SFO

San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco, US

SHOPPING, DEALS AND OTHER SERVICES

Getting around the airport

Four terminals, seven concourses, AirTrain

San Francisco Airport lies 21km south of the city. It has four terminals and seven concourses, laid out in a star shape. The concourses are set up in alphabetical order, anti-clockwise, so be sure to travel in the right direction to your terminal to avoid losing time.

Terminals 1, 2 and 3 serve domestic flights while the huge International Terminal serves both international and domestic flights:

  • Terminal 1: Concourses and Gates B and C
  • Terminal 2: Concourse and Gates D
  • Terminal 3: Concourses and Gates E and F
  • International Terminal: Concourses and Gates A and G. These gates are housed in separate terminal buildings, joined by the International Terminal Main Hall. You'll find the BART train station here, too, as well as a medical centre and a good selection of eating options.
  • There are some connections between the terminals:
    • Terminal 3 is connected to International Terminal G behind security
    • Terminal 1 is connected to Terminal 2

Travelling between terminals

It's a large airport, and, while you can walk to all terminals, the free, automatic AirTrain shuttle train will shorten your journey considerably. It runs every 2.5 minutes and covers a 10km loop:

  • The Red Line goes clockwise from Concourses G to A (a nine-minute journey)
  • The Blue Line goes anti-clockwise from Concourses A to G and then travels further to the Rental Car Center (a 19-minute journey)

Stop at the 'Garage G/BART Station' stop to take the BART train into the city.

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Flying through A and G Gates?

Eat and shop before you go through

If you're flying out of A and G Gates (International Terminal) make sure to do your shopping and dining before security and don't go to your gate too early. Facilities at the gate areas are very limited. 

At D, E and F Gates there are lots of food options after security. 

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Professional airport transfers

Blacklane – available at San Francisco International Airport

Book a ride with our professional drivers and skip the stress of public transit. All airport pickups include 60 minutes of complimentary wait time, and your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall to greet you, even if your flight is delayed. Our all-inclusive rates are confirmed prior to booking, with no hidden surprises. Miles & More members earn 1 mile for every euro spent with Blacklane.

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Lounges

Seventeen business lounges

Air France/KLM Lounge

International Terminal, after security, Level 3, Boarding Area A
Hours: 09:00-15:30 and 17:30 to 20:30

AA Admirals Club

Showers available.

Terminal 2, after security, Level 2, Boarding Area D
Hours: 04:00-12:00

American Express Centurion Lounge

Other card members may purchase one-day pass for USD 50.

Terminal 3, after security, Level 2, Boarding Area F, near Gate 74
Hours: 05:00-23:00 

British Airways Terraces Lounge

International Terminal, after security, Level 3, Boarding Area A, near Gates A4 and A6
Hours: 12:00-last departure

Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge

Showers available.

International Terminal, after security, Level 4, Boarding Area A
Hours: Four hours prior to flight departure

China Airlines Dynasty Lounge

International Terminal, after security, Level 4, Boarding Area A
Hours: 06:30-21:00 (Winter); 06:45-22:00 (Summer)

Delta Sky Club

Showers available. 

Terminal 1, after security, Level 2, Boarding Area C, near Gate 41
Hours: 05:00-12:00

Emirates Lounge

Showers available.

International Terminal, after security, Level 3, Boarding Area A, near Gates A3 and A5
Hours: 12:00-16:00 

EVA AIR Evergreen Lounge

International Terminal, after security, Level 3, Boarding Area G
Hours: 21:00-01:00 or 14:00-17:00 depending on flights

Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge

International Terminal, after security, level 4, boarding area A
Hours: 21:35-00:05 

Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Lounge 

International Terminal, after security, Level 4, Boarding Area A
Hours: First departure-last departure 

Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge

Showers available.

International Terminal, after security, Level 3, Boarding Area G
Hours: 10:30-13:30 and 21:30-00:45 (summer); 09:30-12:30 and 20:35-23:45 (winter)

United Club

International Terminal, after security, Level 3, Boarding Area G, adjacent to security checkpoint
Hours: 05:00-23:00

Terminal 3, after security, Level 2, Boarding Area F, rotunda near Gates 80-90
Hours: 05:00-23:30

Terminal 3, after security, Level 2, Boarding Area E, near Gate 70
Hours: 05:00-23:00 

United Global First Lounge

Showers available in Terminal 3 arrivals lounge.

