San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is an international airport 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown San Francisco, California, near Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It has flights to points throughout North America and is a major gateway to Europe and Asia. SFO is the largest airport in the San Francisco Bay Area and the second busiest in California, after Los Angeles International Airport. In 2013 it was the seventh busiest in the United States and the twenty-first busiest airport in the world by passenger count. It is the fifth largest hub for United Airlines and functions as United's primary transpacific gateway. It is the sole maintenance hub of United Airlines, and houses the Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum.
San Francisco International Airport
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Uber and Lift taking over
Arrived at the International Terminal and arranged for a friend to puck me up at the departure area since it had an easier access from the freeway but it turned that at the traffic at the airport posed a greater problem. While waiting at around 8 pm on August 30 noticed a lot of cars stopping and dropping passengers. At a closer look found out that most of the cars were Uber and Lyft either dropping or picking up rides. It was really overwhelming to watch so much traffic. There were also awaiting cars despite the restriction for waiting at the airport and the related imposed traffic fines. I guess drivers had no problem with waiting congesting the ramp even more so since there was no police that usually controls the area including for waiting cars. I mean, if the airport doesn't take any foreseeable action and probably designate share ride drop-ff and pick-up area at SFO, soon it will become a serious problem. So for ground transportation I gave it 1 star.
Walk the Walk: Walkway to Terminal 1 Closure
Had to catch an early morning flight at Terminal 1 on Southwest airlines. There is direct access to Terminal 1 from the South end of the International terminal that I wanted to use. But just as I got to the walkway that had to take me to Terminal 1 I saw it was closed. Saw no signs posted for that closer at the airport from the BART station platform to the walkway. What a bummer. Guess what? Had to walk the walk of 30 min passing through terminal 3 and 2 to get to 1. SFO could have done a better job informing passengers of walkway closures. Certainly, had I known or seen any posted signs I would have taken the AirTrain to save me the hassle of running for my flight. So this time SFO gets 1 star for Terminal Access.
New United terminal 3 is awsome
The new United Arilines Teminal 3 is just awesome. Modern, spacious, plenty of work stations, seatings, viraety of dining and shopping, and most of all plenty of natural sunlight inside the terminal building. Very impressed by the work done here. SFO is a United AIRLINES hub; it operates out of Teminal 3, but the new terminal serves only gates 60 through 70. Not all gates at the Terminal are located in this newly renovated wing.
Had a brief question at United customer service for having to make a tight conection. The staff attendant was very friendly and helpful. Looking forward to this trip.
Terminal 1 poorly maintained
Traveling via Terminal 1 Southwest Airline gates. Waiting area is pretty dirty in the beginning of the day at 8 am. It seems no one cleaned it during the night. Terminal is rather old with no monitors at gates. Southwest still using outdated message boards.
New Terminal 3 TSA Service
Surprised by the new Terminal 3 wing of United Airline at San Francisco International. Boarded a plane at gate 67 part of the Terminal. The new gate space has plenty of seating and work stations with fee Wifi. Connecting to the WiFi wasn’t an easy job, tough. I was not able to connect not until I have cleaned up my Chrome browser cache, stopped my web browser add blocker, and made multiple attempts. Clearly, the “free” is not ‘free’ as you have to disable all privacy blockers. It seems the SFI wifi network doesn’t like you if you hide yourself too much.
Passing through TSA gates, however, was not a pleasant experience. I mean, I fly frequently via SFO and more often I find TSA personnel to be quite unfriendly and at times even rude. An officer asked me to push my own bins on the scanner roller belt when there were so many people and clearly the TSA officer could have given a little more attention in helping me out with the bins while I was waiting yet at another line to be screened. After I replied to the TSA officer that it seems the bins are pushed by every new bin on the roller belt the same way I pushed those in front of me, the officer took my bins and literally dropped them on the floor asking me not to go, pick them up myself, and push then onto the roller belt. I mean, what king of customer service and behavior is that?
Note that United imposes segregation at security check points at SFO based on passenger loyalty program status with the airline. Also, at United SFO terminal 3 TSA check points are always busy so give yourself an extra time before flying, and especially in the mornings.