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.
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Uber and Lyft jamming departure terminal at peak times
I was traveling on United airlines out of terminal 3 on an early flight. I asked a friend of mine to give me a ride to airport as I having heavy luggage and did not feel like taking BART (the local metro line going to SFO). But after all I regretted it. To get to SFO from San Francisco you have to take 101-South. The freeway had moderate traffic around 7 am. Remember 101 is always busy so plan ahead of time. As we were driving to the airport's departure Terminal 3 the traffic was so heavy it was to the point of stand still almost all the time. So i spent 15 drive to the airport and another 15 stuck in traffic just at the airport. But see this, you get lucky of there is a spot where to droop off. At end I made, of course, but noticed that almost every car was a Uber or Lyft. No surprise the traffic jam. Shouldn't the airport step it up and not allow car sharing at the Terminal curb sides as at Phoenix Intl. or Las Vegas airports? It certainly should. Car sharing have to have a designated drop off and pick up location.
Step up your Security check points game
Every time I go to SFO one thing stands out. The lines at the TSA check-points. The long lines always make you feel you gonna loose your flight if you don't come at least 2 hours in advance at the airport. But the most TSA frustrating situation is when 2 check points lines merge into one to one to go through the body scanner. That's where you get slowed down. You see your luggage on the other side of the belt but you still have not gone through the scanner. Can't we just have a separate body scanner for every line? Apparently not. It is especially notable and slowing things down in the mornings at United airlines Terminal 3 were many east coast flight are taking place and the passenger load is increased.
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.