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San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

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Baltimore, MD
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San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

Hi!

We're flying from the U.S. East Coast, to Sydney, Australia in June.

Would our two kids, ages 5 and 7, have a better time with a 10 hour airport layover in San Francisco or in LA's airport? Any good options at or near SF's airport?

Thanks, Latie

Los Altos...
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1. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

I can't compare it to stuff to do at LAX. But I do know what you can do at SFO with that time.

With that much time, you could take BART into the city to do a short sightseeing trip -- perhaps go to Pier 39 and let them watch the sea lions. You could also go to Yerba Buena Gardens (see below)

Or you could just opt to go to Tanforan Shopping Mall and feed them real food and get retail therapy. Either are relatively short trips via BART (take the free Airtrain to BART).

www.BART.gov (use the Embarcadero BART station to get off and hten take a cab or bus to Pier 39. You can just get off a couple stops earllier at Powell Street and walk over to the Yerba Buena Gardens a few blocks away. There's Zeum, a children's museum, and an antique merry-go-round.

www.theshopsattanforan.com

http://www.pier39restaurants.com/cam.htm

www.zeum.org

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

Hard question. I know SFO, I have only been in LAX once...several weeks ago. There is no question about which is the most pleasant airport.

With a 10 hour layover would you be willing or able to take a shuttle to a nearby, not too expensive, airport hotel, rent a room, and get them some snacks or something and let them nap? And, or watch TV?

The flight to Sydney is going to be a killer. I have done it.

I would not spend the 10 hours in the airport, with the children.

Even if the 10 hour layover is not an overnight, I would get them into a comfortable hotel room.

Baltimore, MD
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3. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

Thanks both of you-- Better Than Bings, I'll look up the children's museum in particular-- sounds fun.

Puter-- can I ask, which airline you flew? Any tips there?

Thanks, Latie

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

We flew Qantas, on American Airlines frequent flier miles. American Airlines is a Qantas partner. I don't think that it matters which airline, it is just a very grueling trip in coach. I don't think I will go back until I have enough FF miles for first class. <grin>

But don't worry, it will be very worth it, especially, if your kids are rested and entertained. Don't let them get too tired over the 10 hour layover, unless when your children are overtired they will just sleep. When my children got overtired in unfamiliar circumstances they were impossible.

I wish you a good trip.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

Getting "stuck" at our airport is like getting stuck in a museum. There's much to see and do BUT with ten hours you should take BART to Powell Street, a cable car to The Wharf, walk back through North Beach and Chinatown as far as California Street, then down California Street to the Ferry Building where you can reboard BART to the airport.

Please see "Ways From/To Our Airport" at http://geocities.com/touringsfo/ where there's much more information and a map for walkers that will help you to understand the route I've provided.

Baltimore, MD
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6. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

Thanks Puter (for the well wishes!) and SwingCha, for the info. I'm hoping to fly through SF now.

Latie

Thousand Oaks...
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7. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

No comparison between the two airports. As a well travelled Brit now living just up the coast from LA, I have experienced a lot of airports worldwide but now have to fly in and out of LAX whenever I travel and I hate it. It's the worst airport I have ever had to fly in and out of. There is absolutely nothing to do, even something simple like trying to get something healthy to eat is impossible. Very few shops etc and getting out of the airport is manic. You would spend a lot of time getting to/from airport as it is so chaotic.

SFO is the opposite end of the spectrum. It is clean, well planned, plenty of choices for food, shopping etc and the BART is brilliant for getting to/from the airport into the city centre.

No contest. have a brilliant holiday.

Danville, California
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8. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

I have lived near both. As the last post said, with respect to the airports, you will be much happier transiting through SFO's brand new international terminal with many new restaurants - it's stellar. Compare to LAX old dumpy pathetic terminal - yuck (had to use it last year).

As for killing 10 hours, in LA your only choice would be to rent a car and then drive to the beach. Public transit isn't an option But that might be nice if you just want to relax.

By comparison, in SFO you can simply walk to the BART train (same type as Washington METRO) and then in 35 min you will be in downtown SF where you can see as little or as much as you like.

Of course I'm biased, but the choice should be crystal clear :)

Danville, California
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9. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

PS Bring your fleece, you may need it in SF as it may be even colder than Sydney in June!

10. Re: San Fran airport layover, versus LA airport

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