Connecting in SFO

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Old Jun 30, 19, 9:41 am   -   Wikipost
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Wiki Link
Official SFO terminal map
Check the official SFO airlines listing to see which concourse your airline generally arrives/departs from.

SFO has 4 main airside zones:

1. International Terminal, Concourse A, Gates A1-A12
Airside Lounges:
  • Cathay Pacific - also accessible to Alaska Board Room members (FT Thread) (but alas, flying in F on Alaska does not by itself give you access).
  • Japan Airlines Sakura
  • Emirates
  • Air France/KLM - also accessible to Priority Pass holders departing Concourse A (access may be restricted at certain hours)
  • British Airways (FT Thread)- includes a First Class section inside
  • China Airlines (recent TR w/photo link)
  • Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Lounge
Landside Lounge:
[CONSTRUCTION: Note that the landside walkway between International-A and Terminal 1 will be closed for a long time (years -- [URL="https://www.flysfo.com/about-sfo/airport-development/t1"]current SFO construction page lists the current closures will continue through October 2018, with phased closures through project completion in 2024) during the renovation of Terminal 1. The only options are AirTrain (level 3) or walking all the way around through T2, T3 and International-G (~15-20 minute walk). Take the Blue Line from Int.-A to T1 and Red Line from T1 to Int.-A. Either way, you get off at the next stop.]

Closure info from flysfo.com

2. Terminal 1, Concourse B, Gates 20-39
It's worth emphasizing that T1B (currently Southwest and Frontier) is not connected airside to T1C (Delta) or any other concourse.
3. Terminal 1, Concourse C and Terminal 2, Concourse D, Gates 40-59
Airside Lounges:
4. Terminal 3, Concourses E and F, and International Terminal, Concourse G, Gates 60-90 and G91-G102
Airside Lounges: Priority Pass eligible restaurants (T3 airside): Landside lounge:
It's possible to walk between gates in a single zone, but going from one zone to another requires clearing security. Several FTers have reported resistance from BP checkers and TSA agents when you try to enter a concourse that is not connected airside to your departure gate. They are mistaken; you can use a same day boarding pass departing SFO at any of the security checkpoints. Press the issue (politely), and you'll get in.

If you're arriving from an international destination, unless it's one of the pre-clearance airports, you'll have to clear Customs and Immigration at SFO and then need a departing boarding pass to clear security. SFO has the typical baggage re-check counters right after Customs for connecting passengers. They are usually open, but if closed, you'll need to lug your luggage to the regular domestic check-in counter of your connecting airline.

There's an AirTrain that runs between terminals (including the two parking garages connected to either side of the International Terminal) and the rental car center. Getting to the long term parking lot or lot D requires taking a shuttle bus. There are currently no on-airport hotels, although that's expected to change by mid-2019. Personally, if forum regulars rob_flies_ua and dhuey need to connect between secure zones with only carry-ons, they just walk between terminals instead of waiting for the train. Returnoftheyeti will walk from BART to all terminals as well. [However, see above regarding Airtrain as the only way to get between International-A and Terminal 1 during the T1 redevelopment, which will take years.]

BART is the local regional commuter rail. The BART station is located on the north side of the airport, adjacent to International Terminal G. You can exit the paid area in two locations. One is by going up and escalator in the middle of the station and then connecting to the air train. You can also walk to the end of the station. Upon exiting you will be in the International terminal, near the chapel. A one-way ticket from SFO to downtown is $8.65 .

For things to do on your layover in SFO, check out http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/san-f...d-threads.html
Outside of the secure zone, but adjacent to International Termal G is the SFO Museum

According to the T1 redevelopment page, plans include "convenient new post-security corridors connecting to the International Terminal A gates and Boarding Area C" from T1-B. If someone has a link to that timeline and wanted to add it here, that would be awesome.

