SFO sleeping options

Discussion in 'SFO/OAK/SMF/SJC | San Francisco Area Airports' started by TravelGuide37, Apr 19, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. TravelGuide37

    TravelGuide37 Member

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    Hey all, heading to Oz in September and added a flyback CNS-HKG-SFO-PDX with CNS-SFO in CX J. Thing is the CX flight gets in at 22:10 and there is not a flight back to PDX that day. We are going to be sleeping in the terminal as we scheduled the first flight back to PDX at 0700 the next day as the wifey wants to get back as early as she can and we dont want to check into a hotel, sleep for a few hours then have to go back to the airport.

    Since we are flying CX J and AS F (2 cabin plane) as well as having an Amex Plat and Priority pass, will we be able to use the CX, AS, etc lounges when we get there but they all close at about 12 or so.

    So from 12-6 or so we will have to find somewhere to sleep.

    Questions:

    1: Best places to sleep arriving CX International A gates and leaving on the B gates on AS.

    2: Best lounges for CXJ/ASF, Amex Plat, Priority pass members and most importantly the ones that stay open the latest.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Just get a hotel. You've got almost 9 hours on the ground!
     
  3. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I can't see how you'll get to the Cathay lounge as it's in the international terminal and you'll have a domestic boarding pass, good in a different terminal. When you clear customs you'll be outside the secure part of the international terminal.Not sure the TSA will let you into Alaska's terminal without a same-day boarding pass, so you may not even have access to the Alaska lounge.

    Hotels at SFO can be very reasonable, particularly on weekends when they are often less than $100. Airport shuttles generally start up around 5a.m. and depending what direction you're coming from would have you at the airport within 5-15 minutes. The hotels to the south of the airport in Burlingame are a little closer. I was at the Hyatt last night. though you won't see $100 rates there. Looks at places like the Vagabond Inn, Crowne Plaza, or Holiday Inn Express that are all within 2-3 blocks of each other in the same neighborhood. There's a Red Roof Inn down by the Embassy Suites and Hilton that is also popular with budget travelers.

    If you land at 10pm and clear customs in a reasonable time, you could be at a hotel by 11pm.

    I've only spent the night at SFO once in 21 years of flying out of there and that was on a midnight bump with a new routing out at 6a.m. As the airline did not cover the hotel, I just spent the night in a chair in baggage claim using wi-fi and made up for the sleep on my first flight. If I was stuck there again I'd go down to baggage claim in any of the terminals and just find a quiet corner. Just make sure you have a good alarm clock to wake you up in the morning. :) You generally don't see homeless or transient folks walking around SFO and it is well policed, so in terms of safety just take reasonable precautions to make sure your belongings are not stolen while you sleep. I'd look at this site if you're committed to a night at the airport:
    http://www.sleepinginairports.net/
     
  4. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I don't have particular advice for sleeping in the terminals, but I second the "SFO hotels can be sanely priced" comment. Prices have seemed higher this year than before, sadly.

    Priceline may have good results. You have the advantage that you're not driving: most of the SFO/Burlingame zone hotels charge for parking, which is unfortunate when you have a car. You could look as far south as the San Mateo zone, though beware of shuttles not starting as early in the morning as you might like. The South San Francisco zone has some nice 3* values.

    If you're willing to wait until the last minute, using one of the pink distressed passenger vouchers could work. The Hotel Tonight app, with $25 coupon, could also do good things for you.

    Or burn points. In another thread, tom911 mentioned an award stay at the Hyatt: it's only a category 2, which is a decent value.
     
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  5. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    The problem (as Tom said) is that once you arrive at sfo you have to leave the secure area. IF you can get through security with your boarding pass into the domestic terminal you'll probably be able to find lots of chairs to sleep on. I think most of the lounges will be closed until 5ish.
    I did this in the United terminal and had a block of seats to sleep on (altho it was freezing cold and there were recorded security announcements every 20 min even though I was the only one in the entire terminal (other than cleaners).
    I disagree with the hotel comments - assuming your flight is on time, by the time you clear customs and get a shuttle and check in it is likely to be midnight and you'll have to leave at 5ish for a 7am flight - doesn't seem worth it to me.
     
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  6. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I have to agree with the hotel folks... It only sounds like a good idea until you actually have to do it. :)

    Is this something that you and/or your wife do often? Because it might be one of those situations where 2 hours in you decide that you can't take it, but by then it's too late and you'll really have no choice and be miserable. You'll negate any advantage of having being on a premium cabin :)

    One thing that you might not have thought about though is that CNS is 7 hours behind SFO, so if you're already acclimated to that time zone, by the time you arrive at SFO it will be 10pm, but to your body it will only be the middle of the afternoon. Whether you'll actually want to sleep at that hour -- at the airport or a hotel -- might make all the difference.

