Sleeping in Airports

Detroit Metro Airport Guide

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

People were sleeping everywhere—hard marble floor, stairs, around the luggage carousels, ON the luggage carousels, in the middle of the luggage carousels (you normally don’t notice how useful that thingy can be). -Alex

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us about their time at Detroit International Airport.

What to Expect

Detroit Metropolitan is a large, modern airport facility with two terminals: the McNamara, which serves Concourses A, B and C; and the North, which serves Concourse D. The two terminals are linked by shuttle bus service that runs on a 10 minute schedule. Both terminals provide numerous dining, shopping and service options, though McNamara has a much wider selection overall. If you have time, check out the cool water feature and choreographed musical “Light Tunnel”! Almost all eateries and retail are located airside and all reportedly shut by 11 PM, so vending machines will be your only in-airport snack option after that time. Plan ahead and buy your food and drinks before the concessions close. Free WiFi is available throughout both terminals. More comfort can be found at one of the airport lounges, which can be accessed by economy class passengers for a fee. See our Airport Lounges section for locations and rates.

Where to Sleep

Reviewers suggest that McNamara offers travellers more sleeping options than does North Terminal. Noise and cold temperatures were cited as problems at both terminals so consider ear plugs/noise cancelling earphones and a warm sweater or travel blanket. “The far end of Concourse B” seems to receive the most mention for peace, quiet and comfortable furniture. The airport offers stranded passengers cots in the event of major flight delays or cancellations. Explore our guide to sleeping in Detroit Airport or read some traveller reviews for more tips.  For uninterrupted sleep, there is a hotel connected to the McNamara Terminal and others nearby hoels within an easy shuttle ride. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

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.

Airport Lounges

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

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Delta Sky Club – Multiple Locations – (3) Concourse A and (1) Concourse C.   Showers are available (Concourse A – Gate A38 location only).  Lounge Access: Pay at the Door with proof of Delta ticket • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  Lufthansa Business Lounge – Location: North Terminal, Airside, Gates 7 and 8. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge passes. [ more lounge info ]

Military Lounges

Michigan Freedom Center – Location: North Terminal (Airside, Gate D17. Hours: Unknown) • McNamara Terminal (near Delta Airlines Gate A43. Hours: 6:00AM – 12:00AM (Daily) *Lounge operates around-the-clock as needed during weather delays, canceled flights, and missed connections). Amenities: Comfortable couches and recliners, free WIFI, free snacks & beverages, microwave, laptops, books & magazines, cards, games & puzzles, a children’s play area, playpen/cribs, infant bouncy seats, wireless headsets, feather pillows, courtesy travel baskets, a triple bunk bed for sleeping, and wake-up call service. Lounge Access: open to enlisted military, military veterans, and their families.

Airport Hotels

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

At Airport Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport – Connected to the McNamara Terminal. There is a TSA entry directly from the Westin across from Gate A36. There is also an entrance to the hotel from the departures level at the south of the McNamara Terminal. Free 24-hour shuttle to the north terminal. Day rooms are available between 9:00AM – 6:00PM. » Check Rates

Near Airport Knights Inn Romulus Detroit Metropolitan Airport – (5 minutes from the airport) Free 24-hour airport shuttle is available. » Check Rates

Near Airport Quality Inn & Suites Detroit Metro Airport – (5 minutes from the airport) Free Airport Shuttle. » Check Rates

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

Airport WiFi / Internet

Unlimited free WiFi is available at Detroit Airport. Connect to “Detroit Airport WiFi” network.

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

Family Services

  • Baby Care Facilities – Diaper-changing tables and disposals are available in the airport’s Family Restrooms, located throughout the landside and airside areas of the airport.
  • Nursing Rooms – The airport offers 9 private nursing rooms. Each location includes a comfy chair, a sink, counter and electrical outlets. To access, call the number on the outside of the room and you will be provided with an access code. Locations:
    • McNamara Terminal – Gates A15 • A25 • A53 • A63 • C2.
    • North Terminal – Gates D8 • D15 • D24.
  • Children’s Play Area – When you want to ensure your kids burn off all their energy before their flight, take them to one of the children’s play areas. Locations: McNamara Terminal, airside, Gate A18 • McNamara Terminal, airside, Gate B20 • McNamara Terminal, airside, Gate C4 • North Terminal, airside, Gate D16.

Food & Drinks

  • Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. The McNamara Terminal offers over 40 dining options and the North Terminal offers 15+ options. At the time of this update, we are unable to confirm the availability of 24-hour dining, but there are plenty of vending machines located throughout the airport, in case you get desperate.

Information

  • Information Desk – Look for the airport ambassadors wearing their blue vests.

Luggage

  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Not available.

Medical Services

  • Pharmacy – Z Market and Mills Pharmacy offers traditional medications and homeopathic remedies. Location: McNamara Terminal, Airside, near Gate B2. Hours: 5:00AM – 10:00PM.

Mobile Charging

  • Mobile Charging – Many of the gated areas (but not all!) provide dedicated charging areas or power outlets for charging your electronics.

Money

  • 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:
    • McNamara Terminal, Airside: 12 locations available at A Gates • B Gates • C Gates.
    • McNamara Terminal, Landside: Parking Garage, Level 6.
    • North Terminal, Landside: Ticket Lobby • Pedestrian Bridge to Parking Deck/Ground Transportation (Level 4).
    • North Terminal, Airside: Gate D6 • Gate D17 • Gate D26.
  • Currency Exchange – Travelex offers currency exchange in these locations:
    • McNamara Terminal: Departures (Central Link near A38) Hours: 6:00AM – 10:00PM • International Arrivals. Hours: 6:30AM – 8:30PM.
    • North Terminal: Departures (Across from D9). Hours: 5:00AM – 8:00PM • Arrivals (Baggage Claim) Hours: 9:30AM – 5:00PM, or according to international flight arrivals.

