Nobody wants to sleep at an airport, but sometimes due to bad weather or airline delays, it can’t be avoided. However, one London airport is seriously cracking down on the practice. As of June 11, London Stansted Airport started to close its departures area to travelers between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m. periodically, according to their website.
“There are a number of reasons for the periodic overnight closures to the departures area of the terminal building: construction work as part of our £600 million airport transformation programme, and to allow cleaning and other preparations for the next day’s flight operations,” airport officials told the Telegraph. “This means we’ve been reminding passengers there are no dedicated sleeping facilities in the terminal and advising they can no longer sleep on the floor overnight, so passengers should not arrive sooner than their scheduled check-in time.”
A spokesperson for Stansted told the Telegraph that the airport has seen as many as 600 people sleeping at the terminal on a single night. Some are likely avoiding paying for a hotel, often with “camp beds, sleeping bags and other portable sleeping aids,” which are also now banned according to the airport’s official website.
Online, people appear to be divided over whether pushing out sleeping passengers is inhumane or a welcome upgrade to the airport, which is known for budget carriers like Ryanair but has also introduced flights from the likes of Emirates Airlines recently.
“Absurd. I personally don’t sleep at the airport but I don’t ever have a problem at all with those that do. This is just very mean of @STN_Airport,” one Twitter user wrote, while another said, “Best news I’ve heard in a long time. Stansted Airport could win me round yet.”
The airport’s spokesman reiterated that it’s the passengers sleeping on the floor and not the ones dozing while sitting in a chair that are the issue. Also, passengers who are stuck at Stansted following delayed or canceled flights and cannot be placed in an airport hotel by their airlines will be “managed separately” outside of these new rules.
“There are no plans for a pod hotel at this time,” Mark Davison, Stansted Airport’s press office manger, told AFAR. “As stated, rooms are available in and around the airport already to suit most budgets.”
This post was updated on June 20, 2018 to reflect Stansted Airport’s statement on overnight accommodation options.