The world's best airports for sleeping in (2014 edition)

By David Flynn, October 17 2014

You won't always have the luxury of a conveniently short stopover or a premium lounge in which to relax. But if you're stuck between flights with a l-o-n-g wait – especially an overnight one, at that – there are some airports which are highly regarded for being snooze-friendly.

SleepingInAirports.com polls travellers to rate airports for not only their "sleep-ability" factor but also the services, amenities and features offered to layover passengers.

(It's broken down into  what the site calls The Four C's of Airport Travel: comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.)

And the winners of the 2014 SleepingInAirports awards are... 

1. Singapore Changi International Airport

Travellers most appreciate the dedicated rest & relaxation zones. There are currently 6 areas set up with reclining lounge style seating. Often busy and sometimes noisy, these areas are appreciated by those travellers who don't like to stretch out on the armrest free seats at the gate.

2. Seoul Incheon International Airport

The airport offers a few dedicated rest zones that feature large padded recliners. There are also rows and rows of wonderful armrest free seating near the gates.

3. Helsinki International Airport

Early in the voting period the airport opened a rest & relaxation zone for a 3 month trial period. The fantastic space featured beds, sleep pods and easy chairs. We're not sure what became of the project, but even without it the airport continues to offer comfortable recliners, a special rest lounge with ergonomic seating and soft carpets, as well as ample arm-rest free seating near the gates.

4. Munich International Airport

Munich offers travellers armrest-free seating and quiet rest areas with reclining seats. If you prefer more privacy (and don't mind paying), there are sleep cabins near the rest areas that you can rent for a few hours.

5. Vancouver International Airport

While your best sleep will probably be on the armrest free seating found at the gates, the airport has recently installed several new seating options including seats with footrests, a number of new TV lounges and padded couch blocks that can be moved around and pieced together as required.

6. Kuala Lumpur International Airport

In addition to the nice long benches, the airport has installed seats with footrests in a new rest and relaxation zone.

7. Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong offers armrest-free seating and rest loungers. If you are in transit and need to rest, look for the lounge chairs hidden behind shrubbery.

8. Tokyo Haneda International Airport

While Tokyo Haneda offers plenty of padded benches and armrest free seating possibilities near the gates.

9. Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport

According to recent reviewers the rest zones appear to be under renovation, so be forewarned that there will be fewer rest seats until everything is back to normal. (We'll update this as soon as we receive news). The airport also offers a few TV lounges with funky seats and a variety of seat options near the gates.

10. Zurich International Airport

If you are in transit and bench sleeping is not for you, the airport has rest zones and day rooms.

And because we know you're keen to hear which are the world's worst airports for sleeping in – or doing pretty much anything else in – we can reveal the winners losers are:

1. Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport, which one traveller described as "like as a central prison."

2. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia

3. Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal

4. Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines

5. Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan

6. Paris Beauvais-Tille International Airport, France

7. Frankfurt Hahn International Airport, Germany

8. Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport, Italy

9. Berlin Tegel International Airport, Germany

10. New York City LaGuardia International Airport, USA

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

I had an overnight in AKL recently with about 4 hours until the Koru Club opened. I thought it was pretty good.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

Well done on those airports at looking at innovation to make going to the airport less painful.

I have 14 hours in Domodedovo coming up. Wish me luck! Even the "airport hotel" seems... questionable...

No Australian airports in there.  That does not surprise me.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

I know someone who overnighted in SYDi. He and his mates arrived on the last Murrays bus ex-CBR, which arrived at 2215. They then had to hang around until the next morning for their onward sector to AKL.

As you might imagine they're not very keen on repeating the experience.


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