Airport Bans Sleeping and Sitting on the Floor, Employs Monitors to Wake Passengers

Sleeping in airports is a time-honored tradition. It happens regularly during major storms, when flights are cancelled and airlines aren’t giving out hotel vouchers or nearby hotels are booked solid. Airports sometimes bring in cots.

Passengers with long layovers after an overnight flight may lay down in a quiet spot on the floor, too. There’s even a guide to sleeping in airports.

Generally speaking you’re not going to find me sleeping in an airport. When my flight cancels and I’m forced to spend the night somewhere I’ll turn the cost over to the credit card I’ve used to purchase my tickets. During a long layover I’m more often than not have lounge access.


United Polaris Lounge Chicago

Airports generally accept passengers dozing off, even overnight, and sometimes help make it more comfortable. But they usually don’t like homeless living in airports. It’s a tough distinction to make and I’ve covered homeless living in the Frankfurt airport before, and a homeless man once stumbled on $354,000 in the Paris airport.


Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A

However London Stansted has a new policy: no sleeping in public areas of the airport. No sitting on the floor, either. There will even be patrols to wake people up.

Warning signs have also been posted around the Essex airport asking travellers ‘Please do not lay down on the seats.’

..The policy, which began on Monday, sees the departure wing being closed after the final flight of the night.

It stays shut between midnight and 2am, meaning passengers will have to wait in the arrivals area, where they are allowed to sit but not sleep on the floor.

Guards are then on patrol to wake anyone who falls asleep.

London Stansted airport is also asking passengers not to arrive before airline check-in times in the morning. Good luck with that.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Stansted has a big problem with this, given how many budget flights go out of there. Huge numbers of people camp out on the floors overnight, so overall this is not a bad idea. However, it seems the airport is handling this in a particularly cack-handed way. Surely they could have pubilicised this in a better way.

  2. I agree, I see more of this at STN than any other airport – loads of backpackers booked on very early Ryanair flights arrive the night before. But, really, what’s the end game here? These people aren’t going to book into a hotel room that cost twice what their flight did, so are they supposed to sleep in the train station? They should have announced this at the same time are they opened a room full of sleeping pods available at £10 a night.

  3. When we see a sleeping airport guard at STN should travelers wake up this guard so the guard then can wake up other people sleeping on the floor?

  4. Like to see ’em try this move in Vegas . . .

    Is the quote correct? ‘Please do not lay down on the seats.’

    Down is a very nice and comfy feather, mostly sourced from waterfowl. It would be tricky to lay it on such a hard surface as a seat due to its light weight; thus, it’s usually enclosed in a soft fabric casing of some type.

    Can’t recall exactly when this basic distinction between verbs is taught in American school systems, but I think it’s around the 5th grade?

  5. Like Rory’s idea. Might be difficult to administer. They’ll probably end up with people sleeping beside the road approaches. Maybe designate certain areas in the airport where they can sleep and monitor it. Must have a ticket or boarding pass and id matching the name on the ticket. Would keep anyone else out. Don’t think STN thought this thru.

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