Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Newark Airport

Sleeping in Newark Airport
Photo by SleepingInAirports.net / 14Mar2013

Whether 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 Newark Airport.

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

This guide was last updated: 27 July 2018. Read the latest traveller reviews.

Sleeping inside Newark Airport Overnight

The airport does not allows travellers inside the Secure zones overnight and will move anyone to the terminal’s public, pre-Security areas until Security checkpoints open in the early morning, around 4:00 AM.

Locations & Seating
Sleeping in Newark Airport
Airside seating. Photo by SleepingInAirports.net / 09Jun2012

The amount of seating is OK, but most seats are bolted to the floor and equipped with armrests. If you’re looking to spread out, you’ll have to prop yourself between nearby seats or spread out on the cold floor. Extra layers or a sleep mat will provide necessary comfort, whether you grab a seat or opt for the floor. In general, Terminal B seems to be the most comfortable, particularly inside Security. Some travellers point out that the food court in Terminal A has a few padded benches.  [ update ]

Rest Zones

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

Temperature
Sleeping in Newark Airport seating
Landside seating. Photo by SleepingInAirports.net 09Jun2012

Expect cold temperatures – many reviewers describe the terminals as “freezing”.  Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.  [ update ]

Lighting

Lights stay on around the clock in the pre-Security area, which is where all overnight travellers must congregate.  Come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.  [ update ]

Noise

Daytime sleepers can expect to hear frequent announcements regarding things like boarding calls and general airport announcements (safety warnings, passenger pages, etc). At night when there are no more flights, you would think the announcements would be put to rest, but that is not always the case. As a precaution, you should come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.  [ update ]

Weather Delays
Newark Airport Cots
Cots set-up for travellers who sleeping inside the airport during flight cancellations.  Photo by SleepingInAirports.net / 29Oct2011

Newark Airport sees more than its fair share of flight cancellations due to bad weather (summer thunderstorms and winter snow), but this means they are more prepared than other airports. When mass cancellations happen at Newark Airport, cots are available for stranded passengers who opt against getting a hotel room. To find them, ask an airline or airport employee (look for the read coats) or use a courtesy phone to reach someone who has access to this information.

Please note that these cots cannot be reserved in advance and they are not available except for mass cancellations. That means you cannot access them simply because you chose to stay the night in the airport instead of getting a hotel room.  [ update ]

Showers

Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Shower facilities are located in the United Club in Terminal C, between Concourses C2 and C3. Entry details are available in our Newark Airport Guide.  [ update ]

Food & Drink

When you get the midnight munchies or give up trying to sleep and need a coffee to stay awake, 24-hour food concessions are available. Check out these vendors: Subway, in the pre-Secure area of terminal B, and Dunkin’ Donuts, in Terminal C.  [ update ]

Security & Safety

Airport staff don’t seem to mind overnight campers, but they will relocate anyone who’s inside Security to the pre-Secure, public zones of the airport until about 4:00 AM, when Security checkpoints open.

At the time of this update, no recent traveller reviews mention any safety issues at Newark Airport. Older reviews included a couple references to a few homeless people in the pre-Security areas. 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 Newark Airport has several 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 Newark Airport Guide that you can pay to access.  [ update ]

Hotels

Prefer the privacy and comfort of a hotel room? If you would like a good solid sleep between flights you’ll have to head to a nearby hotel. The Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott is located on airport grounds, and several other hotels, located within a 5-minute drive, offer free shuttle service. See our Newark Airport Guide for locations and details.  [ update ]

Write a Review

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