Imagine you’ve just spent an eight-hour flight contorting around the armrests trying to sleep while your knees jammed into the seat in front of you. Sound relaxing? Major airport hubs around the world feel your pain and are now offering health-minded services to help anxious and exhausted travelers relax.

It’s not just your average chair massage, either. Yoga classes, nap pods, service animals and full-service spas have become as prevalent as corner coffee shops.

Quick, relaxing care

Airport spas have mastered on-the-go services with nail care, waxing, facials and hair cuts in 30 minutes or less. XpresSpa Group operates health and wellness services in airports all over the world, including Phoenix, Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, Raleigh and Houston. Its signature unit – XpresSpa – is the world’s largest airport spa company and tailors its services to the busy travelers. A 15-, 20- or 30-minute foot massage will improve circulation and alleviate in-flight swelling, while a rehydrating facial will lock in moisture and comfort the skin after a long flight.

If you want to enhance your pearly whites, Enroute Spa in the Indianapolis International Airport offers “on the fly” teeth whitening for around $100.


Travelers seeking privacy can retreat to a personal cocoon at Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW), a service through the Texas- and New York-based SpaHere. The quiet pod is designed to eliminate the outside world and reduce stress and fatigue. Spa or beauty services also are available from the comfort of your cocoon. And, if you’re seeking a little alone time in the Big Apple, LaGuardia Airport (LGA) has private booths, called a Jabbrrbox, that can be rented by a traveler in need of a bit of solitude.

Airport yoga rooms also are becoming increasingly popular as travelers look for ways to reduce stress. Most rooms are free and open to the public for self-reflection and practicing yoga. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) was the first to feature this soothing service, but similar spots are popping up around the country, including Midway International Airport (MDW) and Miami International Airport (MIA).


Some airports are taking “pet-friendly” to a new level. Certified therapy dogs (and horses) and their human trainers visit terminals around the county to assist passengers looking to de-stress by cuddling cute, fluffy puppies. At the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), miniature therapy horses hoof it through the airport to surprise and delight tense travelers.

Whether you prefer a pre-flight puppy cuddle or a 30-minute massage, do a little advance research on the relaxing amenities at your destination airport. Make reservations, if possible, to avoid wait times and ensure you receive a full treatment before you embark on the next leg of your trip.