San Francisco International Airport looks on to a busy holiday travel season – ET TravelWorld

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The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is all set for a busy holiday travel season, with forecasts of the highest levels of passenger traffic since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 5 million travelers are expected at SFO between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, which constitute about 85% of the 2019 holiday travel season. Passengers traveling 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.

The holiday travel season began in earnest on November 18, with approximately 140,000 forecasted passengers traveling through SFO.

In keeping with the forecast, SFO is expecting parking garages to be at or near capacity during the holiday travel season. It, therefore, issued an advisory that recommends travellers take public transit or share rides to the airport. For parking, the airport recommends travelers book parking early using SFO’s online booking system, which allows users to choose their parking dates and times and enter payment information to complete a booking in advance.

SFO has also launched an experiential series that brings San Francisco’s neighborhoods and cultural events directly to airport guests. The “SFO Celebrates” programme features live performances, music, demonstrations, and arts & crafts, the airport shared.


Weary of coronavirus-related lockdowns, Americans are eager to travel more as the impact of the pandemic eases. However, staffing and aircraft shortages have capped the airline industry’s ability to ramp up capacity, resulting in fewer seats and higher fares for travellers. Thanksgiving Eve on Wednesday tends to be the busiest day for travel. However, the option to work remotely has allowed many Americans to stretch out their trips and avoid the last-day rush.

In terms of value added services, SFO shared that its SkyTerrace outdoor observation deck, located pre-security in Terminal 2, would be open on select days. No ticket or boarding pass is required to access the SkyTerrace, it said, but visitors would have to undergo a security check as they enter the space. Visitors, it said, are allowed to bring food and beverages to the area, but smoking is not permitted at any time. In keeping with the pandemic related precautions, SFO shared that it continues to offer on-site COVID testing and vaccination, including rapid PCR tests. SFO also offers free vaccines at the SFO Medical Clinic, also located in the International Terminal, it said.

Recently, SFO received multiple awards and honorable mentions from Airports Going Green (AGG), the aviation industry’s forum on sustainability led by the Chicago Department of Aviation and co-hosted by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). At the 15th annual forum, SFO won two awards for Outstanding Sustainability Program, Electrification Action Plan for Existing Buildings, Outstanding Infrastructure Development and Harvey Milk Terminal 1, Boarding Area B.

“These awards celebrate the passion and commitment of our entire SFO team and encourage us to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “Thanks to these, our industry can work together to achieve the future of green air travel,” he added.

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