If you’re dealing with a long layover or an early morning flight departure at London Stansted Airport, you might be wondering if it is possible to sleep in the airport. Our guide to sleeping in London Stansted Airport provides essential information for seasoned airport sleepers and newbies to help travellers arrive prepared for the experience.
We keep this guide up-to-date with the help of airport sleepers who have generously shared their experiences and airport reviews. If you have any tips or photos to contribute, please take a moment to write a review. Your feedback will help us stay informed about the latest advice for future sleepy travellers.
Sleeping in London Stansted Airport Overnight
Locations & Seating
Unfortunately, this airport is not too sleep-friendly, even if you want to sleep during daytime hours. There’s not enough seating for the many travellers, and what exists is mostly equipped with armrests. (The seating may even have signs warning no feet on seats.) Sleeping on the floor is reportedly not allowed, so staff will likely wake anyone sprawled on the floor. Restaurants and cafes no longer allow travellers to rest on their chairs or benches. Airside is a bit more comfortable, with more shops and restaurants, but you may not be able to clear into this area until much closer to your flight.
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At the time of this update, there are no rest zones within the airport.
Would you prefer the privacy and comfort of a hotel room? While you’ll have to leave the airport behind, two hotels are conveniently situated within a 2-minute walk of the airport: the Hampton by Hilton and Radisson Blu Hotel are connected to the terminal via a walkway. The Radisson Blu offers day rooms. Other hotels are located within a 5-minute drive of the airport. See the hotel section in our Airport Guide for locations, or visit Tripadvisor to find hotel deals at Stansted Airport.
While London Stansted Airport does have an airport lounge, it does not have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you only want to relax in a comfortable seat for a few hours before your flight, check out our London Stansted Airport Guide for details.
More Airport Services & Facilities
For information about drinking water, 24-hour food & drink options, luggage storage, showers, mobile charging and WiFi, visit our London Stansted Airport Guide.
Several travellers have reported needing to relocate – sometimes more than once – as cleaning crews circulate in the middle of the night. With the airport’s recent policy trying to prevent airport sleepers, you may not experience this.
If you plan to spend the night at the airport, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Temperature – At the time of this update, we have not received reports from travellers about terminal temperature. Still, you can expect the terminal to cool down at night as the air conditioning continues to run and fewer people are inside. Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.
- Lighting – We have received only a few recent reviews mentioning bright lights. Eyeshades or something to cover your eyes, like a shirt or towel, are often helpful. However, with recent clampdowns on airport sleepers, wearing an eyeshade may make you stick out to airport staff.
- Noise – Daytime travellers can expect to hear frequent announcements and the din of other travellers. At night, the airport quiets down a bit as restaurants close, and flights pause for a few hours. The airport may close in the middle of the night, but it seems security checkpoints open around 3:00 AM, so expect the noise factor to pick back up then. As a precaution, come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.
Security & Safety
Airport staff seem to be much less tolerant of overnight or even daytime sleepers than they used to be. Recent travellers have reported airport staff waking them up because sleeping in the airport, particularly overnight, is something the airport is trying to prevent.
Still, it seems that travellers generally feel safe at the airport. However, 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.
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