There are so many reasons to stay for long hours at an airport after arrival or before your flight.
Whether for a connecting flight, a layover, or just to hang out and explore the airport, do some shopping, have a massage or dinner in your preferred lounge.
Generally after arrivals you can stay inside the airport as long as you would like without any problem, however it mostly depends on the country you are flying to, some countries may recommend going directly to the customs and immigration just after arrivals.
Keep reading because in this article, we will cover everything about how long you can stay in an airport and what are the rules for connecting flights and layovers.
Let’s dive right in.
How Long Can You Stay At An Airport After Flight Arrivals?
First off, before you consider staying at the airport you need to know that there are almost three sections at any airport.
Land-side and air-side, the land side is the area where families wait for passengers; The area is accessible for anyone, passengers and non passengers, it is a less controlled area compared to the air side which located after you cross the security checkpoint or the area you enter whenever the airplane landed, you either landed on the airport, or you will need a valid ticket or an escort pass to get to this area.
Most of the time it is considered an international area that is why you will need a valid passport to enter the air side area , more security and control are applied in this section.
Most of the time you won’t face any problem resting at the airport in both sections after landing for several hours especially on domestic flights.
In fact many passengers are doing it because airports have a lot of amenities you can enjoy, especially those that are waiting for someone to pick them up at the airport, or just want to have some rest in the transit side of the airport.
So whenever you get to the airport, you and you want to have some rest in the waiting area or a cup of coffee. You don’t have to worry about leaving early.
What If You Have A Layover Or A Connecting Flight?
If you have a layover you can stay at the airport air side area, until your next flight comes, most of the layovers will not last for long hours; it’s mostly less than 24 hours.
On the other hand if you have a connecting flight you may consider staying at the airport for more than one day, however you have the option to exit the airport and stay in a hotel, but if you don’t want you can stay in the airport as long as you can.
Don’t Miss To Do These Things At The Airport If You Have A Long Stay
There are so many activities to do at any airport and to enjoy if you are planning to stay longer or if you have a long connecting flight.
Here is some of the things to do during your stay:
- Explore the airport: There are so many things to see at the airport, if it happens you want to stay for some time at a large airport, you go ahead and find some interesting spots.
- Do shopping: If you like shopping you can find some good brands, even if you do not want to shop you can just see what is new in the market and what is trending.
- Watch Aircrafts: I like watching large aircraft and I also like taking pics of them.
- Make friends: one of the good things about airports is to meet people that have the same interest as you, exploring the world, and if you are traveling alone and you want to make some friends do not hesitate to strike a conversation.
How Long Can You Stay At The Airport Before A Flight?
Generally you can wait for your flight at the airport as long as you want, however you can’t go through the security checkpoint if you have checked luggage because the check in counter opens only a few hours before the flight.
The land side is open to everybody and you can get there, wait and rest until your flight is approaching, then check in your bags.
So many passengers are doing it, especially if you have a flight in the early morning and you leave far away from the airport, you can spend the night at the airport, sleep in the seating area, and you won’t have to worry about missing your flight.
What About Other Airport Amenities?
Airports lounges or coffee shops are open 24/7 and you can enjoy them as long as you want, however if you want to stay longer it will work mostly with lounges, coffee shops may not have a place where you can rest for long hours.
So you can opt for a lounge where you can blend in with people all day and nobody will notice.
If you want to stay longer for whatever reason, it is better to talk to one of the employees in the lounge and inform them about your own situation, a connecting flight at layover or just to have some rest before you leave the airport.
Airport lounges are a good place to recharge, relax and have a snack and a drink; you can also charge your phone and use the internet, some lounges may even have other cool amenities like spa and showers.
Some People Did Actually Live In The Airport For Several Days
There are actually some people that live in the airports for a long time, not just hours or days but even months like this guy Mehran Karimi Nasseri that lives in the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, for almost 18 years for political reasons.
Mehran left his origin country Iran headed to the UK with a connecting flight in Paris, but for some reason he lost his papers at the airport, so the UK authorities won’t let them enter their territories, and either the France government because he doesn’t have a valid France Visa also.
The guy was stuck at the airport air side area for 18 years , until they transferred him to the hospital because of an unknown illness, and he is now living in Paris.
The guys in the video below are Youtubers and their Youtube channel called “Yes theory” where they do some really amazing experiments inspiring people to leave their comfort zone.
They actually stayed in the Singapore Changi Airport for Four days without any issues, and above all of that they enjoyed almost all the amenities.
Here is what they did:
- They trained at the Gym
- Explore the airport
- Did a massage
- Gone for a swim
- Had a poll side lunch
- Watch a movie
Please do not replicate their experience, staying at an airport without any reason may lead to some serious security issues.
Staying at the airport after arrivals to rest and enjoy the amenities is totally allowed, but staying for no reason for several days may cause some security issues.
Some countries like the United States recommend going directly to the costumes on international flights, so I don’t think you will have time to explore the air side area.
On the other hand if you are waiting for a family member or a friend, you can stay in the land side area as long as you want and you don’t have to worry about the security as most people are doing it.
We hope this helps.
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