Cancellations, delays and lost baggage are setting a chaotic theme for overseas holidays this summer. Unsurprisingly, a trip to the airport now fills most people with dread.
Unfortunately, there are no immediate solutions to the problems facing airlines – but there are ways to make the whole experience less of a drag.
Booking a stay at an airport hotel is a sure-fire way to ease stress and avoid hours wasted pacing up and down terminals. No longer a place to simply sleep and shower, many are now as glam as their city-based counterparts.
Add an extra night to your trip at one of these gate-side stops, to guarantee your holiday extends beyond take-off and touch-down.
In the days before dreary document checks and snaking security queues, airports exuded glamour. Part of the 1962 Trans World Airlines Flight Center designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen (famous for bringing the tulip chair into the world), this retro-themed hotel revives the buzz and excitement once associated with flying.
Book in for an overnight stay or short stints from four to 12 hours, to experience a range of restaurants and facilities. Take a dip in a heated infinity pool overlooking the runway; workout in a 10,000 sq ft fitness centre with 14 Peloton bikes and a yoga studio; or get your skates on for weekend Roll-A-Ramas in the world’s only outdoor skating rink on airport tarmac (from $20).
A 1958 Lockheed Constellation airplane, which once served as an Alaskan bush plane, has been transformed into cocktail lounge ‘Connie’, while a Twister Room provides an opportunity to relieve any airport-induced anger by playing a wall-to-wall version of the 1960s game.
For true aviation nerds, there’s a chance to explore exhibitions of TWA memorabilia, curated by New York historians. Artefacts include a flight attendant’s logbook, uniforms, vintage lounge furniture and 1960s inflight amenities, including gilded playing cards and silver serving ware.
How: A Daytripper stay (4-12 hours) starts from £124 for four hours. An overnight stay costs from £322, including unlimited local and international calls. Visit twahotel.com.
A short distance from the international airport at Keflavik via a free shuttle service, it’s within easy reach of the Blue Lagoon and far enough from light pollution to make aurora viewing a possibility.
The wellness centre features a range of facilities to ease post or pre-flight stress: relax in a floatation tank, sit in a sauna; or revitalize limbs with compression therapy, using wraparound pads to reduce swelling and fatigue.
How: From £223 per night, room only. Visit nli.is.
How: From £103 per night, room only. Visit radissonhotels.com.
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