San Francisco International Airport: Value Beyond Price and Convenience
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is the airport of choice to and from almost 100 destinations worldwide on the leading international, domestic and low-cost carriers.
As a global transportation hub, SFO provides the ease and convenience of door-to-door travel, supported by its state-of-the-art International Terminal, direct-to-city public transportation on BART, and the AirTrain people mover, which transports passengers between terminals, garages and the Airport's rental car center.
The International Terminal and Concourses
With its soaring roofline and gleaming glass-and-steel exterior, the International Terminal building is a magnificent visual centerpiece at SFO. Flanked by two state-of-the art concourses, the entire complex is equivalent in size to 35 football fields and houses 24 gates to accommodate the airline industry's newest wide-bodied aircraft.
Increased baggage handling capabilities and expanded U.S. Customs facilities help expedite passenger traffic: “Out of the door” transit time for arriving international passengers is 45 minutes or less. The International Terminal building also features ample flexible ticket counter space, making for smoother and shorter check-ins for departing international passengers.
San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 Set to Re-Open in April 2011
New Home for American Airlines and Virgin America
The $383 million renovation of San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 (T2) is scheduled to be complete by April 9, 2011, with the first flights commencing on April 14, 2011. The new home for American Airlines and Virgin America, T2 will be one of the most sustainable and modern airport terminals in the United States.
Originally constructed in 1954 and renovated in 1984, the 640,000 square ft Terminal 2 housed the Airport’s international flights until December 2000, when it was replaced by the current International Terminal. Built through a design-build partnership between Gensler and Turner Construction, the renovated T2 will offer 14 gates serving Virgin America and American Airlines. “T2 is modern, comfortable, intuitive and better suited to meet the needs of today’s travelers. From the early design and construction practices to paperless ticketing – we have provided this experience using sustainable methods at every step along the way,” said John L. Martin, Airport Director.
T2 is the first airport terminal in the United States that is LEED® Gold-Registered. The terminal was built with multiple progressive sustainable features that aimed at reducing carbon emissions while also creating a more healthful environment for travelers and staff. These features include:
- Natural Light – Skylights and clerestories bring daylight into the ticketing lobby and retail areas, providing a healthier working environment while significantly reducing electricity requirements during daylight hours.
- Cleaner Air – An innovative displacement ventilation system that uses filtered air to improve indoor air quality, while using 20 percent less energy.
- Car-Free Connection – T2 connects to BART via SFO's AirTrain people mover system, so that employees and travelers alike can easily go from Airport to City on mass transit.
- Zero Waste Stations – Waste stations replace traditional garbage cans with easy-to-use compartments for composting, recyclables and trash.
- Locally Grown – Local-organic food vendors, offering wholesome food grown and prepared in a healthful manner.
- Water Conservation – A dual plumbing system that allows for reclaimed water from SFO’s water treatment facility to be used for toilets and other uses throughout the Airport. Moreover, T2’s plumbing fixtures use 40 percent less water than typical fixtures.
- Paperless Ticketing – A paperless ticketing system throughout the terminal increases efficiency and saves trees.
- Energy Efficiency – Energy efficient lighting and machinery will drastically reduce energy use
- Sustainable Building Materials – Sustainable building materials include terrazzo flooring with recycled glass chips, recycled-content carpet and innovative and efficient use of structural steel.
A Distinctive, Welcoming Airport Environment
SFO offers travelers many amenities that reflect San Francisco's uniqueness and create a welcoming airport environment.
Throughout the terminals, travelers can find an exciting mix of some of the Bay Area's best-loved restaurants — from the European bistro ambiance of Emporio Rulli and Il Fornaio bakery; to the sushi artistry at the renowned Ebisu Restaurant; to the all-American seafood classics at Bradley Ogden’s Yankee Pier — there's something to satisfy every taste bud.
SFO’s retail program is balanced to blend local merchants such as the SFMOMA Museum Store with national favorites like Coach and Brookstone. International fashion on the fly is available through retailers such as Burberry, Gucci, MNG by Mango and Swarovski. And, with a spa, reflection center, and Wi-Fi available throughout the terminals, SFO strives to provide services that make the most of each passenger’s time spent at the Airport.
Art on the Fly
The terminals’ vast, open spaces also are the ideal backdrop for a dazzling array of artworks, which likewise reflect the Bay Area's vitality and ethnic diversity and create a positive first impression for the region.
Through the San Francisco Arts Commission, more than 65 permanent works by noted local, national and international artists are on display in the terminals. In particular, the International Terminal contains 17 permanent, museum-quality works that were commissioned for the site with $10 million in funds raised in accordance with the City and County of San Francisco's public art ordinance. These large-scale, architecturally integrated works, ranging from wall murals to light sculptures, mosaics to terrazzo, create distinct and inventive environmental spaces-within-a-space.
Art lovers also will appreciate SFO’s innovative public art exhibits, produced by the San Francisco Airport Museum (SFO Museum) program, the world's first fully accredited art museum in an airport. With approximately 20 galleries throughout the terminals, SFO Museum displays a rotating schedule of art, history, science and cultural exhibitions. Topics are as varied as the Victorian kitchen to space-age toys. www.flysfo.com/museum
In addition, the International Terminal houses the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum. Tucked in one corner of the Main Hall, and with virtually the same footprint as San Francisco's original 1937 air terminal, this restful spot provides a sanctuary for aviation buffs transiting through SFO or for anyone interested in the history of commercial aviation. Along with changing exhibits of aviation art and artifacts, the museum houses a collection of more than 6,000 volumes and scholarly works regarding the history of air transportation and SFO.
Excellent Airport Access
AirTrain, an automated people mover system, connects SFO's terminals, garages, BART station and Rental Car Center—a five-story rental car facility that provides travelers with one-stop shopping on airport grounds. AirTrain replaced SFO's terminal and rental car center shuttles, reducing roadway traffic by 23 percent. The system, powered by hydroelectricity, also eliminates the emissions previously created by the traditionally fueled shuttle vehicles.
SFO's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station provides a seamless connection between the Airport and downtown San Francisco, the Peninsula and East Bay via rapid rail. Located on the Depatures/Ticketing Level of the International Terminal Main Hall, the station allows passengers to exit the rapid transit system and step directly into SFO. The station also links to an AirTrain stop, providing an easy transfer to SFO's automated people mover system for quick and convenient transportation to all terminals, garages and the Rental Car Center.
Access improvements have also been made for those arriving at the Airport via automobile. Entrance roadways were added to streamline the connection between Highway 101 and SFO. A three-level interchange separates domestic and international passenger traffic before entering the Airport, delivering travelers directly to their terminal. Short-term parkers will find 7,725 parking spaces at the terminal, while those needing to leave their vehicle for a longer stay can select SFO’s Long Term parking facility, which provides 3,100 covered spaces. SFO has also created a free cell phone “waiting” parking lot to eliminate the need to circle the airport when picking up arriving passengers; cars may remain in the lot up to 60 minutes.
For more information on San Francisco International Airport, visit www.flysfo.com.
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San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop links with more than 30 international points on five continents with 29 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with more than 65 cities in the U.S. on 20 domestic airlines. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com.
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