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 Vancouver Airport.
Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Vancouver Airport. If you have a tip to share, write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!
Covid-19 Update: This sleep guide was written before Covid-19, so the information may have changed. In October 2021, we will be starting our first guide update since March 2020. A lot has changed, so it’s going to be a massive update. If you are interested in helping, click here to add or update information or write a review to add tips or share photos to help future travellers .
This guide was last updated: 29 January 2020. Read the latest traveller reviews.
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, anyhow!
Locations & Seating
The areas inside Security are quite comfortable, especially in the International Terminal, where you’ll find plenty of normal armrest-free airport seats, plus seats with footstools and cushioned block-like furniture. Pre-Security, 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 inside Security.
Here are good sleep spots that travellers have reported:
- For some privacy pre-Security, head to the mezzanine Level near the C Gate Security Checkpoint, but be prepared to sleep on the carpeted floor.
- Pre-Security, head to the Baggage Claim area for benches without armrests.
- Pre-Security, benches are located near the American Airlines and WestJet check-in areas.
Vancouver Airport does not have any designated rest zones, but several areas in the International Departures terminal has sleep-friendly seating: lounge-style seats and cushioned block-style seating.
It can definitely 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.
Lights are left on overnight, so come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.
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.
Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Pay-to-use shower facilities are located inside Security at the Sky Team Lounge and a few locations of the Plaza Premium Lounge. Before Security, you can pay to use the showers inside the Fairmont Vancouver Airport. See our Vancouver Airport Guide for details.
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:
- Domestic Terminal, pre-Security: Subway, Tim Horton’s, and 7-Eleven
- International Terminal, pre-Security: Starbucks, Tim Hortons and Wendy’s
- International Terminal, inside Security: A&W and Starbucks
Prefer some privacy and comfort? If you would like a good solid sleep between flights without leaving the airport, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel is located inside the International Terminal and just a 10-minute walk from the Domestic Terminal. You can rent overnight rooms 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 hotels deals at Vancouver Airport.
If 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.
Security & Safety
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. 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 alone or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras where 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 or close to security.
- Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with only earphones and a laptop bag strap, but without the iPods or laptops that were attached. The same goes for important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body so 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 it.
- Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee, stay alert, and stay awake. 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.
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