I'm supposed to be on my way to Atlanta right now for a quick visit to ApacheCon. I'm not speaking or anything, but I was planning to see what's going on in the Hadoop world and maybe catch a few people for video interviews, just like we did at Defrag a week ago.

My flight was set to depart at 6:00am from San Francisco airport today (Thursday). So I thought about what to do last night. I could either pack and get ready before taking a roughly 2 hour nap. I'd want to leave the house at about 3:45am for the 1 hour drive plus parking & shuttle time. That'd get me to the terminal at about 5:00am, leaving me time to check a bag or two (video gear), get through security, and find my gate.

The other option was to simply stay up all night, follow the above procedure, and plan to sleep for the bulk of the 5 hour flight to Atlanta.

Unfortunately, neither happened.

At about 11:30pm last night, I was waiting for a load of laundry to finish and decided to put the laptop down so that I could spend some quality time with the cats. I sort of half laid down on the couch to pet two of them, hoping that the laundry would be done soon. I was starting to feel like that nap would be a good idea.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up on the couch. And it was light outside.


It was a bit after 8:30am. The cats were still sleeping next to me, of course.

A quick scan of the airline schedule revealed pretty much what I expected after my heart stopped pounding: if I flew out today, I'd practically have to get right back on the next return flight and spend almost no time at the show.


So my lesson of the day is simple: don't book the 6:00am flight out of SFO again. I'm not 23 years old anymore. My body actually likes to sleep. In retrospect, my reasons for not flying out last night weren't nearly as solid as I thought. I wish I'd known.

On the plus side, I'll have a bit more time than anticipated to work on some things that I'm rather behind on.

Posted by jzawodn at November 15, 2007 09:30 AM

Reader Comments
# Dedicated Hosting said:

Yea, I know what your talking about. I always try to schedule my flights around my sleeping habits.

on November 15, 2007 10:06 AM
# jr said:

My wife loves to leave at oh-dark-why-the-hell-am-I-doing-this early. Her idea is that way you get to spend the most amount of time there. On the last two trips, I got to determine the times and stipulated that travel would be at human favorable hours. It was wonderful how easy the travel was, and frankly getting there later or earlier didn't matter since you still blew the day on the road anyway.

on November 15, 2007 10:15 AM
# Ontario Emperor said:

I've never woken up AFTER my flight took off, but once I I woke up 15 minutes before my flight took off.

On the Friday before Christmas.

Somehow I STILL made it across the country that day...

on November 15, 2007 11:55 AM
# Greg Cohn said:

Ha. I once woke up after falling asleep AT THE GATE during a connection, only to watch the jetway door closing for good. The airlines were unsympathetic, and it cost me a night in an airport hotel AND and 5 a.m. wake-up call to make the first flight the next day.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure I ever came clean to my folks (who I was meeting on vacation) that it was because I'd been up all night on the last day of the semester. . . .

on November 15, 2007 02:07 PM
# Randy Stewart said:

It's funny. I've been flying from Seattle down to SFO once a month or so for about a year now. I take the 8:30 flight that gets me in at 10:30 in the morning. Best case, I'm in the office at 11:15 or so.

I meet a lot of people that fly down on a regular basis and were bewildered how I "get away" with taking the later flight (there is a 6:00 am flight). I'm bewildered why in the hell they would get up so damn early to fight the rest of the crazies that seem to be on that flight. My 8:30 is always partially full.

Personally, I'd be a frickin' zombie for at least that day if I took the early flight. I don't know how people do it. I don't do 0 dark 30 very well either.

Here's a tip, though. I know that it was a short trip, but I seem to remember a number of crappy hotels around the airport that give you parking for x number of days if you stay there one night. This could be a way to mitigate the early morning flight and I seem to remember it being competive with regular airport parking.


on November 15, 2007 05:08 PM
# Tom Lombardi said:

Try www.ParkSleepFly.com or www.AirportParkingReservations.com

on November 16, 2007 06:25 AM
# Mike Schilli said:

If this has been a non-refundable ticket, please attach a copy of your expense report for a good laugh! :)

on November 17, 2007 12:23 AM
# Philip said:

I was recently in a situation where I was booked on an early morning flight from DC to SJC, getting in at noon, and then somehow make it on the 101 to SFO for an international flight that would leave at 13:55. The reason - I missed my connection the previous night.

In this case, I was forced to miss my DC-SJC flight as well (via Chicago), and take a later DC-SFO flight (direct), only so that I could make it to SFO on time. My flight reached SFO at 11:40, giving me enough time to change terminals and check in.

on November 17, 2007 04:44 AM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.