Flight guide to Sacramento

Overview of Sacramento

Sacramento has moved on from its past as a pioneer town to a modern metropolis that celebrates its history...

Airport Guide to Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

Airport Name

Sacramento International Airport

Airport Location

The airport is located 12 miles north of Sacramento.






916 929 5411 or 916 874 0719

Airport Overview

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is 10 miles (16km) from Sacramento, California.

Southwest Airlines accounts for more than half the flights at Sacramento International; the low-cost pioneer carries about 4.6 million passengers each year. Flights to Sacramento International come in from destinations across the US such as Denver, Charlotte, Phoenix, San Francisco, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, San Jose, Houston and Washington, as well as Guadalajara in Mexico.

This small, easy-to-use airport can nonetheless get overcrowded at peak times, so head for the check-in counters early as most shops, restaurants and other facilities are after security.

Sacramento is the state capital of California, founded at the confluence of two rivers, and has a long and interesting settler history. Be sure to check out the many museums during your stay.

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Terminal Transfer

There are two terminals – Terminal A and Terminal B. There's a free 24-hour shuttle bus that operates between them and the car parks every 20 minutes or so, depending on congestion and the time of day.

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Getting into Town

Train: There is currently no train station at the airport, although Sacramento Regional Transit has planned one to the downtown area, to be complete by 2017.

Bus: The Yolobus No. 42 connects the airport to downtown Sacramento every hour. The trip takes about 25 minutes and costs $2.50.

Taxi:  Taxis are available in the ground transportation area adjacent to baggage claim in Terminal A, and near the food court in Terminal B. The average fare to downtown Sacramento from the airport is $56.

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Car Parking

There's a multi-story across the road from Terminal A with both hourly and daily options. The hourly car parks cost $2 for every half hour, up to a maximum of $29 for the Terminal A garage and $27 for Terminal B's open-air lot, directly in front of the terminal. The daily car parks cost the same but are cheaper per day – the daily maximum is only $15. There's also a cell-phone waiting area (no charge). Then there's the economy car park, which charges $2 an hour or $9 a day.

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Information Desks

There's a 24-hour Communications Center in the terminal building.

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Airport Facilities

Money and communications: There are some ATMs, but no currency exchange facilities.

Luggage: There are no left-luggage facilities for security reasons. For lost-luggage queries, contact the airline concerned. The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office handles all lost-and-found queries for items mislaid in the terminals.

Conference and business: There are no public meeting rooms or conference facilities, although the on-site Sacramento International Jet Center, for general aviation, has well-equipped facilities with flat screens, speaker phones and so on. You'll need to contact them directly for reservations.

Other facilities: Shoeshine, massage parlor, pet-relief areas, children's play area, quiet room (Terminal A), and handicapped facilities.

Wi-Fi: There is free Wi-Fi throughout the airport. The network is called “FlySacramento”.

Shopping: There are just a few newsagents and travel stores before security in both terminals and after security in Terminal B. If you're after a shopping spree, Terminal A is your best bet, although the selection is a fairly uninspired range of bookstores, newsagents, a jewelry store and gift shops.

Food and drink: Hungry? There are plenty of eateries in both terminals, although they're mostly after security. In Terminal A, there's just a Starbucks and a Cinnabon before security, but afterwards you have your pick of Home Turf Bar & Grill, Lemon Grass, Burger King, La Salsa, Quizno’s and California Pizza Kitchen, among others. Terminal B has a better pre-security selection with coffee shops and a pub, but the after-security area offers just a couple of Starbucks, the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, and the Pyramid Alehouse.

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Car Rentals

There's a consolidated car rental center, accessed via the free shuttle bus, where major companies such as Avis, Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, Dollar and Enterprise are represented. Here's a tip: if you're returning a rental car, fill up at the garage on the airport property – its prices are lower than those in town.

Travel tips