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’Net Junkie

Shawn "Speedy" Lopes

Monday, February 2, 2004


Check this site,
airport sleepers


When traveling by air, a simple oversight or freak occurrence of nature could mean the difference between arriving at your destination on schedule and spending an extra night or two in an unfamiliar city. What happens if you're low on funds? Stake your claim at the most inviting airport bench and make the best of it. Shallow pocketed tourists, take note: Before you find yourself in such an exasperating situation, be sure to consult The Budget Traveller's Guide to Sleeping in Airports at www.sleepinginairports.net.

It's a novel and fascinating Web site designed by world traveler Donna McSherry who, in 1996, began sharing her personal airport experiences with other budget travelers online. What began as a modest site with three listings gradually grew to include thousands of entries highlighting the best and worst airports in the world to catch some shut-eye. Visitors may rank the world's airports, add an airport to the Web site, submit photos, and find airport sleeping tips and travel resources.

In case you're wondering, Singapore's elegant Changi airport takes top honors ("The reining mother of all airports. ... Airport sleepers worldwide will be brought to tears of joy when they find out all the wonderful amenities available"). It's been said that Changi is so quiet and its inhabitants so civil that students often go there to study. Other airports in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Auckland, New Zealand; Melbourne, Australia; Lima, Peru, and Pittsburgh, Pa., also rate high for overnight comfort.

The worst airports? For starters, try all of India, we're told. Be sure to carry bug spray, air freshener and disinfectant, unless you don't mind foul odors and fleas. If it all possible, bypass Port Moresby Airport in Papua, New Guinea, where one online contributor reportedly stepped into a bloody gang-related shootout.

Yes, you will find a number of opinions on Honolulu International Airport as well which, apart from the hard wooden benches, is thought of as a generally comfortable place to lay your head. HNL even gets a few bonus points for its unique open-air layout and charming public address system. "There is a pleasant tropical breeze blowing through the airport, accompanied by the sensual scent of sweet island flowers, which are everywhere outside and inside the airport," reports contributor Kim Loomis. "They always have Hawaiian music piping through the sound system, too, so even if you are terribly uncomfortable, at least you can't forget that you are in such a dreamy place."


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Note: Web sites mentioned in this column were active at time of publication. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin neither endorses nor is responsible for their contents.




See the Columnists section for some past articles.

’Net Junkie drops every Monday.
Contact Shawn "Speedy" Lopes at slopes@starbulletin.com.

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