Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Vancouver Airport

Sleeping in Vancouver Airport
Photo by 07 May 2014

If you’re dealing with a long layover or an early morning flight departure at Vancouver Airport, you might be wondering if it is possible to sleep in the airport. Our guide to sleeping in Vancouver 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 Vancouver Airport Overnight

While Vancouver Airport is open 24 hours, the Domestic Terminal may close overnight. In that case, you’ll have to relocate to the International Terminal area – which is far more comfortable!

Locations & Seating

The airside areas are pretty comfortable, especially in the International Terminal, where you’ll find plenty of armrest-free airport seats, plus seats with footstools and cushioned block-like furniture. Landside, you’ll have to look a little harder, but you’ll be able to find some comfy spots. If you prefer to stretch out on the floor, there is a lot of carpeting, especially on the airside.

Here are good sleep spots that travellers have reported:

  • For some privacy on the landside, head to the Mezzanine Level near the C Gate security checkpoint, but be prepared to sleep on the carpeted floor.
  • Landside: head to the Baggage Claim area for benches without armrests.
  • Landside: benches are located near the American Airlines and WestJet check-in areas.

Rest Zones

Vancouver Airport has no designated rest zones, but several areas in the International Departures terminal have sleep-friendly seating: lounge-style seats and cushioned block-style seating.


vancouver airport hotelsPrefer some privacy and comfort?  If you want to rest without leaving the airport, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel is conveniently located inside the International Terminal and is just a 10-minute walk from the Domestic Terminal. You can rent rooms overnight or day rooms, which are available in blocks of 4, 6, or 8 hours. Access to the in-hotel Health Club is available for $20 per person for non-guests.

Several more hotels are located within a 10-minute drive of the airport, with free airport shuttle service available. See the hotel section in our Airport Guide for locations, or visit Tripadvisor to find hotel deals at Vancouver Airport.


vancouver airport loungesIf you are looking for a private place to nap for a few hours in between flights and you are flying internationally, the Plaza Premium Lounge offers private nap rooms. For more information, check out our Vancouver Airport Guide.

More Airport Services & Facilities

For information about drinking water, 24-hour food & drink options, luggage storage, showers, mobile charging and WiFi, visit our Vancouver Airport Guide.

Airport Conditions

Vancouver Airport Seating
International departures, Airside seating. (Photo by / 07 May 2014)

If you plan to spend the night at the airport, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Temperature – It can get chilly inside, especially at night. Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.
  • Lighting – Lights are left on overnight, so come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.
  • Noise – Travellers report regular daytime activity, but a much quieter vibe at night, especially if you’re away from TVs. If you’re serious about sleeping, don’t forget earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.

Security & Safety

Vancouver Airport Seating
International departures, Airside (Photo by / 07 May 2014)

At the time of this update, airport staff don’t seem to mind airport sleepers, and those who’ve written in have not reported any safety issues at Vancouver 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.

Pro-tip: If you sleep 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 arrive for morning flights.

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