With lengthy delays, flight cancellations and layovers that can last longer than the average workday, airports may appear on the surface a prime place to sleep. Yet the goal of getting some shut-eye can be a tough one to achieve.
Obstacles range from the chaotic stream of noisy passers-by to the ear-splitting yet incomprehensible announcements. And don’t forget the rock-hard seats with their knife-edged armrests, both ready to admonish you if you dare slump sideways to grab a quick nap. It’s even worse in certain airports, with signs explicitly forbidding sleep if you’re hanging out in Reykjavik.
Despite the deterrents that prevent dozing in numerous airports across the globe, a few have managed to create a haven where shut-eye can be a reality. The Guide to Sleeping in Airports outlines the five best on the list, ranked by votes in its 2015 Airport Survey.
Best Five Airports for Sleep
Features that boost airports to the sleep-friendly list include items like comfy seating and couches, designated rest zones, quiet corners, courtesy blankets – and staff sympathetic to the weary travelers.
Singapore Changi International Airport, Singapore (SIN)
Singapore Changi nabs the top slot for sleeping as well as overall airport experience. Snooze-happy features include dimly lit relaxation zones, free lounge and massage chairs, easy chairs with mobile charging outlets, and armrest-free seats near the gates. Terminals are ranked as comfortable, safe and quiet enough for sleep across the board, and cozy corners are easy to find.
Seoul Incheon International Airport, South Korea (ICN)
Seoul Incheon ranked a very close second for sleep friendliness, with its own lineup of features that make it easy to nap. These include relaxation and rest zones, padded lounge chairs and benches, and row upon row of armrest-free seats.
Helsinki Airport, Finland (HEL)
Helsinki Airport took an easy third place on the list, thanks to numerous reclining lounge chairs, multiple armrest-free seating areas, and free use of a the serene Kainuu relaxation room, which comes complete with plush carpet and ergonomic seats. GoSleep pods are another bonus, with these teeny, secure pods available for free or a cost throughout different areas of the terminal.
Munich International Airport, Germany (MUC)
Germany’s Munich airport ranks in fourth place for nap-happy terminals, with features similar to those found in Helsinki. Three relaxation and rest zones boast lounge seats in a relatively quiet environment. Armrest-free benches are also the norm throughout many of the gate seating areas.
Vienna International Airport, Austria (VIE)
Fifth place on the list goes to Austria’s Vienna International Airport. Armrest-free benches, lounge-style seats and semi-recliners with optional foot rests are peppered throughout the terminal, and they all remain fairly quiet overnight. A full night’s sleep could actually be on the agenda, especially since competition is typically low for nabbing one of these cozy choices.
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