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sleeping in denver airport

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to minimize the cost of flying to ski in Denver. Due to the Sunday traffic on I70, I thinking of a plan, to fly out on Monday instead, and I could save upto $100 on car rental&lodge, if I just drive to the airport on Sunday night, return the car, and sleep in a sleeping bag in the airport for my Monday flight. They have free wifi, bath rooms, pretty much of what I need..

I'm wondering if they kick out ppl trying to spend a night in Denver airpot ?
post #2 of 18
I wouldn't see why if you're waiting for a plane, I doubt they'd treat you any different than someone on a long layover doing the same thing
post #3 of 18
Now, you're my kind of guy !  

I don't think anyone would kick you out but most airports do close certain areas so you might want to see what concourse or area stays open all night. As far as the sleeping bag, well, that might draw attention to yourself. Why not just bring a small pillow and sack out on one of the sofa chairs?
post #4 of 18
I may do that this week for a day trip out there since there aren't any late flights out headed east after 5 anymore (there is one red eye to ATL).  I'll check with my Denver based co-workers about it and get back to you.
post #5 of 18
Well, DIA is open 24/7, and especially during IRROPS, you'll see people sleeping in the concourses. Beware that there are no secure storage areas and the airlines will not accept your baggage for check-in more than about four hours before your flight. Of course, you'll be at an airport and there are all kinds of people who may decide that they have the authority to kick you out. 
post #6 of 18
Do you have a reference for the 4 hour check in limit?  I have seen bags checked the night prior in Philly and can't locate a reference on DEN's site.  I only find the 45 minute cutoff for bags.  Could this be an airline specific policy?  About the only time I check bags is for ski trips anyway.

My coworkers don't know what DEN's policy is about overnighting, but considering there is a 0100 DAL flight to ATL, you should be cool.
post #7 of 18
you will get kicked out, i promise you. Bad plan! why don't you just ski 1/2 day on Monday and fly out Monday night
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lloyd braun View Post

you will get kicked out, i promise you. Bad plan! why don't you just ski 1/2 day on Monday and fly out Monday night

Hotel cost in the mountains on Sunday night is my guess.  Also, there just aren't many flights going east on Monday nights if that is where he is heading.

My experience with large hub airports is that security will close after the last flight in arrives and reopen around 4-5am depending on when the first flight out occurs.  I have been chased out of a few smaller airports after I brought the last flight in.  Of course, I'm usually beating feet to the hotel anyway.  Some airports close part of the terminal if you are a non hub operation.  US Airways/American gates in CLE come to mind, but CLE security is a little off anyway.  Its generally a local airport policy.

Of course, your other option is to sleep in the rental car and drop it off early in the AM.  You are going to pay for the day anyway.

Also, DEN does offer baggage storage outside of security on level 5.
http://www.flydenver.com/maps/inside/terminal.asp
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbire880 View Post

Do you have a reference for the 4 hour check in limit?  I have seen bags checked the night prior in Philly and can't locate a reference on DEN's site.  I only find the 45 minute cutoff for bags.  Could this be an airline specific policy?  About the only time I check bags is for ski trips anyway.

My coworkers don't know what DEN's policy is about overnighting, but considering there is a 0100 DAL flight to ATL, you should be cool.
I have been told multiple times that it is FAA policy that bags not be stored by the airline for more than 4 hours prior to loading onto the plane. As a 1K on United, I usually get the most flexible options possible, but they have refused my bags a number of times when I tried to check them more than 4 hours ahead of time... I rarely check my bags, but there you go.

I did a little Googling, but didn't find anything on the FAA or TSA sites. Most of the items on the airline sites are minimum times, not maximum. Just letting you know my experience...
post #10 of 18
I'll ask a ticket agent tomorrow when I get to the airport.  I'm interested in the policy, but I have heard of no FAA restriction on storing bags.  I would suspect you are dealing with a local policy of an airport, carrier, or even a misinformed ticketing agent.  I am often appalled at the things our gate agents will tell our passengers just to get them to go away.  My favorite one out of a flight attendant's mouth is when they claim the Captain will be fined if a passenger walks around during taxi.

Edit: http://faq.ua2go.com/al/12/1/article.aspx?aid=1821&tab=browse&bt=4nb&r=0.2451593

Its a United policy.  I will check with the US Airways people to see if this is a system wide restriction or carrier specific.
post #11 of 18

stayed one night in JFK with 16 of my students after a cancled flight once.  So, I assume the "can" let you if they want.
And this was post 9/11 in NYC so security was pretty tight.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, thing is I've just bought the Summit pass. In order to make it worth, I have to fly there about 5 times (from chicago). I've found out later that the car rental in DEN is far more expensive than others, otherwise I will sleep in my bag in the car in Sunday night. Actually, I plan to sleep in the car the whole time, eating food bars, to make the cost lowest possible. I can't ski on Monday, but I can work remotely from airport. So my plan so far is to fly to DEN in Fri evening, get the car about 9.30pm, ski 2 days, return the car on Sun 9.30pm, sleep in airport, work remotely, then fly out in Monday night. Sounds crazy right ? But I'm so sick of skiing in midwest the whole season.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by romerun View Post

Well, thing is I've just bought the Summit pass. In order to make it worth, I have to fly there about 5 times (from chicago). I've found out later that the car rental in DEN is far more expensive than others, otherwise I will sleep in my bag in the car in Sunday night. Actually, I plan to sleep in the car the whole time, eating food bars, to make the cost lowest possible. I can't ski on Monday, but I can work remotely from airport. So my plan so far is to fly to DEN in Fri evening, get the car about 9.30pm, ski 2 days, return the car on Sun 9.30pm, sleep in airport, work remotely, then fly out in Monday night. Sounds crazy right ? But I'm so sick of skiing in midwest the whole season.

