Some travelers have noted the airport can be cold, particularly at night and in less populated areas. Without adequate bedding or warm clothing, this could significantly impact sleep quality.
Average temperatures of New York's City's Queens borough area where LGA is located. With freezing temperatures, and light clothing, it can be hard to get sleep at LGA's terminals. Dress appropritately
Average temperatures of New York’s City’s Queens borough area where LGA is located. Note that the temperatures can get to freezing levels and if you plan on sleeping in LGA’s terminals, wear warm winter clothes. Source: Weatherspark.com
  • Homeless Presence: While not a direct con for some, the presence of homeless individuals in the airport can be unsettling for others, potentially affecting their comfort level and ability to relax fully.

Sleep Pods Alternatives in LaGuardia: Hotels

In the absence of the latest sleep tech such as sleep pods, Minute Suites, and hotel cabins such as YotelAir, you can book traditional hotels located within 2-mile radius from LaGuardia Airport.

Here’s a helpful guide to determine which hotel might be most suitable for different types of travelers:

  1. Aloft New York LaGuardia AirportBest for Business Travelers: With its very close proximity to the airport (0.3 miles), Aloft is ideal for business travelers looking for modern amenities, efficient service, and minimal travel time between the airport and the hotel. Check Rates
  2. Hampton Inn New York – LaGuardia AirportBest for Families: Known for its family-friendly atmosphere and complimentary breakfast, this hotel offers comfort and convenience half a mile from the airport, making it great for families traveling with children. Check Rates
  3. New York LaGuardia Airport MarriottBest for Luxury Seekers: Offering upscale amenities and well-appointed rooms, the Marriott is perfect for those looking for a more luxurious stay close to the airport (0.5 miles). Marriott offers free shuttles. Take note that LGA’s Marriott will take you to the airport at any time you want – no waiting for other people for the shuttle van to get full/limit the number of trips – key advantage*).  Check Rates
  4. LaGuardia Plaza HotelBest for Short Stays: With its location just 0.6 miles from the airport, LaGuardia Plaza Hotel offers quick access and decent amenities, suitable for short layovers or overnight stays. Check Rates.
  5. The LaGuardia HotelBest for Unexpected Delays: If your flight is canceled or delayed, The LaGuardia Hotel provides a convenient and comfortable refuge just 1.7 miles from the airport, with friendly service to ease the stress of travel disruptions. Check rates.
  6. Fairfield Inn New York LaGuardia Airport / Flushing – Best for Budget-Conscious Travelers: Offering good value for money at 1.5 miles from LaGuardia, this hotel includes free breakfast and is ideal for those looking to save on accommodation without straying too far from the airport. Hotel Richland LES and Pod51 Hotel are other budget options with rates around $100
  7. SpringHill Suites by Marriott New York LaGuardia AirportBest for Spacious Room Seekers and Breakfast included: This hotel provides larger suite-style rooms, which are perfect for travelers who appreciate extra space and amenities like a small kitchenette. Check rates.
  8. Fairfield Inn New York LaGuardia Airport/AstoriaBest for European Travelers: With easy access to LaGuardia and a location conducive to exploring Astoria’s cultural offerings, this hotel is great for European travelers looking for a taste of home with its diverse culinary landscape.
  9. LaGuardia Airport Hotel QueensBest for First-Time Visitors: Offering helpful travel tips and proximity to the metro, this hotel is a good choice for first-time visitors to New York City who seek convenient transport links and straightforward accommodations. Also offers free parking and free shuttles. Check Rates
  10. Holiday Inn Express LaGuardia Arpt, an IHG HotelBest for Comfort Seekers: Known for its comfortable bedding and solid breakfast options, this hotel, located 2.8 miles from LaGuardia, is suitable for travelers who prioritize rest and a good start to their day.

