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Summer Travel Season Takes Off at SFO

Airport shares passenger forecast and travel tips, announces Community Day to celebrate opening of first phase of Harvey Milk Terminal 1

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced the start of the summer travel season with tips for travelers, an overview of new airlines and destinations, information on parking and transportation, and a program of live music in the terminals.

The summer travel season will begin in earnest on Friday, May 24, 2019, with more than 163,000 forecasted passengers traveling through SFO.  In total, over 16.8 million travelers are expected at SFO between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Airport officials also announced a “Community Day” open house on Saturday, July 20, 2019, celebrating the opening of the first phase of Harvey Milk Terminal 1. The first nine-gate section will open for passenger flights on Tuesday, July 23, 2019.

“The summer 2019 travel season is an exciting time at SFO,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “ Travelers can look forward to the opening of the first phase of the new Harvey Milk Terminal 1, which will set a new benchmark for the airport experience at SFO and pay tribute to the life and legacy of pioneering civil rights leader Harvey Milk. We’re also proud to provide a free opportunity for the public to view this new facility before it opens to our travelers this summer."

Community Day for Harvey Milk Terminal 1

To celebrate the opening of the first phase of Harvey Milk Terminal 1, SFO will host a “Community Day” open house for the public on Saturday, July 20, 2019, from noon to 4:00 pm. The event is free, but time-ticketed. To learn more, please visit www.flysfo.com/GrandOpenings.

Tips for Travelers

Passengers traveling during the summer season are strongly encouraged to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure for domestic flights and 3 hours prior to departure for international flights. 

SFO recommends that travelers review current TSA regulations for carry-on baggage screening and portable electronic devices. All devices larger than a cellphone, such as laptops, tablets, and e-readers, should be removed and placed a separate bin at the security checkpoint. For more detailed information and the latest security rules, please visit www.tsa.gov.

Passengers who pack liquids or gels as carry-on baggage are limited to three (3) ounces or less. Such items should be packed in a single re-sealable quart-size plastic bag, with one per traveler.

ID requirements at security checkpoints
Beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or another acceptable form of identification, to fly within the United States. Travelers will begin seeing new signs at airports nationwide to remind that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID, such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID, will be mandatory for air travel beginning October 1, 2020. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/real-id.

Options to save time at security checkpoints
Travelers have several options which can save time at the security checkpoint process. The CLEAR product is available at SFO, offering a membership program which provides expedited access to all security checkpoints. For more information, visit www.clearme.com.

The TSA offers the PreCheck program of expedited screening at SFO. This program can be joined on a membership basis, through a PreCheck enrollment center located in the International Terminal, near the BART station. For more information, visit www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.

Save Time During Immigration
Travelers have a variety of options to save time on arriving international flights.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection offers Global Entry, a program offering expedited clearance for pre-approved low-risk travelers upon arrival into the United States.  Approved Global Entry participants are also eligible to participate in TSA Pre-Check.  SFO features a Global Entry enrollment office, located on the arrivals level of the International Terminal.

SFO offers Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks to expedite the customs entry process for international arriving passengers.  The kiosks allow eligible international travelers to submit their customs declaration form and biographic information electronically, thereby reducing the time they spend with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer.  Individuals can complete the process in approximately 90 seconds.

SFO is also featured on Mobile Passport Control (MPC), the first authorized mobile app to expedite a traveler’s arrival into the United States, allowing eligible travelers to bypass a traditional queue by submitting their passport information and customs declaration form to CBP via smartphone and/or tablet prior to arrival to SFO.  Each authorization is valid for four (4) hours.  The app is available to download from the Apple Store and Google Play. For more information, visit www.mobilepassport.us.

SFO also recommends travelers to check the expiration date of their passports prior to travel to ensure the document is valid throughout the period of travel.  Some countries require your passport to be valid for a certain length of time beyond your return date.  For more information, visit www.travel.state.gov/passports.

