Why do International Airports have Hourly Hotels Inside the Terminal?

Do you ever find yourself in an airport with a long layover or unexpected delay and suddenly realize that you have nowhere to stay? If so, you’re not alone. Many people find themselves in this situation every day, and that’s why international airports often have hourly hotels inside the terminal. Hourly hotels are an extension of the airport lounge, the differentiator being access to a small private room with a bathroom to rest, relax and unwind. They offer a convenient place to stay for people who need it. I will share here the reasons behind having airport hotels and who can use them. I will also provide some tips on how to make the most of your stay!

It is quite obvious that airport hourly hotels charge more or are sometimes exorbitant, especially for short stays. I have availed of such facilities a few times within India and abroad. Occasionally, I’ve found some great deals at Booking.com on hourly airport hotels. However, the following scenarios justify spending on hourly hotels.

Why do International Airports have Hourly Hotels Inside the Terminal?

1. To get a good rest and refreshment

There are times when you have a long flight delay or an overnight layover that require some time for rest and refreshment. Airport hourly hotels provide just the right environment to take a nap, freshen up, or simply relax before continuing on your journey.

I once flew Air Asia with an 8-hour layover in KL. KLIA 2 is a designated airport for Air Asia and is one of the worst places for a long layover. The food outlets there are shabby yet expensive and the overall ambiance is quite depressing. Having no choice, I spent about $50 (including food) for a 5-hour stay at the terminal hotel, which was well worth it as I would have spent $30 at the food outlets at the airport anyway.

2. To avoid back-to-back early flights

This is a common problem for those who travel frequently, especially if you’re booking last-minute flights. If your flight leaves at 6 am, there’s no point in you having to wake up at 2 am to catch the airport shuttle into town, just so that you can make it to the airport on time. It’s much more convenient to just book a room at an hourly hotel, spend the night there and then head out for your flight in the morning.

Airport hourly hotels are ideal for those who need a place to stay in between flights. They provide privacy, convenience, comfort and sometimes even luxury when compared to spending the night in a cramped airport lounge.

3. During transit after a long flight

It also helps immensely if the first leg of your flight is very long and you are exhausted. Spending a few hours in an airport hotel can be quite refreshing. Airport hourly hotels are perfect for travelers who need a place to stay overnight or just a few hours while they wait for their next flight.

Once, I availed of this facility at Hong Kong airport after flying 14 hours from San Francisco. I had a 5-hour layover in Hong Kong and then a 4-hour connecting flight. On landing, I had to attend a business meeting immediately, so I preferred to rest and refresh myself. Although I had access to a Priority Pass lounge in HK, I elected to stay in an airport hotel inside the terminal for a short period instead.

4. Flight deal with ultra-long layovers

Some airlines offer too tempting flight deals with ultra-long layovers. Airport hourly hotels are great options for those who want to make the best of their long layovers. Spending a night in an airport hotel can provide a much-needed respite from a tiring journey and help you explore the city at your own pace. Among my favorite websites for finding such deals are WayAway and Skyscanner. These two sites offer amazing comparisons between various flights and deals.

Once, I got my ticket $300 cheaper for a 14-hour layover as opposed to the standard 2-hour layover for the regular price. I saved $300 and paid $70 to use the transit hotel during the layover.

In this travel story, Chittal Shah, a contributor to Turuhi, explains how he took advantage of such a deal and visited the Great Wall of China for FREE.

5. Having missed a connecting flight

Hourly hotels sometimes come to the rescue if you miss a flight or a connection. Once, I had a return international flight to Delhi followed by a domestic connection to Bangalore. My international flight arrived in Delhi 3 hours (at 8 am) late and I missed my connection. Since at that time, Bangalore airport runway was undergoing maintenance, there were only morning and late evening flights. The earliest connection was at 7 pm. So I utilized the Plaza Premium lounge transit hotel outside the international terminal paying INR 6,000 ($80) for a 7-hour stay with food and complimentary drop to the domestic airport. It was expensive but the international flight journey had exhausted me and I was too tired to go to the domestic airport lounge.

Are you aware that you can be compensated if you miss a flight connection without your fault? I use the services of Compensair whenever the airline refuses to compensate me. You can submit your compensation application in a few easy steps and they will handle everything else. The service is free for customers.

Relax, rejuvenate and board…

Hourly hotels inside the airport offer a great way to relax and rejuvenate when you are on the move. Whether you need a place to rest between long flights, missed a connection, or want to take advantage of a great flight deal, airport hourly hotels provide the perfect option. So next time you find yourself in an airport, don’t forget to check out the hourly hotels and make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable.


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