A Feb 2011 Planning presentation by WTS International suggests the I-A to T1 connector is in Phase 6 of the planning. We are currently in Phase 3 (Demolition and building of new T1B).

http://www.wtsinternational.org/asse...022311_SFO.pdf

March 2015 City government presentation suggests Phase 3 will continue to 2019-2020, and the final connector to International will be after 2020 (slides 9-10).

http://sfgov.org/arts/sites/sfgov.or...ion_031615.pdf
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Old Dec 6, 15, 9:20 am
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Connecting in SFO

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Old Dec 6, 15, 2:12 pm
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Thank you, rob_flies_ua! I think this will be very useful for our fellow FTers.

ETA: I hope you agree with my wiki additions.

BTW, for the Air France lounge, don't Priority Pass holders have access without regard to their departure concourse?

Last edited by dhuey; Dec 6, 15 at 2:39 pm
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Old Dec 6, 15, 2:53 pm
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Lounge hopping

Keep in mind that if you're flying internationally in a premium cabin, you probably have access to more than one lounge. For example, if you're flying in Business on United or Singapore, you have access to both the United Club and the Singapore lounge in International-G. I like the food/drink options better in the Singapore lounge, but I think the United Club lounge in I-G is a more spacious and relaxing place. No need to choose: enjoy both!

I haven't done this in International-A, but I would imagine there is also access to multiple lounges with Sky Team and One World lounges.
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Old Dec 6, 15, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Thank you, rob_flies_ua! I think this will be very useful for our fellow FTers.

ETA: I hope you agree with my wiki additions.

BTW, for the Air France lounge, don't Priority Pass holders have access without regard to their departure concourse?
The Priority Pass page for the AF lounge at SFO states:
Flights departing from Concourse A only - Access may be restricted due to space constraints
...whether the AF folks actually enforce that is another question.
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Old Dec 7, 15, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by rob_flies_ua View Post
The Priority Pass page for the AF lounge at SFO states:
...whether the AF folks actually enforce that is another question.
I'm surprised. I'm not sure if that AF lounge is the same as when I was in it several years, ago. If so, it's not worth visiting if you're flying out of a different concourse. IIRC, it's small. Maybe AF was worried about being the only lounge that accepts PP at SFO.
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Old Dec 7, 15, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
I'm surprised. I'm not sure if that AF lounge is the same as when I was in it several years, ago. If so, it's not worth visiting if you're flying out of a different concourse. IIRC, it's small. Maybe AF was worried about being the only lounge that accepts PP at SFO.
The AF lounge moved to old A DL lounge (downstairs, when entering the hall with the lounges).
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Old Dec 8, 15, 10:04 pm
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I cannot imagine ever wanting to take the inter-terminal train unless I just wanted to take the train. I cannot imagine that it would save time, or save "off your feet" time from just walking.

Since the airport is essentially a loop, I don't think it takes more than a 10 minute brisk landside walk to go halfway around the loop.

Especially when there were landside lounges I could access from time to time (i.e., CO, DL) (but not necessarily one in my departure pier), I frequently darted around the loop.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 10:22 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post

I haven't done this in International-A, but I would imagine there is also access to multiple lounges with Sky Team and One World lounges.
Oneworld - I like the CX Lounge -really nice staff. Better food options prior to CX flights. More slim pickins during off hours. Nevertheless, a really pleasant space with a respectable wine selection. The BA lounge is a decent space (I've never flown BA from there) but the F&B selection is subpar, although there are an abundance of packaged snacks. (Ironically, when CX used to share the lounge, they had some special Chinese items out for that flight.) There's also a small F room. I've been in there - it isn't anything special. The wine and spirits selection is a bit better (i.e., JW Black instead of Red). I don't know if they put "luxury items" out for BA F pax before their own flights. If you fly BA or are flying an OW airline that is using the gates on either side of the lounge, odds are great that you'll board directly from the lounge.

Skyteam - I haven't been in the new AF lounge since it was the old DL lounge. CI - Really a subpar lounge (with very limited hours). The F&B selection is in need of help. Serious help. So are the plastic cups and paper plates for your subpar F&B.
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Old Dec 8, 15, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
I cannot imagine ever wanting to take the inter-terminal train unless I just wanted to take the train. I cannot imagine that it would save time, or save "off your feet" time from just walking.