Pets

  • Pet Relief Area – Travelling with your pet? Detroit Airport has several pet relief areas available:
    • McNamara Terminal: International Arrivals area (Lower Level) – outdoor pet relief area • near Gate A34, airside – Look for the “Service Animal Relief Area” sign.
    • North Terminal: Departures Level (Upper Level) – designated outdoor grassy areas at each end of the curb • Opposite Gate D16, airside – Look for the “Service Animal Relief Area” sign.

Rest & Relaxation

  • Cots – In the event of bad weather or massive flight cancellations, this airport has a supply of cots/sleep pads for stranded travellers. If you are stranded during a weather delay, contact an airport employee to find out when the cots are located. Unfortunately, the cots are not available for travellers who simply decide to spend the night in the airport. Due to the amount of wacky email we receive about this, we’ll also let you know that cots cannot be “reserved” and we don’t know where they are kept. Please speak to a gate agent or an airport employee.
  • Hotels – see “Airport Hotels” above.
  • Lounges – see “Airport Lounges” above.
  • Reflection Room – Locations: McNamara Terminal, in the center Link Area upstairs above the Bud Bar and Grill • North Terminal, Airside, near Gate D16.
  • Rest Zones – Not available.

Shopping

  • Duty Free & Shopping – Duty Free shopping is available in both Terminals. The McNamara offers more shopping options than the North Terminal but both do offer a variety.

Showers, Salon & Spa

  • Showers – Showers can be found in one of the Delta Lounges.  [ see Airport Lounges above ]
  • Spa – Be Relax Spa – McNamara Terminal, Airside, at Gate A45 and Gate A18.

Things to do & see

  • Light Tunnel – The most talked about (and photographed) feature of Detroit Metro is the colourful 700ft light tunnel that connects the Concourses B/C with Concourse A and the McNamara Terminal.
  • Water Feature – Offering a calming oasis in the middle of the madness of a busy airport, the Water Feature is a 39-ft wide, elliptical-shaped black granite water feature that shoots water through 45 “leap frog” style devices. Location: McNamara Terminal, Concourse A.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Keep in mind that airline check-in and baggage drop hours vary according 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. The TSA security screening checkpoint hours vary according to location:

North Terminal (Blue 1): 4:30AM – 8:00PM (unconfirmed)

North Terminal (Blue 2): 4:30AM – 8:00PM (unconfirmed)

McNamara Terminal (Red 2): 4:00AM – 9:30PM (unconfirmed)

McNamara Terminal (Red 3): 5:00AM – 9:00PM (unconfirmed)

Times are subject to change without notice.

Airlines

As of November 2018, Detroit airport is served by the following airlines: Aeromexico • Air Canada • Air France • Alaska Airlines • American Airlines • Delta • Frontier Airlines • JetBlue • Lufthansa • Royal Jordanian • Southwest Airlines • Spirit Airlines • United Airlines • WOW Air.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Amtrak Connections

For travel to the Amtrak station from the airport, it is probably best to simply hire a taxi or a shuttle. While travel via AirRide and SMART Transportation (local public bus) is possible, it is not convenient as you have to transfer too often.

A taxi or shuttle ride will take approximately 25 minutes.

Bus

The airport is served by two SMART public bus routes. Routes 125 and 261 run between downtown Detroit and both terminals. Route 280 runs between Garden City and the North terminal. For more information, visit the SmartBus website.

AirRide is a comfortable and convenient public bus service that runs between Ann Arbor and both terminals at Detroit International Airport. A one-way fare is $12 if purchased in advance, or $15 if purchased on board (exact change required). AirRide is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, visit the AirRide web site.

Car Rentals

Most major car rental agencies have an onsite presence at the airport while the cars are physically located at a facility off-site accessible with the designate courtesy shuttle buses. The following agencies can be found at the car rental facility: Alamo, Avis, Budget/Payless, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels offer free airport shuttle service as a convenience for their guests. Hotel shuttles depart from each terminal’s Ground Transportation Center. Follow the “Ground Transportation” signs after picking up your luggage. Contact your hotel of choice for shuttle service availability and information. Here are a few hotels that offer airport shuttle service: Baymont Inn Romulus Airport   •   Comfort Inn Metro Airport   •   Courtyard Detroit Metro Airport Romulus   •   Days Inn & Suites Detroit Metro Airport Romulus   •   Detroit Metro Airport Marriott   •   Embassy Suites by Hilton Detroit Metro Airport   •   Four Points by Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport   •   Hampton Inn and Suites Detroit/Airport-Romulus   •   Holiday Inn Detroit Metro Airport   •   Knights Inn Romulus Detroit Metropolitan Airport   •   La Quinta Inn & Suites Detroit Metro Airport   •   Quality Inn & Suites Romulus   •   Travelodge Romulus Detroit Airport   •   SpringHill Suites Detroit Metro Airport Romulus   •   The Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport

Inter-Terminal Transportation

The airport provides a free shuttle service between the North and McNamara Terminals, as well as the Westin Hotel. The ride between each stop is about 2 – 7 minutes or more, depending on traffic. Passengers transiting from one terminal to another will need to allow time for re-clearing TSA screening.

Taxi

Taxis and luxury sedans are available 24 hours a day through MetroCabs and MetroCars, airport-approved service providers. No reservation is required, and both the taxis and the sedans can be found at the Ground Transportation Center of either terminal.

Last updated: 2018-11-15

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,  write a review or send an email to [email protected]