Date: June 20-June 21, 2014
After 10 glorious days spent swimming in crystal clear water, enjoying delicious Greek grub, and relaxing in the sun on the island of Corfu,Greece it was time to see new places.
I arrived to the Kerkyra Airport (Airport code CFU) via the “Blue Bus” from Corfu Town. It was a quick trip of 7-10 minutes from the main square with a one-way fare of 1.10 Euro.
Sleeping in the airport was a no brainer for a few reasons:
1) After discovering that the local “Blue Buses” didn’t start running until 7.30 on Saturday morning I determined sleeping in the airport was the best option for my 9.00 flight to Berlin.
2) After exploring Europe for the past 9 months I felt like a travel wimp for not having slept in an airport yet.
3) The idea of forking out a decent amount of money for a early morning taxi or getting an airport hotel wasn’t worth it, as I’d rather save and spend my money in Germany.
I set up shop on a bench outside to catch my last Grecian sunrays. There were plenty of benches to sit on outside and watch the world go by. With numerous tour buses coming and going it was prime spot for people watching.
After nearly an hour on the bench I went inside to peruse the toilet options. I was flying solo, as I had recently said goodbye to my travel buddy of four weeks. This meant taking all of my belongings to the toilet. There were multiple restrooms landside. Not the cleanest I have seen in airports, but they were fine overall.
I was having seconds thoughts about being at the airport all night, but then I thought to myself “is it too early to collect luggage carts for spare change like Tom Hanks did in”The Terminal?”
I decided to walk around outside and made an excellent discovery: an outside bar in front of the airport. It was serving up beers, a few light snacks such as chips/crackers and personal size pizzas. I opted for a 5 Euro brew and a viewing of the latest World Cup match.
It was getting chilly out and warmer clothes were in order. After reading through “How to Sleep in the Airport 101“, I was ready with plenty of layers. It ended up being quite chilly so I really had to bundle up to stay warm. For such a physically small airport, Kerkyra has plenty of flights arriving and departing through the night and early morning.
I saw other travelers sleeping in the airport so luckily I didn’t have any issues blending in.
I spent all of my time until about 6:30 AM in the landside area. Luckily the benches did not have the notorious airport armrests on the middle section of the bench, which allowed for a moderately comfortable place to rest.
The main landside area connects the arrivals area and the departure/check-in/security section. I did a bit of hopeful searching and crouching to reveal a few wall power outlets landside. There were ATMs, but no major amenities like showers or sleeping pods.
A few landside cafes were open all night. They had the basics like hot drinks and simple snacks. I packed plenty of food for dinner and breakfast, but there were decent options landside if needed.
I used my large backpack as a pillow and quite literally spooned my daypack while lying on the bench. I layed on my towel and a spare maxi skirt, as the metal benches were hard. My phone, passport, money, and other important documents were kept zipped up in my fleece. The end armrest helped to keep my large backpack propped up and I had ample room to lay, which is hard to find since I am a long lady at 6 foot.
I woke up at 5.00 AM to a line of people waiting to have their luggage saran wrapped. I pondered why people do this and went back to sleep.
After a decent snooze I woke up to a woman sorting her luggage and piling clothes on the end on the bench I was lying on, i.e. my legs. I felt like airport roadkill. It was time to go through security and see what was on the other side.
I wasn’t able to check-in for my flight until the morning so I spent nearly all of my time landside. The lines for security were very long and a bit disorganized, but it didn’t take much time to get through the x-ray machines and to the airside.
The landside airport wifi networks were were either locked, pay service, or I couldn’t properly connect to the open ones. Once I got passed security in the morning I was able to connect to the airport wi-fi.
Boarding the plane on the Kerkyra tarmac.
I found the Kerkyra airport to be a surprisingly easy airport to sleep in for being such a small place. Mind you this was my first airport sleeping adventure, but I found it to be an easy place to pass the evening. A few security officers gave me a glance here and there, but I didn’t have any issues.
After the flight to Germany I was able to visit friends I had met while walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I am happy to report some of the money I saved while sleeping in the airport was well spent in a biergarten. If you need a bit of pre-flight downtime after soaking up the sun in Greece, I highly recommend spending an evening in the Kerkyra airport.
About Katherine Wright:
Katherine spent 9 months traveling through 11 European countries. Volunteering, walking the Camino de Santiago through France/Spain, exploring new places, visiting old friends and making new ones kept her delightfully busy. She has recently returned home and is enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest before her next international adventure.
Web Site: http://www.makingherway.com