Below are hotels near LGA with ‘best-seller’ tag on Tripadvisor and are recommended hotels for stay near LGA:

  1. LaGuardia Plaza Hotel – Located 0.6 miles from LaGuardia Airport, this hotel is highlighted as a best seller, likely due to its excellent location and quality service making it ideal for travelers.
  2. Boro Hotel – At 3.6 miles from LaGuardia Airport, the Boro Hotel is also noted as a best seller, which might be attributed to its unique appeal and proximity to various attractions in Long Island City.
  3. Hyatt Place Flushing/LaGuardia Airport – Positioned 2.4 miles from LaGuardia Airport, this hotel has a rooftop lounge and garden that gives you the Manhattan skyline. Check rates.

On the official LaGuardia Airport’s website, Airway Inn and Comfort Inn and Suites are also listed as very close to LaGuardia but I found Airway Inn to no longer offer free airport shuttle services.Check rates.

Laguardia sleep options - hotels

More about LaGuadia – What to expect during layover:

I think I can best describe LaGuardia Airport as a facility with a mix of modern updates and areas that still reflect its older infrastructure. The recent renovations, particularly in Terminal B, are frequently praised for their aesthetic appeal and improved amenities, suggesting a significant leap forward in the airport’s development.

However, despite these upgrades, certain aspects of LGA still leave travelers longing for more, especially in terms of comfort and conveniences during layovers or delays.

Below are some things to note about LGA:

  • Compactness: One of the unique features of LGA is its relatively compact size compared to other major airports. This can be a double-edged sword; while it often allows for quicker navigation through terminals, it also means that space can feel cramped, especially during peak times.
  • Close Proximity to Manhattan: LGA’s location is notably closer to Manhattan than JFK or Newark, making it a preferred choice for business travelers and tourists eager to minimize travel time to and from the city. Read about Newark Airport Sleep Pods and sleep options here.
  • Community Efforts: The airport’s initiative with the Volunteers of America to address homelessness within its premises stands out as a distinctive approach to a complex issue, highlighting a commitment to social responsibility. Read more about VoA in LGA on Bloomberg here.
  • Diverse Experiences: Traveler reviews reflect a wide range of experiences at LGA, from seamless and comfortable to challenging and inconvenient. This variability underscores the airport’s transitional phase as it continues to undergo renovations and improvements.

LGA Redevelopment is Good News for Layover Sleep.

In February 2023, the Atlantic ran a story titled ‘American Built an Actually Good Airport‘ and went on to provide an in-depth look at the transformation of New York City’s LaGuardia Airport after the $8 billion renovation over nine years. The article notes that LGA had been infamous for its decrepit condition, often compared to an apocalyptic movie set with its dark corridors and dilapidated facilities.

The Atlantic article is behind a paywall, but as a supporter of Open Access, I’m happy to share a tip with you. You can access it by pasting the URL into this website: https://12ft.io/. This will help you bypass the paywall and access the content. Feel free to pass this tip along to others who might find it useful!

Before the renovations, the LGA terminals were described as being far too small and pressed closely together, creating a crowded and congested environment. The dark, low-ceilinged corridors and abandoned, feral check-in stands added to a sense of gloom and discomfort.

Additionally, common issues such as roof leaks, often funneled into trash cans, would have contributed to a damp and unwelcoming atmosphere. The lack of comfortable seating and the general disrepair of the facilities would have made finding a decent spot to rest difficult. Overall, spending the night at old LaGuardia would have been an experience filled with discomfort and disturbance, hardly conducive to a good night’s sleep.

The renovation has not only revitalized the airport but also positioned it as a beacon of American infrastructural renewal.

LGA was recognized for its transformative redevelopment with several prestigious awards, including the 2023 ACI ASQ Award for North America, the 2023 Skytrax title for the world’s best new terminal, and the 2021 UNESCO Prix Versailles for the best new airport globally. Read about all of it at the newlga.com website designed to showcase the improvements.

