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No one plans on sleeping overnight in an airport. But, delays/cancellations happen, plans change and connecting flights often mean travelers have at least a few hours to kill. Especially if you’re a budget traveler, you might not be willing to shell out the high cost for an airport hotel room for such a short stay.

And, I’m talking from personal experience here. In our budget travels, my wife Katie and I have spent more than one night sleeping in an airport in the past.

TPG contributor (and my wife) Katie Genter sleeping in the Lima Airport food court.
TPG contributor (and my wife) Katie Genter sleeping in the Lima Airport food court in 2013.

Now, catching some shut eye is no longer an option in one London airport. Effective this week, London’s budget Stansted Airport is taking new steps to combat traveler homelessness in the airport. After the last flight of the night departs, the airport is closing airside terminals. Additionally, the airport has hung signs and employed terminal monitors to wake sleeping passengers every 10 minutes.

While the largest operator from London Stansted is Ryanair, I got to experience the airport for myself recently thanks to Primera Air. I found Stansted to be the worst part of my Primera Air experience. (Speaking of Primera Air, the airline’s only long-haul aircraft experienced extended mechanical issues shortly after my inaugural flight with the airline, likely resulting in quite a few airport terminal sleepers.)

A passenger sleeps in Stansted Airport before the ban went into effect. Image by Getty Images.
A passenger sleeps in Stansted Airport before the ban went into effect. Image by Getty Images.

Passengers in the same situation in the future will have a sleepless night in the airport thanks to the new “anti-snooze guards,” which are supposed to pass through the airport in “10-minute rounds.”

Avoid the fate of having to sleep in the airport altogether — whether it’s due to bomb cyclones, airline IT nightmares or fires that knock out an entire airport’s power system — by booking your flight with a credit card that offers trip delay protection.

While I can get 5x points by booking flights with my Platinum Card® from American Express, I currently use Citi Prestige for most of my flights due to the 3-hour trip delay protection (which paid out $1,000 when I got stuck in Japan due to a typhoon) and solid baggage delay protection. However, I’ll be booking with my Chase Sapphire Reserve starting July 29 due to Citi Prestige’s benefits devaluation.

H/T: View From The Wing

Featured image by SamuelBrownNG/Getty Images

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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