Sleeping in the airport is never a fun experience when you are unprepared.
If you have experienced a flight delay or cancellation due to bad weather and all you want to do is get to your holiday destination or home without spending more money on hotels, sleeping in the airport may be your only option. Fortunately, there are a few airports that provide stranded travellers with cots, pillows, blankets, toiletries and food coupons. It may not be the bed you would rather be in, but getting stuck in theses airports may not be as bad as you would have expected!
Before you go on a search for cots at the airport, remember that they only bring them out in the event of a storm and mass flight cancellations. The airports DO NOT bring the cots out every night just to accommodate
cheap financially challenged travellers. We receive a lot of messages from people who want to know how they can “reserve” a cot and it is not possible!
Should you be looking for a cot in the airport right now, ask an airline or airport employee. To reach an airport employee, you may need to use the courtesy phone to track someone down.
If you have any information about where stranded travellers can find cots or if you have a photo to share, please email me and I will add the information below.
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AMS) – Where can I find the cots? From a reader: Last December, when Europe had frequent problems with snow storms, the airport put up 1700 cots at both airside and land side of the terminal to help stranded passengers. Schiphol also provided food and drinks to everyone stranded overnight.
BOSTON LOGAN, USA (BOS) – Where can I find the cots? Thanks to Omar from Mexico for sending us this photo of the cots at Boston Logan. He found them in the AA claim baggage area in Terminal B.
CHICAGO MIDWAY, USA (MDW) – Where can I find the cots? Terminal C
CHICAGO O’HARE, USA (ORD) – Where can I find the cots? Near gate K1
DALLAS-FORT WORTH, USA (DFW) – From the airport: DFW Airport and its airlines always have more than a thousand on hand ready to be given out to passengers as need be. They work together to distribute them when bad weather results in cancelled flights and travelers choose to stay in the terminals rather than head to nearby hotels. The airport makes arrangements to bring in more cots, pillows and blankets if need be. Our customer service teams at the airport also give out toiletries and diapers. Laila tells us “They are available before 12:30 am. Dial 43112 from any courtesy phone (there is one across from E7). Tell them your location and airport personnel will bring you a cot.”
DALLAS LOVE FIELD, USA (DAL)
DENVER, USA (DEN)
DES MOINES, USA (DSM)
FAYETTEVILLE, USA (FAY)
FRANKFURT, Germany (FRA)
HOUSTON, USA (HOU)
MIAMI, USA (MIA)
MILWAUKEE, USA (MKE)
MINNEAPOLIS-ST.PAUL, USA (MSP)
MUNICH, Germany (MUC)
NEWARK, USA (EWR) – Where can I find the cots? Landside. Each terminal has them. A section on the 2nd level of Terminal B had been set up with cots, but people could take them wherever they wanted.
NEW YORK CITY JFK, USA (JFK)
OSLO GARDERMOEN, Norway (OSL)
PARIS CDG, France (CDG) – According to a review that came in on June 01, 2012 cots were available airside in Terminal 2E.
PARIS ORLY, France (ORY)
OTTAWA, Canada (YOW)
WASHINGTON DULLES, USA (IAD) – Where can I find the cots? If you are stuck in the airport during a layover, use the airport ‘house phone’ to request a cot and maybe they will deliver like they did for airport sleeper, Kari.
Last updated: 05 May 2018
Header photo by Meinzahn / iStock