LGA awards for improving terminal quality
LGA awards

Key aspects of the new LaGuardia include:

  1. Modern Design and Functionality: Terminal B is described as a theme park for air travelers, offering spacious and engaging environments. Delta’s Terminal C features large, airy spaces and a luxurious airline club. The layout is designed to enhance passenger flow and efficiency in arrivals and departures.
  2. Enhanced Travel Experience: The airport now features efficient taxiways and roadways, reducing the previous congestion and bottlenecks. The central area, with shops and entertainment including a Vegas-style water feature, is designed to keep passengers engaged and comfortable, promoting spending and reducing gate crowding.
  3. Cultural Integration and Local Flavor: The new LaGuardia strives to embody New York City’s essence with local business outlets, art installations, and even a fountain show that projects iconic NYC landmarks, enhancing the sense of place.
  4. Engineering and Construction Challenges: Maintaining airport operations during construction was a significant challenge. The design included innovative solutions such as building over existing structures. For example, sky bridges in Terminal B allow operations underneath to continue uninterrupted.
  5. Economic and Social Implications: The renovation is seen as an example for the nation, demonstrating the necessity and benefits of investing in large-scale infrastructure projects despite the high costs. It reflects a shift towards creating spaces that offer more than just functionality—they provide an experience.
  6. Philosophical and Cultural Commentary: The article also touches on the broader cultural implications of modernizing spaces like airports, discussing how consumerism and entertainment have become intertwined with such public spaces.
Comfortable seats near Dos Toros restaurant in LGA Terminal B ideal for sleep
Comfortable seats near Dos Toros restaurant in LGA Terminal B ideal for sleep. Credit: Panynj.gov

Here is how sleep will be better in the newly redeveloped LGA:

  1. Enhanced Comfort and Amenities: The renovation includes more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing waiting areas, which could make it easier for passengers to find a relaxing spot to rest. Features like improved seating areas and the presence of hotel-style elements in the terminal design suggest a more comfortable environment overall.
  2. Better Environmental Controls: With the new design focusing on spacious, airy environments, the overall climate control—including lighting and temperature—might be more conducive to rest. The article mentions that lighting dims as the day turns to evening, which could help create a more sleep-friendly atmosphere in the evenings.
  3. Reduced Noise and Congestion: The redesign aimed to streamline passenger flow and reduce congestion, which could lead to a quieter environment less disturbed by the commotion of crowded, busy areas.
  4. Security and Safety: The renovation includes updated security measures such as 16 designated lines, new TSA signage, and superior surveillance. In general, LGA now provides a safer environment for travelers, which can be a significant concern for those sleeping in public areas like airports. No more homeless people camping or sleeping in the airport.

Here is a summary:

Sleeping at LaGuardia Airport can be a viable option for travelers looking to save money or those faced with unexpected delays despite not having innovative sleep technologies such as sleep pods and suites.

Preparation is key—bringing earplugs, a blanket, and possibly a travel pillow can improve the experience significantly. While there are challenges, such as comfort and noise, the presence of security and the availability of amenities make it a considered choice for those in need. Alternatively, you can opt to book a hotel.

LaGuardia Airport Sleep Score: 33.5/100

Sleep Accommodations (7/37.5 Points)

  • Innovative Sleep Technology (Pods/Suites): 0/8: Similar to MWD and O’Hare, LGA does not offer sleep pods or suites for enhancing traveler rest.
  • In-Airport Hotel: 0/7: LGA lacks an in-airport hotel, limiting immediate rest options for travelers without leaving the airport.
  • Hotels with Free Shuttle Service: 2/5: A few hotels near LGA offer free shuttle service, but fewer options compared to MWD. New York’s Aloft Hotel is only 0.3 miles away and its shuttle runs every 30 mins. Despite it being close to LaGuardia runways, reviews praise the quiet rooms that give fliers great sleep option without going far from airport. Hampton Inn located only 0.5 miles to LGA provides free shuttle and free breakfast.
  • Designated Rest Zones: 0/5: No designated rest zones are mentioned for structured sleeping areas within LGA.
  • At Least One Identified Sleeping Spot in Each Terminal: 2/5: Fliers identify most sleeping locations in Terminal B and none in Termninal A.
  • Ease of Access to Free Sleeping Spots: 1/3: Access to free sleeping spots is challenging, similar to MWD, with limited armrest-free seating. With homeless people being seen in some landside locations, many prefer not to sleep here overnight.
  • Access to Day-rooms in Airport Hotels or by Nearby Hotels: 2/2.5: Nearby hotels offer day-use rooms, though not as conveniently located. LGA Plaza Hotel, Avion Inn, Marco LGA, and Holiday Inn Manhattan View are some top hotels to book during the day if you have a daytime layover.

