Surviving a 26-Hour Layover in Addis Ababa Airport

Traveling is not always about the sunset chase and thrill-induced activities. Sometimes it involves having to spend long hours inside an airport where lounges are exclusive for members only, sleeping couches are very limited, and *drum roll* Wi-Fi is a total balls up. And tell you what, experiencing such is as epic as your last tuk-tuk ride.

I had three things in my head a week before my flight to Ethiopia:

  1. I can rebook my flight so I won’t have to go through the long layover drama
  2. I can raise a complaint to Ethiopian airlines for even the possibility of getting a business class (yea, these things happen. TRUST ME.)
  3. Well, I never had a layover this loooooooong before

If you know me well, the answer is a no-brainer. Yalla. Imma do this! Off we go!

5 May 2018 – The day I left my home for 3 months *sobs*. A smooth flight and a vacant row all to myself — not so bad for my first leg. Oh, and that guy you’re seeing. It wasn’t even 15 minutes after the take off when he started snoring like a hay mower.

Nope. As usual, I didn’t eat the rice haha
unfortunately, there was no wine available so I called for a beer instead

6 hours and 30 minutes later, we arrived at Addis Ababa airport.

I whispered, “Alright, adventure time.”

As it was already 23:00, the airport was pretty much very quiet.

Given the absence of a passport that can take me out of the airport, I found it the best chance to challenge myself instead and get a slice of Ethiopian’s vibe and culture. So, without having any expectations, I decided to play it by the ear and see how everything goes. But, also, I needed a survival kit which included a few things on my to-do list:y

  • A fairly good couch to sleep
  • Spot a good cafe for breakfast and lunch
  • A local beer for chilling and writing
  • The 10USD challenge


There are about 5-6 lounges but nothing caters to walk-in passengers.

A flashback to that day…

The lookout for a spot was a bit of a legwork that it actually took me 3 rounds of walking around to secure this one. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one spending the night over.

Having the thought of finally securing one, I left for a while to have a quick wash-up. And this was the bathroom situation..

It wasn’t that bad but obviously not as great as what I would’ve wanted it.

After a few mirror shots (lol), I headed back to my spot only to find a man lying comfortably on it. *grrr* And it seemed like I wasn’t ready to turn in yet so I walked around, took the chance of not having a bunch of people, and gave myself a tour around the airport.


Cigarettes are damn cheap!


The only shop that closes late (12 MN)

Prayer rooms, of course

The only cafe & restaurant there is (although they have 2 of this)
Electronic shops
Smoking area

They pretty much have the basics but not much restaurant options.

Well, there’s literally nothing to do around. So, I started looking for a new spot which, btw, didn’t take me that long.

There I found a man who suddenly walked towards me and started telling me things about this honey from Nepal. It was kind of weird but he was really entertaining, so it turned out to be a good chat.

The next morning arrives…


So much for the dumb attempt. Now, some food…IMG_2325 2

Anyway, having finished that creamy carbonara, I suffered from a food coma and decided to just write, kill more time ’til my check-in.

All in all, the experience was not really great, to be honest. I somehow felt like I should’ve just rebooked my flight instead.

Very poor internet. Few seating/resting facilities. Not-so-clean toilets. People smoking outside the smoking area. Very crowded during the daytime. Lack of restaurant options. POOR SERVICE, really.

But I managed. So that counts!


One thought on “Surviving a 26-Hour Layover in Addis Ababa Airport

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.