Long layover? Here are a few tips to make it better.
Whether you travel for business or for pleasure, there is a high probability that you have had to spend countless hours inside the airport waiting on your connection or on a delayed flight. Unfortunately, airlines cannot control the weather. Instead of waiting patiently or yelling at the airline representative, let’s have a look at more enjoyable, stress free ways to spend your time.
Calculate Your Time
Before making any decisions, it is important to consider how much time you really have until your next flight. If you decide to exit the airport, it is important to consider the time it will take to return (traffic) and go through security. Minimum time varies by airport size, but generally you need to be at the airport 2 hours before national flights and 3 hours before international flights. If you are worried that you won’t have enough time, it is best to explore your options inside the airport.
Option 1: Airport Lounges
- Ideal layover length: 1-2 hours
- Cost: $0-$200
Although many airport lounges are considered to be highly exclusive and only accessible to first and business class travelers, that is not always the case. There are airport lounges that are accessible to all flyers, even to those who do not have a VIP membership.
Every lounge is different, but most offer free wifi, comfortable seating, food and beverage, and reading material. Higher end lounges offer showers, gyms, and sometimes even a movie theater. There are 2 main types of lounges:
Airline Lounges: Business and first class travelers have free access to airline lounges if they are traveling with the specific airline or airline partners such as Star Alliance , SkyTeam and Oneworld. If you are flying economy, you can still access these lounges with a frequent flyer card or a credit card membership such as AMEX.
Independent Lounges: Private company lounges are available to all travelers, and the cost depends on whether you have a membership or not. The typical price range is $30-$200, and you can often pay with frequent flyer miles if able. If you are interested in becoming a member at a global lounge, one of the most famous memberships across the globe is the Priority Pass, which provides access to 1200 lounges globally.
PRO TIP: not all lounges are open 24 hours.
Most lounges have a maximum stay policy of 6 hours.
Option 2: Capsules
- Ideal layover length: 1-2 hours
- Cost: $40-$50
Many major international airports now offer small enclosed rest areas called capsules. These rooms are ideal for naps and not much else, as most measure 1.25 meters wide, 2 meters long, and 1 meter high. As you can imagine, capsule naps are not recommended for claustrophobics.
Option 3: BYHOURS Microstays
- Ideal layover length: 4 hours or more
- Cost: $30-$150
Capsules are very accessible as they are located within the airport, but they also come with limitations apart from the size. Most capsules offer shared bathrooms but do not include showers. Also, these spaces are meant to only fit one person, so if you are traveling with a partner or family, this would not be a viable option for rest.
Most capsules are available for purchase for a full night stay, costing $40-$50 USD. If you are looking for only a few hours, the price is comparable to a microstay in a hotel, where you are able to enjoy amenities and space.
The newest option of the three, microstays offer a perfect way to spend longer layovers in peace, quiet and comfort. Thanks to BYHOURS, you can now book hotel rooms for 3, 6, or 12 hours. Whether you are traveling for work or for fun, with family or alone, microstays are a great choice for extended layovers and delayed flights.
What’s so great about microstays?
- You can choose your check-in time.
- Most BYHOURS hotels offer free transportation services.
- You can book microstays inside airport hotels as well.
- You can reserve your hotel up to 5 minutes prior to check-in.
- Pay-per-use: Why pay for a full night stay if you are only going to stay a few hours? Thanks to microstays, you can choose to stay and pay for 3, 6 or 12 hours.
- Connectivity- No more spotty airport wifi.
- Peace and quiet! Take control of your time.
If you do not have the BYHOURS app, you should try it out and enjoy your first microstay.