Have You Ever Had To Sleep In The Airport?

by Passrider on May 8, 2012

Airport TowerMy very first time to Europe, I had to sleep in the Charles de Gaulle, Paris France (CDG) airport. I had flown from New York-John F. Kennedy, NY (JFK) to London-Heathrow, London England (LHR) on Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS). I was so ecstatic, that I did not check the loads coming back.



Well, I paid the price as the return flights were all full. They were also full the next day as well. My best bet was to make it to Charles de Gaulle and fly out the next morning as those flights were open. As such, I took bmi british midland (BD) across the English Channel to Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Once there, I realized that my ATM card would not work and I did not have enough money on my credit card or cash for a hotel. I was in Terminal 1, so I made my way down to the lowest level and asked the operations guys if I could just sleep on the slab outside their office. They said O.K. and I busied myself until the next morning. It was quite a long night indeed.



The next morning, I was very happy to see the Delta Air Lines (DL) tail which would be my ride home back to the U.S. I cleaned up as much as I could in the airport restroom, then made my way to the check-in area; checked in and got on the plane. Boy was I glad to sleep all the way back to the U.S. This Web site would have been helpful – http://www.sleepinginairports.net, in finding a spot at Charles de Gaulle (CDG).



Have you had to sleep in an airport either waiting for an early flight or having been bumped and just can’t afford a night in a hotel? Please share your experiences with us.



Which airport is the best airport to spend the night in your opinion? Which is the worst? Please leave a comment below.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Bobbi West September 6, 2014 at 2:44 am

Thx Kerwin for all ur infomation …I love this site and what to talk more to you at some point…I thinl you are awesome

I can not find the place u sugesseted to sleep in the airport in Lima…Leaving early SUN..plz advise


avatar Kerwin McKenzie September 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Hi Bobbi,
Thank you for your comment and compliment.
I’d suggest looking at this site http://www.sleepinginairports.net/casa/lima.htm.
If you have 7 hours or so in the airport overnight, I’d look into finding a hotel very close to the airport.



avatar mike boden June 5, 2015 at 6:45 pm

I can’t imagine sitting for any length of time at CDG, much less sleeping….


avatar Marty Richards June 6, 2015 at 1:38 pm

My wife and I had travelled to Japan this past February to visit our daughter who is in the Air Force. We had an excellent trip, United flights were wide open both ways, (they have since reduced Asian flying due to reduced loads and the strenght of the dollar reducing Asians traveling to USA, so beware). We connected to Haneda (HND) through SFO) on the way there, 90 seats open, and then we came back through Nairta (NRT) to Denver as there was a snowstorm in EWR and had cancelled the NRT to EWR flight and this jammed up most of the return flights. (Final destination was MKE) Not to worry, we got on to DEN on United, no worries, even adjoining seats in Economy Plus.
But here is where it all goes south, we get to Denver and the United to ORD, or even MKE, is full, as usual. No worries I think, let’s check Southwest, they are very good about trying not to overbook and there are usually some seats open to MKE. Good news there are +7 seats open on Southwest to MKE, easy peezy. We list, wait for our check in time at the gate, and about an hour prior to the flight to MKE this roving gang of paid passengers show up at the gate and pile up on the gate agent looking to get on.

That uneasy feeling sets in that we are definitely not getting on this flight, even before we are checked in and it is 11:25pm. This was the day that Southwest forgot to inspect about 50 planes and they were grounded, in my experience, this was an extremely unusual situation. Ugh. So, we know we can get on the first thing in the morning United flight direct to MKE and we decide to camp out in the airport, Denver has arm rests on all chairs from what I noticed, there is the central hub area, on the 3rd floor that has some quite comfortable sleeping areas, unfortunately those are taken. So we commandeer 4 rubber mats that the GA stand on at the gates, put them down behind the desk and wall for Gate 58 trying to get privacy and some quiet?
Thats hilarious. So, in Denver apparently the moving walkways are much like an old man with some serious arthritis, once they stop it takes for ever to get going?,,,,so they leave the moving walkways running all night long, the cleaners came through at least two times vacuuming, and other various noises in an other wise empty airport.
Also, if we hear of a rash of knee and ankle injuries to DEN gate agents in the future, I wouldn’t be surprised. Those mats are soft only in the idea that they aren’t concrete.
That night consisted of us huddled together getting random 20 minutes of sleep episodes only to wake up to either noise, a back that is getting angry, an arm that fell asleep, or a hip that needs repositioning. We survived, got out on the first flight the next day, and we had planned that as a travel day still. However, I do intend to write a harshly worded letter to the head of “Concourse Accomodations” at Denver International to complain about their lackluster sleeping accomodations at Gate 58……..yes, I am joking here. Just part of non-rev travel, it is evidenced by the blankets in our bags that this happens from time to time.


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