International Terminal, after security, Level 3, Boarding Area G, between Gates G98 and G100
Hours: 08:00-22:30 

Terminal 3, before security, baggage level
Hours: 06:30-12:30 

Virgin Atlantic Club House Lounge

Showers available.

International Terminal, before security, Level 5, take lift near Security Checkpoint A
Hours: 14:00-17:00 Mon, Fri; 14:00-20:30 Tue-Thu, Sat, Sun

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Power outlets

Throughout the airport

Power outlets and work stations are located thoughout the airport. The 'Power Bars' in the Terminal 2 food court make charging even more comfortable, and there are airside mobile charging stations in Terminals 1 and 3:

  • Terminal 1, airside, boarding area B, near Gate 23
  • Terminal 3, airside, boarding area E, near Gate 61
  • Terminal 3, airside, boarding area F, near Gate 87
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Public business lounge

Share your start-up ideas

The '#Converge@flySFO Lounge' is a space for anyone to exchange ideas about technology, start-ups, the shared economy, travel, politics and ways to change the world. The room has free Wi-Fi, tables, chairs, power outlets, a white board and a magnetic chalk board.

International Terminal, after security, boarding area G near Gate G93.

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Different gates or terminals

American Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska, Sun Country, Hawaiian

Travellers have reported that even though they were travelling domestic with JetBlue, their flight was being handled in the international departures terminal. This also applies to Alaska Airlines, Sun Country Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. 

While the American Airlines ticket counters are in Terminal 2, its gates for flights to/from old US Airways hubs (PHX, CLT, PHL) are in Terminal 1.

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Getting into San Francisco

BART train is a good option

The airport is well connected by public transport, and the train is the easiest, cheapest route into the city. 

Train

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rapid rail takes you to San Francisco, San Mateo County and the East Bay. Trains leave every 15-20 minutes from: Mon-Fri 04:09-11:54, Sat 06:07-11:54, Sun 08:07-11:54. Journey time is 30 minutes to central stations like Powell Street (for Union Square) and Civic Center.

Cost: USD 8.95 one-way (children under four travel free)
Buying tickets:
Automated machines when you get off the AirTrain (or online before you travel: https://www.bart.gov/guide/airport/voucher_sfo)
Location: BART Station, International Terminal, Level 3, Boarding Area G side

If you're heading to Silicon Valley, take the Caltrain suburban rail service to Palo Alto or San Jose stations. First, take BART one station south to Millbrae station (changing at San Bruno during the week) and then transfer to Caltrain. 

Cost: USD 4.25 to Millbrae plus USD 5.25 to Palo Alto (2-zone journey) or USD 7.25 to San Jose (3-zone journey) 
Buying tickets: Buy your BART ticket in the airport, and then your Caltrain ticket at Millbrae

Note: From Jan 2018, you will have to pay 50 cent extra for paper tickets. You can get a 'Clipper Card' to avoid this.  

Bus

This is the cheapest route to the city. SamTrans bus routes KX, 292, 397 and 398 connect the airport to San Mateo County, San Francisco and Palo Alto (1hr 15mins). The KX route is the quickest option for downtown, but doesn't accept passengers with luggage.

Cost: USD 2 to San Francisco, USD 4 to return to the airport (USD 5 on KX)
Location: Stops at Terminals 2 and 3, arrivals level and International Terminal, Level 1, Concourse A

Taxi

A taxi journey takes around 20 minutes, depending on traffic, and can be pretty pricey.

Cost: USD 40-65 (plus an expected 20% tip)
Location: Ranks outside every terminal, arrivals level

Ride share

In typical, early-adopter San Francisco style, it's permitted to use the apps Lyft, Uber and Sidecar to make the journey in a local's car for less than a taxi.

Location: Pick up and drop off are at Departures level outside the terminals

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Mobile charging stations

In Terminals 1 and 3

Terminal 1, after security, boarding area B, Gate 23
Terminal 3, after security, boarding area E, Gate 61
Terminal 3, after security, boarding area F, Gate 87

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Showers

At Freshen Up and some airline lounges

Freshen Up offers private shower rooms to airport guests.

