Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Brisbane Airport

sleeping in brisbane airportWhether your situation calls for a short nap or an overnight slumber, this sleep guide will give you the essential information needed to prepare you for sleeping in Brisbane Airport.

Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Brisbane Airport. If you have a tip or photos to share, please take a moment to write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!

This guide was last updated: 21 June 2018. Read the latest traveller reviews.

Sleeping inside Brisbane Airport Overnight

The Brisbane Airport is technically open 24-hours, though some travellers report that you can only stay in the pre-Security, public areas of either terminal during the night. If you’re already inside of the Secure areas, you may need to relocate and process through when Security opens, around 5:00 AM.

Locations & Seating
Brisbane Airport
Couches near gates (Photo courtesy of Bruce Schwager / 08Oct2013)

The International Terminal has more sleep-friendly options than the Domestic Terminal, with comfortable couches located in both the public, pre-Security and Secure areas. Unfortunately, the terminals aren’t near each other. A free airport shuttle connects them, but it seems this shuttle may not run at night, so if you’re stranded in the Domestic Terminal, you may have to make the best of it.

Here are good sleep spots that travellers have reported:

  • International Terminal, Level 4 Departures is the most comfortable area.
  • International Terminal, as you exit the Departure areas, turn right and you’ll spot a few 2-seater leather lounge chairs – not ideal, but better than a lot of other seating options.
  • International Terminal, near Gates 75-76: big, comfortable couches.
Rest Zones

At the time of this update, there are no rest zones within the airport.

Temperature

This airport is cold, particularly at night. Be forewarned, if you decide to bring along a mat to sleep on the floor, one traveller reported that airport staff did not allow this.

Pro-tip: A hoodie provides is a helpful pillow or an added layer of warmth.

Lighting

Lights are bright throughout the public, pre-Security areas of the terminals.  Arrive prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.

Noise

Music plays all night long on airport speakers, and, depending where you’re spending the night, escalators can be noisy, too. The noise from occasional cleaning crews may wake you, but they tend to pass through fairly quickly. As a precaution, come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones and maybe even a white noise app on your smartphone.

Pro-tip: If you chose a spot near any eateries, keep in mind that the staff arrive early and they can get pretty loud in the kitchen.

Showers

Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Restrooms have free shower facilities in these locations: International Terminal, Floor 2 Arrivals and Floor 3 Departures; Domestic Terminal, Level 2 Central Area Terminal and the Central Area Satellite. Some pay-to-enter lounges also offer showers – see our Brisbane Airport Guide for locations.

Food & Drink

When you get the midnight munchies or need a coffee to stay awake, 24-hour food concessions are available. Do know that these eateries are outside of the main terminal, so they may be tricky to reach. Check out the Woolworths in the Skygate shopping area and McDonald’s and Shell Coles in the nearby BNE Service Centre. Otherwise, stock up on food and water for the night before the in-airport eateries close.

Security & Safety

Airport staff generally tolerate overnight sleepers, though you may have to stay in the pre-Secure, public areas of the terminals until Security checkpoints open around 5:00 AM.

At the time of this update, we have no reports from travellers commenting on safety issues at Brisbane Airport. As a precaution, here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe airport sleeping experience:

  • Know Where Security is Located. Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. Ask security where it is safe to spend the night. They’ve probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will direct you to a safe spot.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you are travelling alone we recommend that you sleep near other travellers. If you are sleeping in the public zone, make sure they are actual travellers and not homeless people – it is sometimes hard to tell in certain airports.
  • Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with earphones and no ipod and a laptop bag strap and no laptop bag (or laptop). Same goes with important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body, so that no one can get them without waking you up.
  • Secure Your Bags. If you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something. If your bags have zippers turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, so that it would be hard for someone to access.
  • Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee and stay awake and be alert. You can always sleep on the plane!

Pro-tip: If you are sleeping in the public zone, don’t be surprised if you receive an early morning wake-up call. Security is known to make the rounds waking people up as travellers begin to arrive for morning flights.

Lounges

While Brisbane Airport has a few lounges, none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you just want to relax in a comfortable seat, check out this list of lounges in our Brisbane Airport Guide that you can pay to access.

Hotels

Sleeping in the airport isn’t your idea of comfort or privacy? You can get a good solid sleep between flights, but you’ll have to exit the airport altogether to reach a hotel. Shuttles are available, though they often charge a fee. See our Brisbane Airport Guide for information on nearby hotels.

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