Sleeping in Airports

Des Moines Airport Guide

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

The flood of 1993 was horrible and displayed the DMIA at its worse. – Jake

DSM 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 Des Moines International Airport.

What to Expect

Des Moines Airport (code: DSM) consists of a mid-size terminal with two concourses (A and C). The terminal includes several eateries and shops, primarily located on the landside. When these services close down for the night, vending machines are the only snack and drink options, so plan accordingly. WiFi is available and there plenty of outlets for charging mobile devices. There are no private lounges at this airport.

Des Moines Airport Guide
(Photo courtesy of a guest traveller)

Where to Sleep

After security checkpoints close for the night, all passengers are restricted to the landside areas, and must re-clear security the next day when the checkpoints open. Much of the landside seating includes benches that are circular or feature armrests. However, there is at least one large comfortable armrest-free bench located at the north end of the check-in area. A carpeted area near the car rentals and baggage claim area has also been cited as a potentially decent spot to spend the night.  To block out the bright lights and noise, consider bringing eyeshades and earplugs/noise-cancelling headphones. For uninterrupted sleep, there is a hotel across the street and some other hotels near the airport that provide free airport shuttles. See Airport Hotels in the guide below 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 Des Moines Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport Conference Center – (2 minutes from the airport) Located across the street from the airport. Free 24-hour airport shuttle is available. Once you have collected your luggage use the courtesy phone in the baggage claim area to call the hotel (dial No. 7). » Check Rates
  • Quality Inn & Suites Des Moines Airport– (2 minutes from the airport) Located across the street from the airport. Free airport shuttle is available. » Check Rates
  • AmericInn Hotel & Suites Des Moines Airport – (2 minutes from the airport) Located across the street from the airport. Free airport shuttle is available. » Check Rates

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

Airport Lounges

There are no pay-per-use lounges at this time.

Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Des Moines Airport for 1 hour. Connect to the Boingo network.

Pro-Tip: Once your free session is over, you can start it again for free after watching another commercial. You can repeat this as many times as you want.

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 and Airside.

Business Center – Provides workstations and internet access. Location: Concourse level A2 . Hours: 5:00AM – 10:00PM.

Cots – In the event of bad weather or massive flight cancellations, the airport has a limited supply of cots for stranded travellers.  Availability may have been affected by Covid.  If you are stranded during a weather delay, contact an airport employee to find out when the cots are located.

Drinking Water – Thirsty? Drinking water fountains are available free of charge. Location: Concourse A • Concourse C

Food & Drinks -At the time of this update there were no 24-hour food concessions. In the airport, you will find:

  • Landside: Berk & Chester’ s Kitchen and Bar
  • Airside: Arugula & Rye • Friedrichs Coffee • The Mill Supply Co • Pizza Hut • Portermill Craft Beer
  • There are vending machines located landside and airside.

Luggage Storage & Lockers – Not available.

Massages – Unwind with a professional massage. Location: Airside, Main Terminal, 2nd Floor.

Mobile Charging – USB and regular power outlets can be found landside and airside.

Postal Services – Drop off your last minute postcards to friends and family from airport’s mailbox. Location: Landside, near airport entrance.

Shopping – Hudson News offers magazines, books, deli sandwiches and other to-go food items at the Landside location. Airside, you will also find a Hudson News which includes a Tech on the Go (selling all things tech related) and a 5th & Sunset (sunglasses, T-shirts).

Rest 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.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours. The TSA security checkpoint is open 4:00AM – 8:00PM.

Keep in mind that airline check-in and baggage drop hours vary according to the flight schedule. Check these hours with your airline. If you are in the public area of the terminal (landside) you will not be able to get through to the secure area of the terminal (airside) until the morning.


Des Moines airport is served by the following airlines: Allegiant • American AirlinesDelta Air Lines • Frontier • Southwest • United Airlines.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport


Bus service is available to and from DSM Airport, Monday to Friday only. For route maps, schedules and fares, visit the DART website.

Car Rentals

The following car rental agencies are located onsite in the baggage claim area: 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: Baymont Des Moines – Airport Conference Center   •   Days Inn and Suites – Des Moines Airport   •   Des Moines Marriott Downtown   •   DoubleTree by Hilton Des Moines Airport   •   Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel Des Moines Downtown   •   Fairfield Inn & Suites Des Moines Airport   •   Hampton Inn Des Moines-Airport   •   Holiday Inn Des Moines Downtown   •  Hyatt Place Des Moines Downtown   •   Quality Inn and Suites   •   Renaissance Savery Hotel.

See Airport Hotels above.

Taxis and Shuttles

Taxis are available in the ground transportation area 24-hours a day. All taxis are metered and reservations are not required. Executive Express, a local and inter-city shared-ride shuttle service, has a service counter near the rental car counters at the north end of the baggage claim area.

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.