Airports, no food available at night?

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ces1948
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2011/07/14 13:23:24 (permalink)

Airports, no food available at night?

I don't really get to airports very often so I don't know what's normal and what's not. I had to pickup a relative last night at  Palm Beach International Airport. I arrived at 10:10 PM and every single restaurant, snack bar, regular bar was closed. There wasn't even a cup of coffee available. All I saw was a couple of soft drink and chip machines. There were several flights coming in so there were a few hundred people there. I realize that the PB airport can't compare size wise with the major cities but it's not small either. Are most airports like this late in the evening?
Charlie
post edited by ces1948 - 2011/07/14 14:06:27
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/14 13:56:31 (permalink)
    Yes,
     
    It seems everyone closes shop by 9 or 10pm - Compare an airport to a shopping mall- they seem to have similar closing hours, although some of these shops-especially the coffee shops are open by 5am
    #2
    Sundancer7
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/14 14:37:59 (permalink)
    Due to delays, maintenance issues and weather, I have been stranded at airports too many times to mention.  They really get lonely at night when nothing is available.  I have caught a cab several times just to get something to eat.
     
    I have never ever been so bored as spending the night in a airport.
     
    Paul E. Smith
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    rumaki
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/14 14:38:40 (permalink)
    Even at MSP (which is a pretty large airport), you'd be hard-pressed to find much in the way of food or drink after 8 p.m., especially on Sunday night -- which makes no sense, given that several flights (especially the regional puddle-jumpers) arrive (and, more to the point, depart) at 10 p.m. or later, and that many business travelers arrive on those flights on Sunday nights.  Saturday night, I could sort of see, because there are fewer flights, but Sunday night mystifies me.
    #4
    ces1948
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/14 16:08:19 (permalink)
    I guess I assumed there would be something open 24/7 in a place where people are coming and going 24/7. Hey maybe Waffle House should look into this.
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    lleechef
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/14 16:34:06 (permalink)
    The only airport I've been in where you can pretty much eat and drink 24/7 is Anchorage due to the fact that we have nearly more red-eye flights than daytime flights. 
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    ces1948
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/14 16:37:53 (permalink)
    I seem to recall Atlanta having a few things open late. Been several years though since I've been there.
    #7
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/14 17:59:06 (permalink)
    It's simple.  If there are DEPARTING flights, stores/restaurants stay open.  Most usually close the minute the last wave of departing flights leaves.  There really isn't much of a need to remain open for arriving flights, as most people, upon arrival, tend to want to leave the airport - not stick around for a snack...or even a cup of coffee. 
     
    So, the airports that tend to have late night hours are the airports that have late night departures - LAX. SFO, SEA, and yes - ANC.  I shopped at ANC at around 1:30 in the morning, before my 2:30 am departure.  It's weird to see folks up and perky at that hour, but the ANC airport was hopping at that time.
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    rumaki
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/14 18:04:07 (permalink)
    TTM -- It's not quite that simple. As I said, MSP has quite a few post-10 p.m. departures -- mainly (but not exclusively) commuter jets going short-haul. People connect in MSP from big jets to those planes to get to places like LaCrosse, WI and they sometimes need to hang out in the airport for 2 hours or more between flights. But, as I said, around here,  virtually all the eateries have closed by 8 p.m.
     
    I agree with your general premise, but I guess MSP is the exception that proves the rule.
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    ces1948
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/14 18:05:12 (permalink)
    What about the hundreds of people that are there to greet people coming in? But I do see your point.
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/15 08:49:14 (permalink)
    When I was at the Detroit Airport for my layover to head home this past Sunday evening, I arrived shortly before 9PM and several restaurants were still open  and serving including National Coney Island Express as well as their full service down restaurant. My flight back home didn' leave till shortly after 10pm, so I'm not sure what was still open at that point.
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    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/16 11:48:43 (permalink)
    rumaki

    TTM -- It's not quite that simple. As I said, MSP has quite a few post-10 p.m. departures -- mainly (but not exclusively) commuter jets going short-haul. People connect in MSP from big jets to those planes to get to places like LaCrosse, WI and they sometimes need to hang out in the airport for 2 hours or more between flights. But, as I said, around here,  virtually all the eateries have closed by 8 p.m.

    I agree with your general premise, but I guess MSP is the exception that proves the rule.

