Traveling can be very stressful and having to navigate through an airport can only make it worst. You have to make sure you are there for enough time to check in and to make it through the airport maze to your gate before your flight finishes boarding. Going through security can be a hassle and then having to find your gate and wait for boarding to start. Not to mention if you have a long layover, waiting for your plane to board can feel like forever. If you are one of those unlucky travellers who has to spend the night at the airport it can feel like you are living a nightmare.
Airports are meant to be a gateway to your journey and are meant to be the first impression of the adventure you are about to take. A bad experience at the airport should not determine the rest of your adventure. They should not be the reason why you avoid flying.
Even though you familiarize yourself with an airport, you still wish an airport had certain places that would make your travels easier. Most airports do have these rooms you wish they had, however, most travellers are not aware of all the amenities that an airport offers. From unknown observation towers to hidden yoga rooms or special needs rooms, here are some hidden rooms you probably do not know airports have.
6. OBSERVATION TOWER – BURLINGTON, VERMONT
Although it used to be the Air Traffic Control Tower, this Vermont observation tower is now a place where travelers can stop and look at the airport views of the planes, tarmac and runways. Travelers are now able to watch planes take off and land all before they get on their plane themselves. In the observation tower, travelers can also listen to live communication between the Control Tower and different aircraft pilots through the speakers in the tower. The Observation Tower is located on the second level of the airport towards the check-in gates. This is a perfect place for aviation fans to spend some time before a flight.
5. YOGA ROOM – CHICAGO, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, there is a mirrored Zen-like public space that includes an area to place personal items and garments and exercise mats. This room is always empty as it is not well known and rarely used. If you’re looking for a place to relax and stretch before a flight, this yoga room is the perfect space. The room features a monitor mounted on the wall that displays yoga exercise techniques, and another monitor that displays all the flight information to ensure you do not miss your flight. The yoga space is open daily and is located on the Mezzanine Level of terminal three.
4. QUIET AREA – MINNEAPOLIS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Like most America airports, the noise levels are very high, however unlike most American airports, Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport has a “Quiet Area”, which is overlooking the atrium of the Lindbergh Terminal. Since this room is difficult to find, it is the airport’s best kept secret, however if you have a lengthy layover it is worth trying to find it. There are signs that lead to the room, even if they are a bit hard to follow. This quiet room is nothing fancy, however it provides travelers with a place to relax on chairs set around tables. It is a comfortable and peaceful place and does what it’s supposed to do.
3. NURSING ROOMS – VANCOUVER, CANADA
There are many airports around the world that have nursing rooms, however they are not being utilized as much as they should be. Most parents do not take the time to find out if the airport they are at have the facilities. These rooms usually include a changing area that have change tables, sinks and a long counter. They have many chairs to sit at, as well as outlets for pumping. You can also find in these rooms playpens to keep your baby occupied. It is a lot easier for parents to tend to their child in these rooms then having them run around the waiting area. The nursing rooms in the Vancouver International Airport are located after security in the US departures terminal.
2. PRAYER ROOM – TAOYUAN, TAIWAN
Hidden in the Taoyuan International Airport, there are three prayer rooms. One of the three rooms is solely reserved for Muslims. It is a place where people can pray in peace amongst the hustle and noise of a busy airport. The rooms include an empty floor plan perfect for worship rituals. It is a bright lighted room with very minimal decorations. Each room provides a very welcoming and calming atmosphere for people to concentrate. They are super convenient if you are aware that the room exists are where they are located. These prayer rooms are located near Gate D8.
1. SPECIAL NEEDS ROOM – SHANNON, IRELAND
Shannon Airport realizes that for many people, traveling through an airport can be stressful or be an unfamiliar environment. To make this journey more enjoyable, the airport has a Sensory Room. The room is located in the Departure Lounge to the left of the Zest Catering outlet. This room allows the traveler to be in a calming environment that can be more familiar and make their travels a little easier. It is primarily used for individuals with autism and special needs. Along with this room, Shannon Airport introduced an assistance program to help families or individuals travel throughout the airport with ease.