San Francisco International Airport
The airport is located 14 miles south of San Francisco.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is located 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco and is the largest airport in the Bay Area and the second-busiest airport in California.
Comprising four terminals – Terminals 1, 2, 3 and the International Terminal – that form a ring around a multi-story Domestic Airport parking garage, San Francisco International is easy to navigate. Terminals 1-3 handle all domestic flights, while the International Terminal mainly manages international flights. Customs, immigrations and baggage claims are generally fast; staff are friendly, signage is good and transport to and from the airport is excellent. Delays are common, though, due to the region’s adverse weather patterns; however, there are plans to extend the runways in order to aid aircraft flying in low visibility conditions.
San Francisco International is clean and modern. With its newly revamped Terminal 2 housing an award-winning aviation museum and library, along with an extensive array of retail, dining, entertainment and health establishments, it is truly a world-class facility.
Flights to San Francisco International Airport comes from a number of destinations worldwide, including Toronto, Paris, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Lima, Frankfurt, Singapore, San Salvador, Beijing, Mexico City, Sydney and Cancun, in addition to numerous domestic routes.
The AirTran people-mover system transports passengers between terminals, parking lots, the BART rapid rail station and the rental car center.
Getting into Town
Train: The BART Rapid Rail connects the airport to San Francisco Central. The station is located on the Departures level of the International Terminal; trains depart every 15-20 minutes. Journey time is about 30 minutes.
Taxi: Taxis depart outside the arrivals levels of all terminals.
Bus: SamTrans buses run from Terminal 1 and the International Terminal to parts of San Francisco and the greater San Mateo County. Catch Route 292 to San Francisco, the fare of which takes around one hour.
Short-term parking is allotted to the Domestic Garage, a five-level facility situated in the center of the airport which gives passengers direct and quick access to all terminals. Two international parking garages are positioned on either side of the International Terminal, while a long-term car park is located 2 miles north of the airport’s terminals. There are also ParkFAST facilities and valet parking on the fourth level of the Domestic Garage.
Information desks are situated on the Arrivals levels of all terminals, while Travellers Aid kiosks are located on the Departures levels of each terminal. There are also computerized information kiosks scattered throughout the airport.
Money and communications: The airport offers ATMs, currency exchange and a post office.
Luggage: There are left luggage, lost and found and baggage-wrapping facilities.
Conference and business: Laptop workstations are available throughout the airport. Triptel offers basic business services as well as mobile phone rentals, while the Airport Travel Agency in the International Terminal provides fax and photocopying services; both are located in the International Terminal. There are no conference facilities at San Francisco International; however, several nearby hotels offer access to meeting rooms and seminar halls.
Other facilities: An aquarium, reading room, meditation room, childcare rooms, public showers, shoeshine stands and a medical clinic.
Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi is available in all four terminals.
Shopping: Shopping options are plentiful at San Francisco International Airport. Products range from gifts, souvenirs, books and electronics to clothing, accessories, cosmetics and more. Outlets include Aviator News and Books, The Body Shop, Brookstone, CNBC News, Erwin Pearl, Gucci, Harmony Health and Beauty, InMotion Entertainment, MANGO, Pacific Outfitters, PGA Tour Shop, San Francisco Time, Sunglass Hut and Swarovski, to name a few. There are also a number of duty-free shops selling tobacco, alcohol, fragrances and designer fashion items.
Food and drink: With so many eating options to choose from, you may have some difficulty settling on one venue. Dishes, snacks and fast foods cater to all tastes, from Asian and Italian to Mediterranean and Mexican. Popular establishments include Amoura Cafe, Andale Mexican Restaurant, The Buena Vista Cafe, Burger King, Deli-Up Cafe, Ebisu, Euro Cafe, Firewood Cafe, Fung Lum, Go Bistro, Guava and Java, Lark Creek Grill, Lori’s Diner, Osho Japanese Cuisine, The Plant Cafe and Pink Berry, Starbucks, Subway and Yankee Pier. There’s also an extensive array of pubs and cocktail bars, like the Anchor Brewing Company, Cat Cora, Gordon Biersch and Vino Volo, in addition to some bakeries and candy stores.
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