Sleeping in Airports

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or are just quickly passing through, our Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

There are practically no benches apart from a few of the oddly curved metal benches. – a guest reviewer

BHM Airport Overview

birmingham shuttlesworth airport guideTo help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

What to Expect

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport (code: BHM) consists of a single terminal building with 19 departure gates in three new concourses (A, B and C). The two-level Landside terminal entrance features ticketing and check-in facilities on the upper level, with baggage claim and airport offices on the lower level. There are more than a dozen eateries and shops in the terminal, almost all of which are Airside near the gates. WiFi is available. There are no private lounges at this airport.

Sleeping in Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport is open 24 hours. However, if you plan on sleeping in this airport, you will be confined to the Landside area once security checkpoints close for the night. A reviewer mentioned you may likely be offered a hotel voucher if you are stuck here due to a flight cancellation/delay. Check with your airline.

Locations & Seating

Seating options are described as uncomfortable for sleeping with only a limited number of armrests-free benches located throughout the terminal. However, one traveller found a hidden nook of comfortable seating on the Landside near the ticketing counters across from a door labelled ‘event room,’ (November, 2017). Another reader mentioned the Arrival area downstairs where he “Slept across from the Starbucks right next to an outlet to charge my phone and across from the bathroom,” (July, 2018).

For uninterrupted sleep, there are some hotels within a quick shuttle ride of the airport. See Airport Hotels below for more information or read traveller airport reviews for more tips.

To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos. You can also visit the airport’s website for current information. For more airport information, scroll down to explore more in our Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport Guide.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours; however, the TSA security checkpoints are only available from 4:30 AM until the last flight departure of the day. You cannot stay on the Airside when the TSA checkpoints are closed. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in the airport sounds like a nightmare, there are hotels near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport:

For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

There are no pay-per-use lounges in the airport. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Drinking Water

Information is unavailable. Does Birmingham Airport have water fountains or water bottle refill stations? Click here to update this guide.

Food & Drinks

Food concessions throughout the terminal operate on varying schedules. At the time of this update, there are no 24-hour dining options, so if you are stuck in the airport overnight, you should purchase water and snacks before things shut down for the night. Food options include:

  • Concourse A: Scoreboard Bar and Cafe (5:00 AM-7:00 PM) • Starbucks (5:00 AM – 5:00 PM).
  • Concourse B: Red Mountain Grill (5:00 AM – 7:00 PM).
  • Concourse C: Tacos Locos (5:00 AM – 7:00 PM) • Starbucks (5:00 AM – 5:00 PM) • Burger King (5:00 AM – 7:00 PM).
  • Food Courts: Chick-Fil-A (4:30 AM – 7:00 PM) • The Great American Bagel (5:00 AM – 7:00 PM).

Luggage Storage & Lockers

Unavailable. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Mobile Charging

Travellers can use FuelRods, a reusable, portable charging system available on each concourse and in baggage claim. One of our readers also spotted charging stations near the Starbucks (2018, July).

Rest & Relaxation Zones

There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Showers

Not available. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport. Connect to “BHMFREEWIFI” network and start surfing.

More Airport Information

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover

Accessibility 

  • Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD) – Locations: lower level between baggage claims 1 & 2 and 3 & 4. 
  • Translation Device – ELSA™ mobile translation devices are available at airport operations, information counter and Birmingham Airport Authority offices.
  • Visual Paging for the Hearing Impaired -Passengers who are hearing impaired can be visually paged on the flight information display system. Request this service at the Information Desk located on the lower level in baggage claim 3 & 4. 

Art in the Airport – There are several art exhibits throughout the terminal.  Check out “Earth Wind and Water: The Landscape of Alabama,” a living plant wall located in Concourse B.

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so check your bank’s fee schedule and daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Lower level of the terminal near baggage claim • Upper level in the rotundas for concourses A and B • Near the food courts for concourses B and C.

Baby Care Facilities – Nurse or feed your baby in privacy and comfort inside one of the Nursing Rooms. Each room has gliding chairs, electrical outlets, soft lights, and more. All airside restrooms have changing tables and children’s toilets.

