They are as diverse as the faiths and places they occupy, but many major and minor airports around the world often have a space reserved for prayer or meditation. Often these corners of calm and solitude are missed by passengers because they are precisely located out of the way in order to facilitate quiet.
Oftentimes the room is identified by the local custom of a place of worship, such as in Christian countries the room is called a chapel. In Asian countries or generically it might be referred to as a meditation room. In countries of Islamic faith or elsewhere there might be specifically dedicated rooms with places for feet washing. The specificity of the facilities generally depends airport to airport, what is universal however is that these places offer calm and comfort.
The space for prayer, meditation or calm is particularly comforting for many who are flying and might be nervous about the journey, still many others these days find themselves flying when a loved one has died, a so a place of prayer and usually a memorial book inside is a great way to leave an intention for others to see and pray for. Oftentimes for those not wishing to miss services or holy days, airport chapels have regularly scheduled services wherein a chaplain comes in for a quick service people might be able to catch before a flight.
Sometimes these refuges of calm might become a campsite for those stranded in airports or passengers staying overnight. Often airport authorities do not enforce a strict use of the space, but passengers are reminded to be respectful of what the space is dedicated to. It can be disturbing for a worshipper to come inside and encounter a symphony of snoring or bags strewn about the room, making it impossible to pray or meditate in the space.
Oftentimes airports do not have detailed explanations of their chapel hours, services and availability on their websites, so it is best to call the airport ahead of time and speak with information in order to obtain the most accurate information. Some of the nicer airport prayer rooms we have encountered are those in Madrid, Warsaw, Cairo, Panama and Singapore.