You aren't crazy.  I'll be doing something similar a few times.  Last year it was easier, but since they axed the 7ish UAL to PHL, I can't get out the same day as a full ski day.  I can do the early PHL, be in DEN by 1015, ski a half day a A Basin. Then ski a full day, drive down, crash in DEN somewhere and take the 0700 back to PHL.  Car rental is killer though.  If the passes are clear, you can usually find something small for ~$25 a day, but 4WD is a killer.  I'm looking at a car rental costing nearly as much as our condo for the week long trip in Jan.
post #14 of 18
Why not go to some used car lot and get some 1k or less beater car and park it somewhere near denver airport then you only have to pay for a bus ride or taxi ride to get you're car. (Granted that is dependent on you finding someplace to park it any bears in Denver have any ideas?)
post #15 of 18
DIA is almost in Kansas, so cabs to anywhere are likely not that cheap to anywhere except the closest airport hotels.  These are mostly at least 6-9 miles from the airport on Tower Road.

My cousin used to keep a beater car in Laughlin to water ski lake Mohave, but you would want something with good tires that could handle mountain driving with snow/ice on the road.  Beater cars tend to breakdown which is someting you probably don't want to deal with either.  It gets cold here at night, so you would want a VERY good sleeping bag if you plan to sleep in your car.  I heard JMD's neighbor comment that he is happy to have a guest stay on his couch as long as they buy the pizza- something like this seems like a better way to go than sleeping in a car.

Some of the airport hotels/motels offer free parking (usually up to 10 days) for guests- this is mainly designed for people who live up in the mountains and stay overnight before flying out on a vacation, but you might be able to use the the other way.  I know the one time I stayed more than 10 days, my window receipt had completing faded and they told me that I didn't need to bother going inside to pay for any extra days. 

May be a few other inexpensive options- metro bus to dt Denver is $9 IIRC.  This makes relatively few stops and leaves you at the Greyhound station near the Ritz Carlton on 19th- may continue on to somewhere you can park a car cheaper??  Some of the airport workers took this bus and got off on one of the first stops which is where I assumed they parked their cars.  Most of them had a pass, so I am not sure what this ride would cost. 

Greyhound from dt Denver to Frisco is $16 with a discount for online booking.

Ridesharing- not sure what the best website is, but this  has to be a pretty heavily travelled route on the weekends.  That is something else to consider- I-70 back to Denver on Sunday evenings can be brutal, especially if there is bad weather.

Could try calling Colorado Mountain Express and see if they would give you a multi-time discount.  Bus system is decent in Summit and can be convenient depending where you stay.  (Dillion to Keystone/A-B and Frisco to Breck & Copper are good)
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

Why not go to some used car lot and get some 1k or less beater car and park it somewhere near denver airport then you only have to pay for a bus ride or taxi ride to get you're car. (Granted that is dependent on you finding someplace to park it any bears in Denver have any ideas?)
 

You might try checking the area parking lots and office bldgs to see if they have a mounthly parking pass. Here in San Diego there about $60/mo if you look around.
post #17 of 18
Here's the answer you want to hear:

I, and quite a few others, slept in DIA for one night!

Now, that was a bad weather day (in Aspen, not bad weather at Denver). So we were all on flights that were cancelled (rented cars and drove from Aspen to DIA, some took shuttle). Though no one ever ask us  to check our story. I'm guessing they're used to stranded passengers sleeping in terminals.

Here's a few more detail:
  • All the chairs have non-removable armrest so you can't lie down on a row of chairs. The floor was what I ultimately opted on. I didn't have a sleeping bag. I just took out ALL of my warm ski clothes and pile them on me, and use the skis as sleeping pads (tile floors are VERY hard and VERY cold).
  • Don't expect a restful night. The last plane can get in as late as 2-3am due to weather at other part of the country. And by 5, people are arriving to check in for early morning flights.
  • Sometime around 2-3am or so, the clean-up crew came and the vacuum buzz for half an hour... I was so tired (skied all day and drove 5 hrs to get to DIA) I doze on and off through that.
  • The PA goes all night long. (no smoking, guard you luggage, etc)
post #18 of 18
I checked with both Frontier and US Airways at DFW this morning.  US Airways said 6 hours prior and Frontier said 4 hours prior for checked luggage.  This leads me to the conclusion that a limitation does exist, but it is carrier dependent.  It may even be airport dependent.
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