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Hotel advice for early am flight please

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cambodia
posts: 12
reviews: 18
Hotel advice for early am flight please

Hi

The last leg of our vacation goes like this:

Fly into SFO on Feb 13, rent a car and head down the coast towards Monterey, Big Sur etc.

We fly out of SFO at 8:40am on the 19th. What's the best option? Drop off the car and stay near the airport on the 18th? Stay in SF on the 18th? Is it feasible to stay near Half Moon Bay and drive to the airport in the am? Cheers!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Borrego Springs, San Francisco, Solana Beach
posts: 29,173
reviews: 26
1. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

Even if you stay in the city on the 19th you should drop your car on the 18th. Possisbly you can drop it off downtown, stay in town, have a nice dinner and get a cab to the airport in the morning. It's only a 20 minutes drive to the airport and when one factors in waiting for a shuttle from an airport hotel, I would bet it doesn't take much longer than if you stayed at the airport. And certainly would be more fun.

You could stay in Half Moon Bay. It's at least 30 minutes to get to the airport from there. But you would need to factor in the necessary time to drop the rental car and get yourself from the Rental Car Center to the terminal via the airport's Air Train. So you'd have to be up and around a little earlier than if you stayed in the city.

So either are possible. I'd vote for staying in the city as you can get the rental car return down the afternoon before and not have that to worry about. In the morning you'll be able to head directly to the terminal.

Roseville...
posts: 1,102
reviews: 15
2. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

You can never count on traffic conditions in SF. And 20 minutes to airport? Not a chance.

Half Moon Bay can work. But if me, I'd drop the car the night before & stay near the airport in a motel with a shuttle or cabs for an early departure.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Borrego Springs, San Francisco, Solana Beach
posts: 29,173
reviews: 26
3. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

The OP should be at the airport about 6:30 if they have luggage to check. Leaving the city around 6:00am makes getting to SFO in 20 min no problem.

Edited: 3:50 pm, January 01, 2013
Pacifica, California
Destination Expert
for Pacifica
posts: 5,461
reviews: 4
4. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

Traffic on Highway 92 out of Half Moon Bay is very heavy during commute hours, so if you stay there, I'd suggest being on the road by 6 AM.

If it were me, I'd stay by the airport the night before.

Dallas, Oregon
posts: 5,154
reviews: 280
5. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

Any time we have a flight before 10 a.m. -- anywhere -- we'lj stay at a hotel close to the airport. You NEVER know wha can happen during the early morning drive. Better safe than sorry you missed your flight!

Martinez, California
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
posts: 8,723
reviews: 98
6. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

Whew ---- being a regular customer at SFO (me), and since your flight is early and you'll have to be there even earlier, there really are not many options.

I go with OJ above.

The only one that makes any sense is to drop the car off at SFO after you've had a wonderful time the previous day, and find a hotel close to the airport, which has a shuttle that can take you to SFO early AM. There are too many variables to do anything else and expect to make your flight. Fortunately, there are many airport hotels with 24 hour shuttles.

Have a great trip.

cambodia
posts: 12
reviews: 18
7. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

Thanks folks, it probably makes the most sense to drop off the car on the 18th and stay near the airport. We can always take the BART in for dinner and a few cocktails that evening. Cheers!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Borrego Springs, San Francisco, Solana Beach
posts: 29,173
reviews: 26
8. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

I realize I'm the lone voice on this, so I'm going to say it again. Stay in the city!!

You can easily catch a cab out to the airport in the morning in about the same amount of time as an airport hotel shuttle. "You never know what can happen." Well, the airport shuttle could break down too.

Stay in town, have a nice dinner, perhaps a last cable car ride over to the waterfront, a last Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista, a last view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Then tuck in and get up early in the morning.

At 5:30-6:00AM it's a very quick trip to SFO. I should know, I spent 10 years making the commute to the airport.

Why waste a night at a nameless/faceless airport hotel?

And who cares even if you do have to get up a bit earlier? You can sleep on the plane.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 22,048
reviews: 114
9. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

Come on, you are going to be 15 or so miles away from one of the amazing cities in the world so why not stay there enjoy the evening and check out the city nightlife. You can sleep on the plane

Most shuttles take about 10 minutes or so from Sfo plus you may have to wait for the shuttle and in that same time a cab will get you there.

I can understand it being a six am flight and you getting to the airport area the night before late and having to stay there but other than that why would you?

San Francisco...
posts: 657
10. Re: Hotel advice for early am flight please

How do you plan to spend your day in Big Sur and Monterey? There is plenty to do there, plus the drive to SFO so, in my mind, the question of staying the last night in SF (having dinner there etc) seems like a question of whether you want to shorten the time in Big Sur for time in SF. Personally I like to spend more time in fewer places but some people like to do as many different things as they can.