November 18th, 2017
11:30pm, local time, I arrived into Warsaw Modlin airport. Due to my ultralight packing, I went straight past the baggage claim and into my bedroom for the night. Even in hot countries, I've found airports to be cold at night, so it was nice to realise this place was well heated, with no draughts coming through the exit doors. The airport was busy, but not packed, so I knew finding a place to sleep wouldn't be difficult. What factors do you need to consider when looking for a place to sleep in the airport?
Is there anywhere comfortable?
Most airports don't have specific sleeping areas and if they do, they cost money. One noteable exception is Hamburg Airport, where there were free 'napping pods' (I don't know the correct term), where I was able to have a quick sleep. So does Warsaw Modlin have these? No. It does, however, have a lounge, which economy passengers can gain access to for £20 ($26). Annoyingly, it's closed during the night.
Most frustratingly of all was that there were sofas and comfortable chairs in a café area, but once again the café was closed and so too was access to a sofa. You could just walk in, but you'd be asked to leave.
Most airports like to put armrests in between the seats, making lying down impossible. In Warsaw Modlin, this isn't the case. There are plenty of rows of three or four seats, so this was most people's choice for a bed. They weren't comfortable though and there was nowhere to build a decent pillow from your hoodie and a pair of shoes.
Is there anywhere private?
Ideally, you want to find a place where you won't be disturbed by security, cleaners or members of the public. There were quite a few places in Warsaw Modlin, which is a surprisingly large airport. Firstly, there's the toilets. These were spotlessly clean, large and usually empty. However, these will obviously have people regularly coming in and out and I'm not sure security would let you sleep in there.
Then there were a number of stairs you could lie beneath. These are fairly well hidden and deserted, but you have the sounds of people walking up and down them. The only completely accessible and deserted room was the chapel. However, this seemed like an inappropriate place to sleep and I wasn't sure whether security or Jesus himself would ask me to leave. This room is so quiet, dark and empty though, so it would have made for a great night's sleep.
Are there any plug sockets?
The traveller who's away from any accommodation for a while these to take any opportunity they've got to charge their phone. For the several hours you're stuck in an airport, its a good idea to find a spot near an electrical outlet. You can then use your phone without worry if your bored (Modlin has free WiFi) and let it charge as you sleep, giving you full battery for the morning.
There are plenty of outlets in Modlin Airport and I ended up sleeping on the floor under the stairs with my phone plugged in. Yes it was uncomfortable, but when you're tired enough you'll get some sleep.
Overall, Warsaw Modlin is not a bad place to spend the night. There is a shop open all night with food, drink, magazines, books and travel accessories to keep you entertained. It is warm, fairly quiet and safe. The only real noise came from the cleaners and the music that turned on as the first passengers began to arrive at around 4am. Unlike other airports, you will be confined either to the floor or the seats, but you can spend some time building a bed to make your sleep as comfortable as possible.
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