Standard Shower: 20 minute shower including towel and soap for USD 8
Deluxe Shower: 30 minute shower, 15 minute massage chair, including towel, soap, shampoo, shower shoes, hair dryer for USD 15

International Terminal, before security, level 3, main hall near boarding area G
Hours: 07:00-23:00 daily 

Shower facilities in Lounges:

  • United Global First Lounge
    Terminal 3, before security, baggage level
    Hours: 06:30-12:30

  • Virgin Atlantic Club House Lounge
    International Terminal, before security, level 5, take elevator near Security Checkpoint A
    Hours: 14:00-17:00 Mon, Fri; 14:0-20:30 Tues-Thurs, Sat, Sun
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XpresSpa

Four locations for massages

XpresSpa offers massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing and hair-styling services. 

Locations:

  • International Terminal, after security, boarding area G, near Gate 100
  • Terminal 2, after security, boarding area D
  • Terminal 3, after security, boarding area E, near Gate 60
  • Terminal 3, after security, boarding area F, near the entrance to Gates 80-90

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 06:00-23:00 (the spa in the International Terminal opens at 07:00)

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Yoga room

Open to all

There are two yoga rooms in the airport where you can meditate, exercise or simply relax and enjoy some peace and quiet. You'll find them in the following locations:

  • Terminal 2, airside, Boarding Areas C and D
  • Terminal 3, airside, Boarding Area E, near Gate 69 

Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 24 hours

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Save on your car rental

Lowest price guaranteed

Rental car companies are located in the external Rental Car Center building, whch can be reached by the AirTrain Blue Line from all terminals.

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, National, Thrifty are located on the fourth floor of the rental car center. Hertz and Fox car rental are on the first floor. 

Off-airport rental car agencies can be reached by a free shuttle service from the Rental Car Center. The shuttle stops at the south side of the centre upon request only. 

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Hydration station

Fill up for free

Fill up your water bottles for free.

International Terminal, after security, boarding area A, Gate A1
Terminal 2, after security, boarding area D, Gates 51 and 58
Terminal 3, after security, boarding area F, near the entrance to Gates 80-90

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Aviation museum

Travelling in the 1930s

If you've got time to kill, check out the Aviation Museum. It features exhibitions, research services and educational programmes. The museum is housed in a remodelled version of the airport's 1930s passenger lobby.

International Terminal, before security, main hall 
Hours: 10:30-16:30 Mon-Sat

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Showers after security

Available in airline lounges

AA Admirals Club

Terminal 2, after security, level 2, boarding area D
Hours: 04:00-12:00 

Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge

International Terminal, after security, level 4, boarding area A
Hours: Four hours prior to flight departure 

Delta Sky Club 

Terminal 1, after security, level 2, boarding area C, near gate 41
Hours: 05:00-12:00

Emirates Lounge

International Terminal, after security, level 3, boarding area A, near gates A3 and A5
Hours: 12:00-16:00

Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge

International Terminal, after security, level 3, boarding area G
Hours: 10:30-13:30 and 21:30-00:45 (Summer); 09:30-12:30 and 20:35-23:45 (Winter)

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Self-guided tours

Kids exploring the airport

The airport offers self-guided tours of the either the International Terminal or Terminals 1, 2, or 3. They're aimed at children, but fun for the whole family. You can find the tour itinerary on the airport website or at any of the visitor information booths.

At the end of the tour, every child receives a prize.

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Play areas

For young children

The Kids’ Spot offers free entertainment for young children. It includes a physical play area and several educational exhibits. You'll find a Kid's Spot in the following locations:

Terminal 2, airside, boarding area D, near Gates 54A and 58B
Terminal 3, airside, boarding area F, near Gate 87A
Terminal 3, airside, boarding area E, near Gate 62

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Luggage storage

In the International Terminal

Luggage storage is available at the Airport Travel Agency only. All luggage is x-rayed prior to storage. Rates vary according to the size of luggage. Minimum charge is the 24-hr rate.

International Terminal, before security, departure/ticketing level, near entrance to Gates G91-G102
Hours: 07:00-23:00 

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