Extra time between flights? Stressed running through the airport? Worse yet, a flight cancellation that has you sleeping overnight in the airport?
Where do I go when truly looking for a quiet place to relax, reflect, de-stress and yes, perhaps sleep, in an airport? The airport terminal’s chapel — yes, the chapel. Not only are the chapels inside airport terminals peaceful, they may also hold regular services which you may want to attend if you happen to be traveling through the airport. And, if you find yourself in a need of a ‘bed’ overnight, their pews and/or chairs may be better than sleeping on the floor.
Chapels can be found both behind Security and before going through Security, depending on the airport and the terminal. For example, I flew out of the Rio de Janeiro airport and I spotted a chapel with nice cushioned pews, but it was before going through Security on the 2nd floor of Terminal 1. This chapel was near the food court and did not give me the feeling of safety that a chapel on the other side of Security usually does.
The chapel in Orlando, my home airport, is in Terminal B between the trams going to gates 1-59. Since I fly out of the 40’s gates often, a quick stop in the chapel can be a nice way to de-stress after going through Security or take time for reflection and gratitude before heading off to a busy work week. If you’re flying on Delta or Southwest out of Orlando, for example, you would have to go through Security twice in order to visit the chapel – once for the area near gates 1-59 to visit the chapel; then again for Security near DL or SW – probably not worth it unless you want to attend services or need a place to rest for several hours.
The chapel in Panama, an airport I have been flying through lately, is in the Copa terminal near Gate 20.
For a good list of airport chapels around the world, where they are located, their hours and more, see Chaplaincies by Country. It is not the most up-to-date since it does not show the Panama chapel, though it is a very good resource to start with. Also check out your airport’s own websites to see what they offer before you begin your travels.
Wishing you peace in your travels!