Seating and Space Availability (4/10 Points)

  • Armrest-Free Chairs: 1/5: Limited chairs without armrests. Only few chairs in Terminal B, near Gates 14-20 are arm-rest free.
  • Availability of Seating Spaces: 3/5: Seating is available, but comfort and accessibility issues are similar to those at MWD.

Ambient Environment for Sleep (7/20 Points)

  • Lighting: 2/8: LGA’s bright lighting can be a hindrance to sleep without areas specifically designated as dimly lit.
  • Sound Level at Night: 3/7: Noise levels can vary, with some spots being quieter than others, but overall noise is a concern.
  • Overnight Temperatures: 2/5: Reports suggest LGA can also be uncomfortable at night due to air conditioning or lack of temperature control. One flier also mentioned ice cold floors not great for sleep.

Operating Hours and Accessibility (5/10 Points)

  • 24/7 Operation: 2.5/5: LGA’s 24/7 operation supports overnight stays but with limitations on comfort and accessibility. All terminals close overnight and access to airside is not possible. Landside conditions are not ideal for sleep overnight as well if you do not get to airport on time to access the airside before TSA checkpoint closes.
  • Ease of Overnight Stay: 2/5: Factors such as seating comfort and ambient conditions make overnight stays challenging.

Amenities (10.5/22.5 Points)

  • Cleanliness: 1/3: Cleanliness is maintained but specific complaints suggest variations in quality, especially regarding restroom facilities.
  • Security: 2/3: Strong security presence at LGA offers a sense of safety for overnight guests but there are reports of homeless people.
  • Wi-Fi and Charging Stations: 3/3: LGA provides Wi-Fi and sufficient charging stations for electronic devices. There are plenty of USB charging in Terminal B. Connect to the free WiFi network using “_Free LGA WiFi” network.
  • Food and Beverage: 0/3: Limited food options exist overnight; the availability is less compared to MWD but vending machines are accessible. The only food joint that closes late called the Artichoke restaurant in Terminal C serving New York’s pizza is temporarily closed.
  • Shower Amenities: 1/3: LGA, like MWD, lacks shower facilities, impacting the refreshment capability for extended stays. You’ll need to purchase a $79 day pass to access the American Airlines Admirals Club. You must present your boarding pass for same-day travel on flights departing or arriving, operated or marketed by American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or any oneworld® airline. Day pass can be purchased on United App but also accepts guests to pay at the door in Airside, Concourse D, near Gates D1 and D2. Its open from 4:30AM to 9:30PM on Sundays to Fridays and from 4:30AM to 9:00PM on Saturday.
  • Pay-Per-Use Lounge: 2/2.5: Only one pay-per-use lounge is accessible at $79 per person and must be flying with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines or oneworld alliance airline.
  • Luggage Storage Facilities: 0/2.5: LGA does not provide luggage storage facilities mirroring the situation at MWD, JFK and most US Airports – unlike Asia Airports such as Tokyo’s Narita Airport with excellent luggage services.
  • Access to Smoking Areas: 1.5/2.5: LGA is a smoke-free airport. Smoking, whether traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes/vaping, is strictly limited to designated areas outside the terminals. Before passing through security, smoking is permitted only in specific outdoor landside areas. However, beyond TSA checkpoints, no smoking areas are available, and violators are subject to a $100 fine for smoking past security. At LGA, designated smoking zones include the taxi stand outside the departure gates in Terminal B and the area outside the food court in Terminal C.
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.

———–

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

———–