San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Information
(San Francisco, California - CA, USA)
Two major airports serve the Bay Area, namely San Francisco International (SFO) and Oakland (OAK)
. San Francisco International Airport is especially large and impressive, and began its life way back in the late 1920s, as little more than a simple airfield.
Nowadays, this sprawling air facility is California's number two, after Los Angeles (LAX), and serves well over 40 million passengers every year, a figure which is steadily growing. Amongst the most significant airlines based here are United Airlines, United Express (SkyWest) and Virgin America, which between them connect more than 75 different onward destinations.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Address: San Bruno, San Francisco, 94128, California, USA
Tel: +1 650 876 2377
San Francisco's airport resides on the bay side of the peninsula, being approximately 14 miles / 22 km south of the city center and connected by the busy Bayshore Freeway US-101. Also nearby is the Interstate I-280 (the Junipero Serra Freeway), which heads northwards to Daly City, and southwards towards Cupertino and San Jose
San Francisco Airport Guide
San Francisco Airport has four separate terminals, as follows:
- Terminal 1 - previously named the South Terminal (gates 20 to 36 / boarding areas B and C)
- Terminal 2 - previously named the Central Terminal (gates 50 to 59 / boarding area D)
- Terminal 3 - previously named the North Terminal (gates 60 to 90 / boarding areas E and F)
- International Terminal - boarding areas A and G
- Bureau de change
- 24-hour cash machines (ATMs) and banking facilities
- Restaurants, eateries and bars, including the Amoura Cafe, the Anchor Brewing Company, Burger King, Deli-Up, the Euro Cafe, Go Bistro, Just Desserts, Lori's Diner, Max's the Greek, Osho, Perry's, the San Francisco Soup Company, Starbucks, Subway, Tomokazu and the Yankee Pier
- Shopping centre with stores such as Aviator Books, CNBC News, DFS Duty Free Galleria, Discover Hudson News, Gucci, Indulge Candy, the Mosaic Gallery, Pacific Outfitters, the SFO News Connection, Simply Gourmet, Sunset News, Swarovski, Tumi and Wine Wisdom
- Car hire companies - including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National and Thrifty
- TripTel Business Center (tel: +1 650 821 8000) with good facilities, such as computers, Internet access, fax machines, work spaces and meeting rooms
- Short-term parking is available (both domestic and international areas), with direct access to the terminals (between five and ten minutes' walk)
- Long-term parking is located approximately 2 miles / 3.5 km to the north (on the San Bruno Avenue and also on the South Airport Boulevard), being linked by a free shuttle bus service
- Cell phone waiting lot
- Special facilities for disabled passengers
- Other facilities include animal relief areas, cell-phone charging points, hydration stations, information booths, lost and found, luggage assistance, a medical clinic, shoeshine, showers, a travel agency and Wi-Fi access
Downtown San Francisco is easy to reach by several major highways sited close to SFO Airport. When traveling to the city center, take Route 101 and then follow the signs into the city. This journey can take as little as 20 minutes, but during the morning and evening rush hours, at least 40 minutes should be allowed. Of note, the car rental center is based on the western side of the airport, at 780 North McDonnell Road.
Those who prefer to travel by train will find that the airport has its very own BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train station, which opened in 2003 and is situated on the third floor of the International Terminal, alongside Parking Garage G. The stations based either side of the airport are San Bruno (towards Pittsburg / Bay Point) and Millbrae.
Regional buses are operated by the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) and travel to and from downtown San Francisco, as well as around the neighboring suburbs of Redwood City, Palo Alto, Los Altos and Sunnyvale. Bus transport at SFO operates every 12 to 30 minutes, between the hours of 06:20 and midnight.
Shared-ride vans are hugely popular at San Francisco's airport and competitively priced, making multiple stops according to passenger numbers. Operating companies based here include the American Airporter Shuttle, the Bayporter Express, the Bay Shuttle, Go Lorrie's, the Quake City Shuttle, the South and East Bay Shuttle, and SuperShuttle.
Hotel courtesy shuttles may also suit your needs, although you will need to contact your hotel to request this type of transport. Dedicated telephones are available within each of the 'hotel courtesy shuttle zones', close to the departures areas / ticketing levels.
Taxis are available at San Francisco Airport from the yellow zone on the lower level of each terminal, departing from the roadway center islands. Easily spotted by their uniforms, taxi co-ordinators are on hand between the hours of 07:00 and 01:00, to assist with the needs of passengers during the busiest times. A taxi journey to the downtown district is reasonably priced and this trip should take in the region of 25 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.