    Maybe you'll be wide awake (and if you took a catnap on the inbound then even better) and you'll just decide to just hang out reading a book or browsing Milepoint.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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  8. TravelGuide37

    TravelGuide37 Member

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    @tom911 Thanks for the info. Iwas looking high and low on the SFO terminal map and could not get any clear info on where/how/if the terminals connected pre/post security. I guess that lounge idea may be out, which was a big factor in the decision.

    I have to plan my next upcoming churn and the hyatt 2* is looking tempting with some Ink points. I have a global entry interview for the wife and I coming up in may as Oz now reciprocates and with the amex plat why waste it?

    We will be flying AS F as well we should be pre-check eligible with the GE, so I would imagine we could get there at 6 and breeze through security, they have a priority line for AS F right?

    On second thought, has anyone done that 0030 Sept 15 HKG-------2200 Sept 14 SFO trip? How was your jet lag? I was thinking that I am spending 2 weeks in Oz which is -7 hours and then a few days in HKG which is -9 hours. Split the difference, that means a -8 hour time difference. Meaning that when I get in to SFO at 2200, my brain will be still on SYD/HKG time or 8 hours earlier, 1400 which means I will be wide awake until 0700PST on the 15th as it will only be 2300 in my head.

    I'd love to go into the city via BART, party a little, then get on the BART to be at the airport at 6 anyone want to do a SFO Do from 0000-0500 on Sunday morning?? LOL Of course the wife doesn't, which means I don't, but we will probably just hang out at the airport as our head will think it is only 1400-2200.
     
  9. TravelGuide37

    TravelGuide37 Member

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    I was just talking to the wife about it and just came back while posting the previous post. Which is what I think we'll end up doing seeing that we have lie flats on the CX flight and we leave at 0030 we will probably sleep on the way over.

    Sounds like the plan now.

    Problem solved,

    Thanks guys.
     
  10. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    BART starts up late Sunday morning, thinking around 8-9a.m., so you can rule that idea out.

    I've always done the daytime HKG-SFO so can't comment on those midnight departures from Hong Kong. I want to enjoy the service and figure the daytime flight on Cathay gives me better options. I'm on it in F again in June.
     
  11. jwsky
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    jwsky Silver Member

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    check out this site http://www.sleepinginairports.net/
    find SFO and read the info and then click on reviews. People often will comment on where the seats with no arm rests are, or where to get away from announcements.

    I just got a good laugh out of one comments where the guy says that the cleaning crew woke him up at 4:30 am to make him put his cloths on. He said that he could not sleep if not in the nude. lol
     
  12. TravelGuide37

    TravelGuide37 Member

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    Yeah but it was available and fit our schedule plus I get a full extra day in HKG as opposed to rushing off. It's mainly an Oz trip and I saw the CNS-HKG CX route and was salivating on A: Going to HKG and B: Flying CXJ back.

    Heres how I see it:

    This is the return of a 2 week trip 8/31-9/15 and we will prob be tired, the seats were available, I have to sleep somewhere either in country or on a plane and the flatbed would be a better use of my vacay time rather than sleeping in country, and lastly the CNS-HKG CXJ flight is 7 hours from 1250 CNS to 1755 HKG, granted not 13 hours via HKG-SFO, but still nothing to scoff at.

    Either way this will be my first international J class flight experience. Couldn't find QF space over so we are flying Fiji Airways new a330 Tabua class (same config as VA a330) LAX-NAN-SYD 4 nights at Sydney Park Hyatt then north to CNS for 3 days and 4 days in Port Douglas then HKG for a day and half and SFO-PDX.

    Either way should be epic.

    PS: Looked at your London photos and am reminded of my trip in 9/2011 I so miss Pret, almost as awesome as London, truly magical city. No British Museum? Did that and got tix to a home Arsenal game, before heading north to Scotland for hiking, mt biking and Scotch.
     
  13. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Hit that when I was over for the Olympics last year. I did walk the Margaret Thatcher funeral route from Westminster to St. Paul's and then watched the procession itself on TV a few days later from Dublin. Just love walking around London.
     
  14. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Lounge Guide and sleepinginairports both suggest that lounges will be (nearly) closed. I fit were me, I'd try to scamper upstairs after you clear immigration and see if you can get a (paid) shower over by the G gates (same building, far end). Supposedly open 'til 11pm. Calling ahead might make sense, in case they feel the need to leave early.
     
  15. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Note- even if you are eligible for pre-check you DON'T get it every time - it is some random something which no one can expain.

    Even if you have GE you STILL have to claim your bag and recheck it - at sfo this can take as long as an hour if you are unlucky.
     

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