Baggage Carts – Baggage carts are available in the baggage claim area and curbside near the terminal entrance. Rate: $5.00 per cart.

Children’s Area – There are 3 Kid Zones: 2nd Level near Gates, A2, B2 and C5.

Drinking Water – see “Drinking Water” above.

Duty-Free and Shopping – Duty-Free is not available. You will find a Hudson convenience/souvenir shop in each Concourse Area and on the landside you can shop at Barber Motorsports (gifts, travel accessories and motorsport merchandise).

Food & Drinks – see “Food & Drinks” above.

Hotels – see “Airport Hotels” above.

Information Desk – Yes, located on the 1st Level beside Carousel 1 and 2.

Lounges – see “Airport Lounges” above.

Luggage Storage & Lockers – see “Luggage Storage & Lockers” above.

Mobile Charging – see “Mobile Charging” above.

Observation Deck – Relax and watch planes taking off and landing from the vantage point of the observation deck. Location: beside Gate B4 on the 2nd Level.

Pet Relief Area – Travelling with a 4-legged companion? There is an area for pets to stretch their legs, drink water and take their potty breaks. Location: Lower Level, exit through door 4L.

Prayer Room – A Meditation Room is open on the Upper Level, close to Gate C1.

Rest Zones – see “Rest & Relaxation Zones” above.

Sensory Room – A sensory room provides travellers with special needs a space to reduce anxiety before their flight.

Showers – see “Showers” above.

SIM Cards – A reader has asked us to include where to buy SIM Cards. If you know, click here to update this guide.

WiFi – see “WiFi / Internet” above.

Airlines
Birmingham airport is served by the following airlines: American Airlines • Delta Air Lines • Southwest Airlines • United Airlines.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Car Rentals

The following car rental agencies offer service onsite in the BHM Rental Car facility, located in Section 1B on the ground level of the parking deck: Alamo • Avis • Budget • Dollar • Enterprise • Hertz • National • Payless • Thrifty.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport shuttle service:  Ramada by Wyndham Birmingham AirportHoliday Inn Birmingham-Airport, an IHG HotelQuality Inn Airport–Southeast.

See also Airport Hotels above.

Limousine and Shuttle Service

Several companies offer scheduled or on-demand shuttle service to and from BHM airport. Reservations are required in advance. Contact your service provider of choice for details or visit the Birmingham Airport website for a list of providers.

Shuttles

Shared-ride shuttles offer service to and from BHM, but usually need to be booked in advance. Contact your service provider of choice for details.

Taxi

Metered taxis are readily available 24 hours a day on the ground level outside of the baggage claim area.

Airport Conditions

If you plan to spend the night at the airport, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Temperature – Arrive prepared, just in case. It’s better to have a blanket than to need one later on. Even a hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets colder.
  • Lighting – Even though a traveller said the lights in the hallway are turned off after midnight, it’s better to come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.
  • Noise – Several readers said the terminal can get noisy at night. Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones will help if you’re trying to sleep overnight.

Safety & Security

Airport staff tolerate overnight sleepers. We have had no reports from travellers commenting on safety issues at Birmingham Airport. Sleeping in any airport can include a certain level of risk, especially when travelling alone. It’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and the security of your valuables. Here are a few tips:

  • Safety First. It’s a good idea to know where the security office is located and look for video cameras where you plan to sleep. You can also ask the security personnel for advice on the safest places to spend the night.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you’re travelling alone, we recommend you stay near other travellers or close to security. This will help you feel more secure and deter potential thieves.
  • Hide Your Valuables. It’s also important to hide your valuables. Don’t leave them out in plain view, as this could make you a target for theft. Additionally, if you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something or sleep with your bag up against a wall to make it harder for someone to access zippers and pockets. We have received reports of sleepers who woke up without their phones and laptop bags. The travellers were left with just their headphones and laptop bag strap.
  • Stay Alert. It’s best to stay alert and awake if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages to help you stay awake, and remember that you can always catch up on sleep during your flight. These simple precautions can help you enjoy a safe night at the airport.

Last updated: 2024-02-16

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, is subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers, and their websites. We are not representatives of any of the above-mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.