Photo: Thinkstock

Despite the hurry, scurry, screech and roar of today's average airport, you can escape the madness in these hidden spots that will protect your ears and your sanity.


Disgruntled by the hassles of flying after 9/11, Marisol Binn founded XpresSpa. Her inspiration? The abandoned space of a shuttered smoking lounge in New York's JFK. "We really try to create—despite the very fast environment—a place of calm," says Binn. Although spas aren't legally allowed to mute airport music and announcements, they do play their own, substantially more relaxing tunes.

Photo: Thinkstock

2. Lounges
As most of us know, the reduced number of travelers in lounges also reduces the ambient noise level. But many—like Delta Sky Clubs—now have quiet areas or "relaxation zones" for those looking to nap, read or type away at their laptops. True, most lounges charge hefty day fees, but the cost may be worth it if you're stranded (missed connection, anyone?) for the entire afternoon. Check Groupon and Living Social for discounts, and before you shell out your hard-earned cash, download Priority Pass, a free app for iPhones, iPads, Androids and BlackBerrys. It uses GPS technology to locate the nearest lounge and provides details, pictures and ratings, letting you get the most silence for your investment.

Photo: Thinkstock

3. Chapels
These increasingly multifaith institutions ban cell phones and laptops, and flight announcements are silenced. Consequently, the chapels often prove an effective place to regather one's sanity. Consult the International Association of Civil Aviation Chaplains for a list of locations.

Photo: Thinkstock

4. Televisions
There's no way to shut off those airport TVs. Passengers who aren't interested in hearing CNN on loop for hours should find a seat below or behind the television, says electroacoustics engineer Peter Scandone. If that's not feasible, move as far away from the center of the speakers as possible, and avoid corners, where sound waves bounce off one another and amplify.
Sleep Pods

Photo: Thinkstock

5. Sleep Pods
For the ultimate peace and quiet, consider some alone time. The Sleepbox, now on display at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, is a boat-cabin-like space featuring a twin-size bed, nightstand, fold-down desk, safety deposit box and charging station. Meanwhile, Minute Suites, micro hotel rooms each equipped with a sofa, television, desk, phone, office chair and WiFi, have opened in airports in Atlanta and Philadelphia. At $30 per hour and $7.50 for each 15-minute block thereafter, the hideaways cost less than day passes to many airport lounges. Is that the sound of a peaceful slumber we hear?

Keep Reading: The best travel advice we've ever heard


Next Story