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Airport Adventures: San Francisco Airport

by Carroll Chandler

I found a wall plug near my couch and shaved without a mirror--much to the amazement of passersby.

"I'm 73 year old, but adventurous. My wife and I flew freelance air courier to Singapore. She flew out on Tuesday and I followed on Wednesday. After reading so many reports about sleeping in airports, I decided to try it after she left without telling her. About noon I cased the terminal to find the couches without arms. I knew if it didn't look promising, I could call a motel and get a safe place to sleep. I didn't want to spend the $60 unless I had to. I had a choice of about 3 long armless couches; so I chose the one I thought might be quietest. It was opposite the Continental counter and sure enough, they closed it down about 11 p.m. and silence prevailed. I had two carry-on bags and a back pack to protect while I slept. Since I am a very sound sleeper I had to plan carefully. After a little experimenting I put by bags on a cart and pulled it beside the couch so I could throw my legs over them. I used my back pack as a pillow. That meant anyone trying to steal all my worldly possessions would have to lift delicate parts of my body. The security men walked by several times before I fell off, but no one gave me a second look. The recorded PA announcements about not leaving unattended bags bothered me for about 10 minutes; after that I passed out. The couch was unexpectedly comfortable and I awoke only once during the night. When I awoke at 5:30 I dug my electric shaver out of my bag and wheeled my cart into the men's room. After I washed I looked for an electric outlet without success. So I returned to the terminal where I found a wall plug near my couch and shaved without a mirror--much to the amazement of passersby. Later when I told my wife what I had done, she admitted that she was glad she didn't know I had planned to do it. She might not have slept! She's 73 years old and worries a lot anyway. I can happily recommend sleeping in the SFO terminal."

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The Guide to Sleeping in Airports has been online since 1996

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