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San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

San Francisco International Airport is a major airport located a short distance outside of downtown San Francisco in San Mateo County. The airport serves many flights to Asia and Europe and is the second busiest airport in California, the tenth busiest in the U.S. and the twentieth busiest in the world.

SFO is a major hub (and maintenance hub) for United Airlines and is the base for Virgin Airlines. The airport is owned by the County and City of San Francisco.


The airport opened in 1957 on 150 acres of cow pasture. It was named Mills Field Municipal Airfield, after the land's owner; in 1955, the word municipal was replaced with the word international.

In 1954 the airport opened a Central Passenger Terminal, which was later re-built into present-day Terminal 2. Jet flights at San Francisco International Airport began in 1959, the same year one of the first jetway bridges in the U.S. was installed.

Services and Amenities

*Financial Services - The airport has ATMs throughout the terminals, and currency exchange service is available.
* Internet Services - Complimentary Wi-Fi is provided in all terminals at San Francisco International Airport. The official network name is "sfo free wifi".
* Food Services - There are a variety of food and beverage options available including fast casual dining options, sit down restaurants, bars, coffee shops, delis, cafes and breweries. There's also a cocktail bar, espresso bar and several bakeries. You can find just about any cuisine at SFO - from Mexican to Greek to Japanese to Italian.
* Retail Services - There are a handful of shops in the airport that sell souvenirs, books, snacks and sundries. There is also a robust duty-free shopping area that includes luxury retailers like Burberry and Gucci. There are also local favorites like the Ghirardelli's Chocolate Store and the SFMOMA store, which stocks gifts from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
* Transportation - The airport provides 24/7 people mover services with easy access to terminals, parking garages and the rental car counter.
* Other - San Francisco International Airport has plenty of amenities to help the tired traveler de-stress after a long day. Manicures, massages, facials, showers, spas, and a meditation room are all available, as are DVD player and movie rentals. There's also a full-service travel agency on-site, but the airport itself serves as a place where there's much to see-and-do. There is the Louis A. Turpen Museum, an aquarium exhibit and the SF Airport Commission Aviation Library that provide enjoyment for the whole family.


There are a variety of parking options available at San Francisco International Airport. Short term and long terms lots are available, as well as a cell phone waiting area.

Surrounding Areas and Attractions

San Francisco is a city packed with things to do and see and a melting pot of culture and history. Fisherman's Wharf provides a look into the Italian immigrant lifestyle during the gold rush, where you can enjoy some of the best clam chowder. Other must-see spots in the City include the Golden Gate Park and Bridge, Alcatraz, Union Street, Chinatown and the Mission District. Hop a trolley for a truly authentic Bay area experience, or rent a bike to ride up and down some of the City's winding streets and explore on your own. And be sure to stop by Ghirardelli's to indulge in an over-the-top ice cream sundae.

Contact Information:
Address: PO Box 8097, San Francisco, CA 94128-8097
Phone number: (800) 435-9736 or (650) 821-8211
Fax: 650 821 4004
Number of Terminals: 4
Time Zone: GMT - 8 (GMT - 7 from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October)

Location: The airport is located 22km (14 miles) south of San Francisco
IATA Airport code: SFO