Sleeping in Airports

Columbia Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Columbia 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.

One of the airport managers suggested we sleep over at the chapel. – Jim

CAE Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

What to Expect

Columbia Airport (code: CAE) is an easy-to-navigate, single concourse facility with 10 departure gates, and a couple of dining and shopping options available on both sides of security. WiFi is available to help pass the time. There are no private lounges at this airport, but there is a USO available for active duty and retired military personnel and their families.

Where to Sleep

columbia airport guideAirside seating is reportedly limited and not conducive to sleeping, but there are reportedly some armrest-free chairs on the landslide that can be pulled together to create a reasonable bed. The airport chapel and atrium have also been mentioned as possible sleeping spots, but you may want to avoid sleeping in the chapel during the day as it is considered disrespectful to have people snoring during prayer. For uninterrupted sleep, there are some hotels within a quick shuttle ride of the airport. See Airport Hotels below for more information or read some traveller airport reviews for more tips.

Covid-19 Update

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all services and times listed below are subject to change. Some services and facilities may remain closed or operate with reduced hours.  Airport tips and suggestions in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. If you are planning to sleep in the public area of the terminal overnight, have a back-up plan! We’ve heard from a few travellers at other airports and they were not permitted to stay overnight. We’re not sure if that will apply to this airport, until a reader lets us know the current situation. We will start updating all of our guides in October 2021.  To help us with this massive update, you can add or update information or write a review and submit photos and airport tips.

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 Hotels

If sleeping in Columbia Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Columbia Airport SC – (7 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle is available from 5:00AM – 12:00AM. » Check Rates
  • Sleep Inn Airport – (7 minutes from the airport) No airport shuttle. » Check Rates
  • Days Inn & Suites Columbia Airport – (7 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Columbia Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

At the time of this update, pay-per-use lounges were not available.  If this information is not correct, click here to update this airport guide.

Military Lounge

USO Lounge – The USO offers a lounge that is free of charge to active members of the US military and their families. Location: Airport Atrium.

Related Pages: Columbia Airport Lounges

Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Columbia Airport. Connect to the FlyWithEase network. No login required.

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Landside, Main lobby, next to the USO lounge • Airside, next to the Paradies Gift Shop.

Currency Exchange – No

Food & Drinks – There are no 24-hour dining options available. Food options include:

  • Landside – SkyBar (7:00AM – 9:00PM Mon – Wed & 7:00AM – 7:00PM Thurs – Sun)
  • Airside (Food Court) – Riverbanks Bar & Grill (6:00AM – 8:00PM Daily) • The BBQ Pit (11:00AM – 7:00PM Daily) • Carolina Subs (hours not known) • Sunrise Cafe (hours not known).

Luggage Storage & Lockers – Not available.

Mobile Charging – A reader tells us that mobile charging stations are “scattered throughout the airport next to seats. Some outlets are also available against the outer walls of the terminal, but are more sporadic.” (October 2019)

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

Shopping – Paradies / PGA shops offer coffee, snacks, and last minute gifts, both landside and airside.

Showers – Not available.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.


Columbia airport is served by the following airlines: American AirlinesDelta Air Lines • United Airlines • Via Airlines.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Car Rentals

The following onsite car rental agencies are located in baggage claim: Alamo • Avis • Budget • Dollar • Enterprise • Hertz • National • Thrifty.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport transportation service as a courtesy to their guests. Here are a few hotels offering airport shuttle service: Clarion Inn Columbia-Airport   •   Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Columbia Airport   •   Embassy Suites by Hilton Columbia – Greystone   •   Hampton Inn Columbia-I-26 Airport   •   Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia Airport   •   Sleep Inn Airport

Taxis and Shared Ride Shuttles

Taxis and shared-ride shuttles are readily available at the lower level of the terminal near baggage claim. All taxis are metered and reservations are not required.

Last updated: 2021-10-20

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are 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 web sites. 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.