Guide to San Francisco International Airport

Located 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco, the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is the largest airport in the bay area and the second-busiest airport in California. It also serves as a major gateway for flights to and from Europe and Asia.

The airport is a hub for United Airlines and Virgin America. Other major carriers include Aeroméxico, Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines.

From San Francisco, passengers can fly non-stop to destination across the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The busiest international destinations are London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Taipei, Vancouver, Beijing, Paris and Toronto. The busiest domestic routes are Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Seattle-Tacoma, Las Vegas, Denver, Newark, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego and Boston.

Flight status information can be found on the airport's website.

SFO Airport Overview

San Francisco International Airport has four terminals with a total of seven concourses.

Frontier Airlines, Southwest and Delta operate from Terminal 1. American Airlines and Virgin America operate from Terminal 2. United Airlines operates from Terminal 3. All other airlines – including all international carriers as well as JetBlue – operate from the International Terminal.

The airport offers a number of services and amenities to passengers and visitors. There are a number of restaurants and retail stores spread throughout the four terminals. Some of the more unique features of San Francisco International Airport include:

  • An Aviation Museum & Library (International Terminal
  • Berman Reflection Room (International Terminal)
  • Kids' Spot (Terminals 2 and 3)
  • Self-guided tours (all terminals)
  • Yoga rooms (Terminals 2 and 3)

The four terminals, the international parking garages, the BART station and the Rental Car Center are connected via a free people mover known as the AirTrain.

San Francisco International Airport Parking Information

If you're driving to the San Francisco International Airport, there are several parking options. Domestic hourly parking and valet parking can be found in the five-story parking lot located in the center of the airport. The lot is color-coded to help ensure that drivers park in the section that is closest to their terminal and gates.

Two international hourly lots are located on the north and south sides of the International Terminal. The AirTrain connects these lots with Terminals 1, 2 and 3.

There is a long-term parking lot for drivers who prefer more economical parking options. The lot is connected to the airport's terminals via a free shuttle bus that runs every five to 15 minutes. A free cell-phone waiting lot is located adjacent to the long-term parking lot. Drivers can wait with their cars for up to an hour in the cell-phone lot.

Getting To & From San Francisco International Airport

There are a number of ground transportation options at San Francisco International Airport. Passengers can choose from three modes of public transportation:

  • BART rapid rail connects the airport with San Francisco, San Mateo County and the East Bay
  • Travelers can take BART to Millbrae and connect with the Caltrain commuter rail service
  • SamTrans operates four bus routes that stop at SFO and transport riders to San Mateo County, San Francisco and Palo Alto

If you'd prefer to rent a car, the airport has a Rental Car Center that is home to several rental car companies, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National and Thrifty. Off-site car rental companies operate shuttles that pick up passengers outside the Rental Car Center.

Alternately, passengers can catch taxicabs, reserve limousines, or use shared-ride shuttles or charter buses to travel to and from the airport.