Since the airport is essentially a loop, I don't think it takes more than a 10 minute brisk landside walk to go halfway around the loop.
I mostly agree with you, my main exception being if I'm going from BART <-> Terminal 1 with a rollaboard.

Certainly, for anyone w/o health issues etc. I'd walk between adjacent terminals over taking the train.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
I mostly agree with you, my main exception being if I'm going from BART <-> Terminal 1 with a rollaboard.

Certainly, for anyone w/o health issues etc. I'd walk between adjacent terminals over taking the train.
I generally use the AirTrain to get between BART and any of the domestic terminals. Otherwise I walk.
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Old Jan 12, 16, 9:35 am
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Hi,

If I am posting to the wrong area and should create a new thread, apologies.

I am flying from Dublin Ireland, to Salt Lake City with Aer Lingus. I have a connection into SFO, of 2 hours 12 mins before taking a United flight to SLC. (it has an Aer Lingus flight number, just is operated by United).

My question is, is 2 hours 12 mins fine for a connection time, or is it too short? Note, Dublin has pre-clearance for entering the US, so my understanding is this should be treated as a Domestic flight, but that said SFO website seems to say Aer Lingus lands in the International Terminal G.

I've never flown long haul to the US before, so am not familiar with connections, and if I have to go through Security etc. for my connecting flight, or if I can just walk to it easily since I've been pre-cleared in Dublin.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 12, 16, 10:47 am
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Welcome to FT, NeoRaven! Your layover of 2:12 at SFO is plenty of time for your connection, especially considering that you will not be going through Immigration and Customs. You will arrive at International-G, but you will exit the plane in the main departures area, just as though you were coming in on a domestic flight (a few USA airlines operate their domestic flights in the International Terminal).

Making things even easier for you is that there is an airside bridge between International-G and Terminal 3. As you face the security exit (don't go out!), look to your left and you'll see the sign for Terminal 3. You will not need to go through security. (I'm assuming that if you have any checked bags, you can check them through to SLC in Dublin; if not, you'll need to get your bags at the carousel, re-check them and go through security at T3.)

Safe travels.
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Old Jan 12, 16, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Welcome to FT, NeoRaven! Your layover of 2:12 at SFO is plenty of time for your connection, especially considering that you will not be going through Immigration and Customs. You will arrive at International-G, but you will exit the plane in the main departures area, just as though you were coming in on a domestic flight (a few USA airlines operate their domestic flights in the International Terminal).

Making things even easier for you is that there is an airside bridge between International-G and Terminal 3. As you face the security exit (don't go out!), look to your left and you'll see the sign for Terminal 3. You will not need to go through security. (I'm assuming that if you have any checked bags, you can check them through to SLC in Dublin; if not, you'll need to get your bags at the carousel, re-check them and go through security at T3.)

Safe travels.

Thanks! That sounds good then, I've not booked the flights yet just wanted to make sure 2 hours was ok in case of some delay or long queues with customs, but yeh I should be pre-cleared so good to know I can walk on through. My checked luggage should carry through too since its all booked through Aer Lingus, I will confirm that tho. Thanks!
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Old May 22, 16, 11:34 pm
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Is a 2 hour connection enough time to go from the international terminal at sfo to terminal 2 AA if I have global entry (arriving on QF flight), no checked bags, and tsa pre? Is quickest way to go between terminals just to walk?
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Old May 23, 16, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by WiscAZ View Post
Is a 2 hour connection enough time to go from the international terminal at sfo to terminal 2 AA if I have global entry (arriving on QF flight), no checked bags, and tsa pre? Is quickest way to go between terminals just to walk?
yes and yes
it shouldn't be necessary, but just to reduce stress, get your AA boarding pass beforehand (if on same ticket, get QF to print it, if on different ticket, either checkin online or on mobile app)
it doesn't really make a difference, but when heading to T2, exit customs via the connections side and if you have your BP already, you have a choice of clearing security either at T1-concourse C (delta/american - not concourse B which is southwest) and walking post security, or walk landside and clear security at T2. if you don't have your BP, you'll have to walk over to T2 to checkin and then clear security there.
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