Amenities at SFO for summer 2019

First phase of Harvey Milk Terminal 1 opens July 23
On July 23, 2019, SFO will open the first section of the new Harvey Milk Terminal 1. Nine gates will open in the first phase, which will be used by Southwest Airlines and JetBlue. The first section of this new facility will feature nine concession concepts, seven installations of public art, a Kids Spot play area for children, and an SFO Museum exhibit, including crowdsourced image content, honoring the life and legacy of Harvey Milk. For more information, please visit www.flysfo.com/T1.

New on-airport hotel opens end of summer 2019
A new on-airport hotel, the Grand Hyatt at SFO, is in the final stages of construction and is expected to open at the end of summer 2019. For more information, please visit www.flysfo.com/hotel.

New airlines, new destinations for summer 2019
For the 2019 summer travel season, SFO offers new international airlines and destinations, including Norwegian Air service to London-Gatwick, Air Italy flights to Milan, El Al service to Tel Aviv, and TAP Portugal flights to Lisbon. Travelers within the United States also have more choices than ever before, with nonstop service to Everett, Washington on Alaska and United Airlines, new nonstop flights to Honolulu on Sun Country, first-ever service to Rapid City, South Dakota on United, and seasonal United service to Fairbanks, Alaska.

Live Music Program
SFO will offer a program live music in the terminals for travelers on select Fridays in July and August. For a full schedule of artists and locations, please visit www.flysfo.com/entertainment.

Getting to SFO Quickly and Conveniently

New domestic pickup area for Uber, Lyft and Wingz beginning June 5th
In an ongoing effort to improve roadway traffic flow around the terminals, SFO plans to relocate all domestic terminal pickups for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) – Uber, Lyft, and Wingz – to the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. International Terminal pickups will continue in the current location, at the center island of the Departure level roadway. All TNC drop-offs will continue to occur at designated upper-level departure curbside areas.

Transit & Shared Rides
With summer passenger volumes, SFO recommends that travelers take transit or share rides to the airport.  BART provides direct service from San Francisco and the East Bay, and there are several shuttle services to SFO.  To learn more about transportation options and to plan your trip to SFO, visit www.flysfo.com/to-from/overview. If travelers elect to drive, they should allow extra time for parking, or have someone drop them off.  Travelers are encouraged to check with their airline to confirm their flight.

Parking availability will be tight this summer
In anticipation of peak summer parking demand, SFO strongly advises travelers to take an alternate mode of transportation to and from the airport.  All parking facilities are expected to be at or near capacity during peak summer periods, so please plan accordingly.  Long term parking is offered at a daily rate of $18.  The daily maximum parking rate for terminal parking at the International Garages and the Domestic Garage is $36 per day.  Use FasTrak-designated lanes to quickly enter and exit parking garages at SFO.

Kiss-and-Fly; Cell Phone Lot; Short-Term Parking Garages Free for Stay of 30 Minutes or Less
During periods of peak traffic, SFO encourages people to drop off friends and family at the Kiss-and-Fly curb at the rental car facility, where they can catch the AirTrain and be at the airport in minutes.  SFO also offers a free cell phone waiting lot, located adjacent to the Long Term Parking Campus just five minutes north of the terminals. Avoid curbside traffic by using short-term parking. Any vehicles which enter and exit the International and Domestic Garages within 30 minutes will not be charged. Vehicles parked in the garages for longer than 30 minutes will be charged for the full duration of their stay. For more information, visit www.flysfo.com/parking.

Mobile Car-Washing Service Available in Airport Parking Lots
Parking lots at SFO feature an innovative mobile car-washing service, which allows customers to park in any of the Airport’s parking lots, keep their keys, and return to a freshly-cleaned vehicle.  Customers can call 510-519-8685 to schedule the service.  Washing is available from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, seven days a week.  All reservations must be made at least one day in advance.  Prices start at $35 for a standard passenger vehicle. For more information, visit www.ProntoWash.com.