    It really is that simple.  I looked up the departure information on MSP.  There are exactly 22 flights that leave MSP post-10 pm - and all but four or five appear to be on regional jets (I am just looking at the destination and gate lists and making assumptions....I suppose I could be wrong, and DL could be flying a 757 to Saskatoon, but I doubt it).  22 flights is statistically insignificant at a major hub airport.  If we add all of the flights that depart after 9:45 pm, that makes the total 37 flights.  Still not many, but a few more.  There are ZERO flights that leave MSP between 7:49 pm and 9:45 pm.  Two hours with no flights departing.  There are no flights that depart after 10:20 pm.  Still, I looked to see what times the restaurants were closing.  According to their own web site, MOST restaurants (quick-serve and full service) are open until 9 pm.
     
    By 9 pm, most folks with a 9:45 departure are at or heading to their gate.  If there were people there, the restaurants would be open.  For the rents that these corporations pay, I can't believe that they want to leave any available money on the table.

    ces1948

    What about the hundreds of people that are there to greet people coming in? But I do see your point.

    Hundreds?  Not at that hour.  I fly in and out of Orlando and even at peak times, I don't know that I ever see more than "dozens" of people there to pick people up INSIDE the airport - and that's not dozens PER flight - dozens total.  Also, since 9/11, you need to be a ticketed passenger to get through security and to the gates.  Coincidentally, most airports have moved their concessions post-security, as well.  Therefore, there aren't many pre-security options for food to begin with, but even fewer late at night.
    #12
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/16 12:02:28 (permalink)
    DTW, for the record, appears to have a similar number of flights, but perhaps fewer commuter flights and more of the really large jets.  MSP has two flights on 767s, which both depart at 9:45 pm.  DTW has four larger planes - two 767s, one 777 and one Airbus 340.
     
    I didn't go to their web site, but I would bet that most of their restaurants also close around 9 pm.
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/16 18:03:03 (permalink)
    ces1948
    I guess I assumed there would be something open 24/7 in a place where people are coming and going 24/7. Hey maybe Waffle House should look into this.

    Not so. Most airports have very few, in any, scheduled flights coming or going between midnight and 6AM. They do it to save operating expense. The exceptions are the large International Airports, LAX, JFK, ORD and a few others. Since most airlines allow you to bring food on board, what I do now is bring a brown bag. If you're waiting for arrivals, take something with you.
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/16 18:49:14 (permalink)
    lleechef

    The only airport I've been in where you can pretty much eat and drink 24/7 is Anchorage due to the fact that we have nearly more red-eye flights than daytime flights. 

     
    The few times I have flown in to Anchorage, my flights have got ther about 3:00AM.  Not pleasant.  Try renting a car at that time of the morning.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Sundancer7
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/16 20:26:18 (permalink)
    Well I guess we've made the point. The reason - not enough people there to make it profitable to stay open at most airports.
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    ces1948
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/16 21:23:50 (permalink)
    Just for fun I went through a list of all the shopping, eating and drinking establishments in the Atlanta airport. I can't verify the accuracy of the list but here's what I found.
    One bar called the Piano bar is listed as closing at midnight, other than that there were few restaurants that closed at 11pm but by far the greatest majority closed at 10pm. There were also quite a few that closed at 9pm. As someone else said they crank up pretty early as many open at 6am..
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    lleechef
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    Re:Airport no food avaiable at night 2011/07/16 22:03:15 (permalink)
    Sorry Sundancer.  You landed at a wierd hour (3AM) when most of us are exiting Alaska.  Maybe they don't expect people to be driving at that time of the AM.  Try anticipating landing in ANC but the volcano is arrupting and you have to land in Fairbanks where the temp is -35.  Coming from Palm Springs.  Who cares about the food?  Just want to stay warm and eventually get home. 
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    NascarDad
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    Re:Airports, no food available at night? 2011/07/16 23:46:25 (permalink)
    ces1948

    I don't really get to airports very often so I don't know what's normal and what's not. I had to pickup a relative last night at  Palm Beach International Airport. I arrived at 10:10 PM and every single restaurant, snack bar, regular bar was closed. There wasn't even a cup of coffee available. All I saw was a couple of soft drink and chip machines. There were several flights coming in so there were a few hundred people there. I realize that the PB airport can't compare size wise with the major cities but it's not small either. Are most airports like this late in the evening?
    Charlie

    Sounds like my experiences at Palm Beach Airport down to a tee. Right down to them having messed up my car reservation, that was supposed to be waiting for me, instead I end up waiting in a line because no car there, and being told they are out of cars. Um, ok then what did the 40 people in line ahead of me drive away in.  They only had one rental agent at the counter and the lot attendant said I had to deal with the counter. And no food.  By the time I got to the hotel it was 1 AM and of course too late to get food there too, or to change rooms when I found they had put me in the wrong room type lol
    Ahh the memories of the joys of business travel. 
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