How to spend a night at the airport due to delays and flight cancellation?

Travelling a night away from home can be fascinating if you are with a good company of friends or family. This experience includes charming accommodation, luxury bedding, a balcony overlooking the garden or pool and room service. But sometimes, the experience is not so fascinating. On planning a long trip to a far destination, people often prefer catching a flight instead of taking a train. The core reason being that flights can make the journey comfortable and timely. Sometimes people book a late night or extremely early morning flights to save on their travel budget. However, there are cases where flights have also been delayed due to many factors, bad weather being one of them. In cases like this, passengers spend more time than usual at the airports.

Passengers often plan to stay overnight at the airport when they willingly book for a layover. But what if you have arrived 3 hours before your flight at night and see that the particular flight has been cancelled? Yes, that’s probably the worst to expect but it does happen. So, if you have booked airline tickets or are travelling late at night and got stuck at the airport due to these factors, then don’t panic. We have curated some basic tricks for you that you can apply in your night time at the airport.

Go to the international terminal ASAP!

Probably the best place to spend the night at the airport if you are on a limited budget. The international terminal offers a wide selection of cafes and restaurants from where you can have your dinner. It also features duty-free stores that allow the passengers to try free samples of many top brand products. Usually, frequent passengers who book a layover spend time at the international terminal. You can find people charging their phones or watching TV and waiting for the night to end. Thus, if you have to spend the night at the airport, you can grab one of the recliners and wait there for the early morning flight.

Always be prepared

As a late-night air traveller, you must be prepared for everything. You should know that almost everything closes at midnight at the airport. Yet, some of us have a craving to eat snacks while travelling. So, if you are also one of those people, then without wasting time,  you should head straight to the snack stores to stock up the essentials. Remember that these stores close by midnight so make your purchase as quick as possible. Next, if you are travelling solo, you can find other layover buddies and chat the night with them. Or if you are not much of a social butterfly, then you can grab a packet of chips and watch TV so that you don’t fall asleep.

Pack the essentials

If you are planning to stay at the airport overnight or if your flight gets delayed or cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances, then you must pack your luggage accordingly. The right accessories can make your overnight airport experience a bit more tangible. Your essentials must include bottled water, chargers for all devices, laptop or tablet, earplugs, toothbrush & toothpaste and eyeshades. You should also carry disinfectant and hand sanitizer just in case the airport stores are closed. Since airports feature centralised air conditioning, you should also consider choosing comfortable sweatshirts and scarves to protect yourself from cold. Keeping these things in mind, you can smoothly spend a night at the airport.

Ask an airport attendant about sleeping essentials

Most people who intentionally book a layover can often be found slumped over in a recliner. However, if you get genuinely stuck at the airport because of a flight delay or cancellation, you can ask the airport attendants for the sleeping essentials. The airport attendants are pretty generous and often they provide their passengers with pillows, cots or even blankets so that they can spend the night at the airport comfortably. If you didn’t know about this, then next time before sleeping on a chair at the terminal, ask the airport authority for cots. You will surely be given one which will help you spend the night at peace. 

Keep your ticket and boarding information on hand

If you plan to pull an all-nighter at the airport, then be prepared to produce all the documents that the airport authority may ask for, which includes your ticket information, passport, visas and even other legitimate certificates. Yes, it may sound strange and annoying but the airport security members do that for many reasons. However, for most airports, this is not a major issue if a passenger catches the flight in the morning. Nonetheless, you must keep all your documents ready if the airport authority asks you to produce them.

So, if you decide to book a layover or you happen to get stuck at the airport late at night due to natural calamities or other reasons, then learn these few tips that will help you survive the night at the airport seamlessly.

Annette Bueno
the authorAnnette Bueno