Sleeping rough at San Francisco Airport @sfo

My sleeping quarters. Private-ish and very comfortable.

My sleeping quarters. Private-ish and very comfortable.

I like the U.S. a whole lot more when the Canadian dollar is on par or worth more than the USD.

It’s bloody expensive for Canadians to travel anywhere in the world where the USD is an accepted currency or where travel packages are priced based on the USD = central America.

That’s why I refused to buy a hotel room for an overnight layover in San Francisco (SFO). It’s an expensive hotel room city to begin with. Even before you figure in the exchange rate.

Got in from San Salvador at 1:00 a.m. Had to collect my luggage and leave the secured area. Only needed to bed down until the United Airlines Lounge opened at 5:00 a.m. Flight to Vancouver was scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

Turned out to not be the hellish experience I expected.

neighboursThanks to Angel, my Honduran cab driver, we found a store selling air mattresses while on route to the airport in Roatan. $9.00 USD. Once at SFO, all I had to do was find a safe-ish spot, blow it up and begin counting sheep. Found a tucked away place in a passenger waiting area where others were sleeping. Some folks were underneath the block of seats.

Got busy setting up my ‘room’:

  • Positioned a luggage cart and my suitcase to block easy access to me.
  • Set the  ‘brown noise’ on my IPad.
  • Earbuds in. Eye mask on.
  • Set the alarm for 4:30 am.
  • Head down at 2:02 a.m.
  • Slept like a baby until the alarm went off. Then, snoozed for another hour.

Saving money makes me smile.


Sleeping under the row of chairs is also an option.

Sleeping under the row of chairs is also an option.

The hardest part of sleeping rough was deflating the air mattress.

Then, it was off to re-check my luggage, brush my teeth and find a comfy spot in the United Airlines lounge, where some asshole called me (and others) peasants!! With six cappuccinos in my system by that point, he’s lucky I didn’t rip his throat out.

I love my little blue air mattress. It will travel with me again. We may have another sleeping rough ‘date’ at SFO in October. Yippee.


4 thoughts on “Sleeping rough at San Francisco Airport @sfo

  1. I got stuck at SFO overnight when there was a plane crash there a couple of years ago. At that point, there were still some bench seats without armrests. After sleeping on one, with three other women and one elderly man in my general vicinity, the man, who had slept sitting up, said, with a wide grin, “Never in my life have I slept wtih so many women.” One of those situations where you have to laugh or else you will cry.
    Last time I was there, all the benches seemed to have armrests.
    There’s also a pedicure place that let me doze for as long as I wanted in one of their chairs (post-pedicure). Good tip to come prepared with a mattress. I had to buy a blanket in the terminal — expensive! I always carry one with me now.

    • The horrible metal armrests are the reason I bought the air mattress on the way back, knowing I’d be bedding down at SFO. There is NO way to get horizontal on the seats otherwise. Unless you’re super skinny and can wedge yourself under the armrests. As well, there were NO vending machines outside of the secured area in which to buy water after the cafes closed at midnight. Thought I was going to die from dehydration. For an international city, you’d think SFO would be a bit more advanced.

    • It would have cost me about $150 CDN for a hotel room. After I collected my luggage and found a cab to take me to the hotel. Easier to ‘inflate’ my bed!!

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