12 hours Layover : Sleeping at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport
So basically this is how I save my penny and camp for a night at the Airport – giving up a bit of comfort doesn’t seem to bother me at all, in fact, there is more good than the bad. Not just saving one night’s accommodation but knowing that I will be first in the line to check-in and no worries of missing my next connecting flight. Layover at the airport is very common now for people from all walks of life, due to early morning flight, rescheduled flight or a canceled flight.
The last time I did a layover was in Melbourne Tullamarine Airport after flying from Christchurch. I tried to look for a budget accommodation near the Airport, but unfortunately, there are only hotels like Park Royal and Holiday Inn which no less than A$150 per night. Way too expensive and not in my budget range. Even the 2 -star budget Hotel Ibis next to the Airport cost A$149 per night! So instead of looking for a hotel to crash, I spent the whole night at the Melbourne Airport.
Now, if you didn’t know, Melbourne Airport has both Domestic and International departures with 4 Terminals that runs round-the-clock, and it has well-maintained facilities. The good thing here is that there are no strict rules on passengers waiting or sleeping in any of their lounges in arrival or departure area after midnight. However, there are some international airports that strictly ban on staying overnight at the airport.
There is one dedicated site for everything you need to know about airports that allow overnight stay and others that don’t, best and the worst airports and some other useful tips for an airport layover. Sleeping in Airport has all those information you need if you are planning to layover in the certain airport around the world. Make sure you do check as most airport has a very strict policy and even chase people out of the premise!
I have a Layover. Where do I Sleep?
I had to loiter around in all terminals before I could find a sweet spot – it was not very comforting but at least better than anywhere else. What I’m gonna share here is where exactly you can find the free spot to spend the night in Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (gotta give up some comfort though!). It’s just that you don’t have to spend a single dime or come in trouble with the authorities. Nobody really cares.
There is a hassle of finding a good sleeping spot at Melbourne Airport. Almost all their free seats are long chairs comes with armrest. Do you see the problem here? I bet you know already. I can’t possibly lay down on my back and sleep if there is arm rest. So where did I found these long benches?
Melbourne Tullamarine Airport has four Terminals, forget the rest and head over to Terminal 1 (T1) Qantas Domestic Floor, at Level 1. Just walk to the right from the entrance until you reach Qantas Airline check-in lounge. The benches are just opposite the self-service check-in counter (see below)
Here’s the layout map if you still have no idea where it is located. The benches are pointed with a red arrow.
Forget about looking elsewhere in the Arrival area or another side of the Terminal because the only benches you could find there are seats with arm rest.
What I like here at the Qantas check-in lounge is that the place is a bit quiet and almost no one walks down after midnight. But occasionally you will hear airport cleaners staff walking down and doing their routine job. They are just doing their job and won’t be nuisance whatsoever. It’s absolutely safe for you to sleep there too. You can just place your bag on the bench or underneath – they are spacious.
Remember to get a good eye-shades and a pair of earplugs, you will hear some people flocking in as early as 4 am in the morning.