TIME FOR SOME ZZZ’S
Singapore Changi retained its title as the world’s most sleep friendly gateway in Sleeping in Airports’ annual passenger poll, writes Joe Bates.
Airports located in ACI’s Asia-Pacific region have once again dominated Sleeping in Airports’ annual survey for the best gateways to use, and take a nap in, in 2019, with Singapore Changi and Incheon taking the top spots.
According to the most recent passenger poll on the website SleepingInAirports.net, Tokyo Narita, Osaka-Kansai, Taipei Taoyuan and Hong Kong also make the top ten of the most ‘sleep friendly’ airports in the world.
While Vancouver, an affiliated member of ACI Asia-Pacific due to its high volume of traffic to the region, is the only North American airport to make the Top 10.
Airports are judged for their Comfort (gate seating, rest zone availability etc); Services (facilities and things to do); Food Options; Immigration/Security; Customer Service; Navigation and Ease of Transport; Cleanliness; and, of course, ‘Sleepabiity’.
Traditionally, factors that might help to determine an airport’s ‘Sleepability’ have included:
- Designated rest and quiet zones where tired travellers can relax and enjoy some stress-free time before their flight
- Availability of transit hotels and sleep pods/cabins
- Plentiful, comfortable, arm-rest free seating
- Cots, blankets and pillows provided to travellers stuck in the airport overnight due to flight cancellations
Winner, Singapore Changi, has topped the annual passenger poll for over 20 years and once again didn’t disappoint in 2019, Sleeping in Airports noting: “Year after year, Singapore Changi Airport tops our list of Best Airports in the World, and there’s no shortage of reasons why when you discover all the airport has to offer.
“Among the highlights are: free movie theatres, gardens, free city transit tours, nap zones, cultural activities, and much more.
“What’s new this year? The Jewel complex opened earlier this year, complete with a jungle terrace and the Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest (and most Instagrammed) indoor waterfall!”
The ‘zzz Factor’ for Changi states: “Whether you’re looking for a quick cat nap or a private room, Changi Airport has something for every budget.
“Free reclining loungers can be found at airside ‘Snooze Lounges’ inside each terminal. Sleep chairs are limited, so your alternative will be to nap on other padded benches, armrest-free seating, or massage chairs located throughout the airport.
“If you prefer some privacy (and don’t mind paying), there are three transit hotels. Sleep cabins and nap rooms are available inside some fee-based lounges.”
Second placed Incheon International Airport, was praised for its efforts to entertain passengers and provision of areas for travellers to rest and recover after long flights or during long layovers.
Indeed, the website states that it goes “above and beyond” with cultural exhibits, live music, free city tours for transit passengers and even a robot who assists passenger during their journey through the South Korean hub.
Its ‘zzz Factor’ reads: “Looking to catch up on some sleep in between flights? Seoul Incheon Airport has dedicated rest zones with free padded lounges/beds. When these are full, seek out the armrest-free seating throughout the airport. Transit hotels are available in both terminals, but that will cost you.”
While the ‘zzz Factor’ for fourth placed Tokyo Narita says: “Survey respondents found Tokyo Narita Airport to be quite comfortable for sleeping. This might have something to do with the conversion of a gate area into an overnight rest area, complete with foot rests and plenty of padded benches.
“Stuck on a weather delay? Look for airport staff who may distribute sleeping bags, snacks, and water.”
Talking about fifth placed Kansai International Airport, Sleeping in Airports says that it “gives travellers a lot of love” in the shape of helpful staff, plenty of shops and eateries, a 24 hour convenience shop, and massage chairs for impromptu relaxtion.
Its ‘zzz Factor” states: “Tired travellers appreciate the variety of sleep options. Plentiful armrest-free seating and a dedicated sleep area are made a little more comfortable thanks to the free blankets that airport staff distribute to overnight travellers. Prefer more privacy? Two hotels are located in the airport, for those willing to spend the cash.”
Sixth in the rankings, Taipei Taoyuan is praised by one respondent for “being a clean airport, with a lot of peaceful secluded space and seating for resting, and some great facilities like public showers”.
Its ‘zzz Factor’ says: “Survey respondents appreciate the many sleep areas here, including dedicated rest zones with flat benches and some recliners spread throughout. Plenty of out-of-the-way areas are available for travellers who seek privacy or prefer to stretch out on the floor.”