If you travel a lot, you’ve no doubt found yourself sleeping overnight at an airport, whether you wanted to or not. I know I have more than once. Delayed and canceled flights, missed connections, and arriving at cities with no hotel vacancies are all reasons a girl might find herself camping out at the airport. However, I never thought people spent the night at an airport on purpose. At least until I recently found the Web site, “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports.” This well-written site makes an outlandish idea seem, well, almost plausible. The site, which has been around for 15 years, has more than 7500 reviews of airports and rates them on things like security, on-site services, cleanliness and number of quiet hallways where you can sleep. They also offer tips on dressing and packing if you’re planning on spending the night at the airport.
Does sleeping in airports really make sense? Here’s a look at the pros and cons.
Pros of Sleeping in Airports
- It’s free. Enough said.
- Convenient transportation. Many airports, such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and Cleveland have mass transit trains that connect the airport with downtown–usually for less that $5 one way.
- Amenities. Big airports have amenities that rival luxury hotels. There are multiple restaurants and shopping arcades at most airports. Some even have fitness rooms, salons and spa services.
- No travel time to the airport. You don’t have to waste time traveling to and from the airport. You’re already there.
Cons of Sleeping in Airports
- Comfort. Some airport chairs and benches are more comfortable than others. Some–especially those with the rigid plastic arm rests–are impossible to sleep across.
- Security. Although airports have security, sleeping in a public place has its risks. DO NOT do this if you are traveling with children. In addition, you’ll either have to put your luggage in a locker or carry it with you wherever you go. You don’t want to come back from the ladies room to find the bomb squad circling your suitcase.
- Not all airports are open 24 hours. Some smaller airports close for the night after the last flight arrives. It pays to do your homework to make sure that you don’t have to vacate the building at 2 a.m.
What do you think? Would you ever consider sleeping in an airport to save money?