One of the biggest concerns for solo airport sleepers is being robbed while they sleep. So how does one sleep in an airport and not have their belongings stolen? With more than 8100 reviews here I’ve only read two reviews of missing items and where did they happen? Delhi, Moscow, Pyongyang, Jakarta?? No, try Hong Kong and Phoenix. Lunny wrote of her Hong Kong experience:
It wasn’t bad actually sleeping here, because there was some nice comfortable seats you could move around. BUT I fell asleep listening to my minidisc and when I awoke it was gone! I suspect airport cleaners.
A more costly loss was this nameless reviewer who writes of his experience at Phoenix Airport:
Deciding to sleep in the airport was a big mistake. As I fell asleep on a couch outside the terminal, WITH my laptop bag strap around me, I awoke to NO LAPTOP BAG. I immediately knew what had happened. Just a strap left. Obviously, one or several professionals work this airport. In my bag was everything I didn’t trust to check-in to the airline (ie. Laptop, PDA, Prescriptions, Check book, some extra credit cards, Passport, and some hard copy files).
I’m no expert on incidents of theft while sleeping in an airport, but I’d say they are rare judging by people’s experiences here on the site. Here are precautions you can take anyways:
- Leave excess bags in storage if you can. The hours of operation are often unfavourable and most airports won’t allow overnight storage. Check out our Airport Guides for your airport before you stay to see if there are storage facilities.
- Lock your bag and close all pocket zippers, duh.
- Music may block out the terminal sounds, but it could also block out the sound of someone opening your bag.
- Place valuables under your head or on your body. Place the laptop/camera bag under your head with a sweater or coat over it for padding. Keep smaller valuables such as passports, money, credit cards, music players in your pants or under your shirt.
- Build a luggage cart fence around yourself. That way if anyone is trying to get to you or your bags, they will have to move the carts, thus creating a sound that will likely wake you.
- Turn your bags with zippers facing you.
- Place bags under your seat if they will fit and place the luggage cart in front of you as a “shield”
- If you are on a bench, sleep with your suitcase facing you and your hand or leg on your bag. If you think you might move, tie a scarf/strap to connect your hand/leg and the luggage handle.
These are just a few of the things I have done, seen and read. If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments…