Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Washington Reagan Airport

Sleeping in Washington Reagan Airport

If you’re dealing with a long layover or an early morning flight departure at Washington Reagan Airport, you might wonder if sleeping in the airport is possible. Our guide to sleeping in Reagan 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 Washington Reagan Airport Overnight

While Washington Dulles Airport is technically open 24 hours, the security checkpoints and airside areas close for the evening, likely by 11:00 PM. You must relocate to the landside area if you’re on the airside.

Locations & Seating

Sleeping in Reagan airport
Photo courtesy of a Guest traveller / 08Jun2014)

Most seating here has armrests, so don’t expect too much comfort. Maybe travellers report sleeping on the floor, particularly near the heat vents next to the windows. A sleep mat or sleeping bag will provide some much-needed cushion.

Rest Zones

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

Hotels

reagan airport hotelsDo you prefer some privacy and comfort? If you want a good solid sleep between flights, you’ll have to leave the airport to reach a hotel, but several are within a quick 5-minute trip. See the hotel section in our Airport Guide for locations, or visit Tripadvisor to find hotel deals at Reagan Airport.

Lounges

reagan airport loungesWhile Washington Reagan Airport has a few lounges, none 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 this list of lounges in our Washington Reagan Airport Guide that you can pay to access when flying certain airlines.

Airport Conditions

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

  • Temperature – Travellers report cold temperatures at night, no matter the time of year.¬†Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.
  • Lighting – At the time of this update, we have not received reports from travellers related to terminal brightness. Come¬†prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.
  • Noise – By day, expect the usual airport noise. At night, even if it’s quiet, announcements blare every 30 minutes to announce the time, so pack earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones if you don’t want to be woken up every half-hour.

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: Dunkin’ Donuts and CNBC NewDunkin’ted landside near the walkway to Terminal A.

Showers

Unfortunately, there are no showers available to freshen up.

Security & Safety

Airport security doesn’t seem to mind overnight campers as long as you stick to the landside areas at night.

At the time of this update, we have no recent reports from travellers commenting on safety issues at Washington Reagan Airport. Older reports mentioned homeless folk wandering the pre-security areas, but these travellers felt safe due to the security presence.

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 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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