Old Dec 6, 15, 10:23 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Zorak
Official SFO terminal map
Check the official SFO airlines listing to see which concourse your airline generally arrives/departs from.

Gate numbers at SFO now include both the concourse letter and the gate number, starting over at 1 for each concourse. Prior to Oct 16, 2019 gates were simply numbered 1-102 starting from 1 in the A concourse through 102 in the G concourse.



SFO has 2 main airside zones:

1. International Terminal A, Gates A1-A15 and Terminal 1 (Harvey Milk), Concourse B, Gates B1-B27

[Note that there is a short airside corridor between the A and B Concourses. You can enter security from A and go to B gates, and vice versa. The AirTrain station at Terminal 1-B is temporarily closed as of 9-22-21.]

Airside Lounges in International-A:
  • Cathay Pacific (near A1) - TEMPORARILY CLOSED AS OF 9/22/21
  • Japan Airlines Sakura (near A1)
  • Emirates (between A2-6) TEMPORARILY CLOSED AS OF 9/22/21
  • Air France/KLM (near A1) - also accessible to Priority Pass holders departing International Terminal A (access may be restricted at certain hours)
  • British Airways (between A5-9) (FT Thread) - includes a First Class section inside
  • China Airlines (near A1) (recent TR w/photo link)
  • Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Lounge (near A1) TEMPORARILY CLOSED AS OF 9/22/21
  • Virgin Atlantic Club House (near A1) - also accesible to AMEX Platinum/Centurion cardholders
Airside Lounges in Terminal 1-B (Harvey Milk):
  • American Airlines Admirals Club (near B13)
[CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Both the airside and landside corridors between International-A and Terminal 1-B (Harvey Milk) are now open. It's about a five-minute walk between terminals.] Closure info from flysfo.com


2. Terminal 2, Concourses C and D, Terminal 3, Concourses E and F and International Terminal G, Gates C2-C11, D1-D18, E1-E13, F1-F22, and G1-G14
(as of November 1, 2019 gate C1 is planned for some point in the future)

[Note that there are short airside corridors between the C and D Concourses, the D and E Concourses, and the F and G Concourses. You can enter security from C, D, E, F, or G Concourses and go to gates in any of this group of Concourses.]

Airside Lounges:
Landside SkyTerrace open Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon 10a-6p: (FlySFO) (FT Thread)

Priority Pass eligible restaurants. [Note that PP card issued via American Express Platinum does not include "restaurant lounges"]: There is an outdoor viewing deck (post-security) in terminal G open daily 7a-11:30p: (FlySFO) (FT Thread)

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.

The landside connector between B and C is currently closed due to construction. To go between these two terminals you either need to go upstairs and take the AirTrain, or go down into the parking garage where you can walk freely (on well-marked pedestrian crosswalks) between terminals as well.

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. AirTrain now has a stop at the long term parking lot. There is one on-airport hotel, a Grand Hyatt, accessible via the AirTrain. 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 and makfan will walk from BART to all terminals as well.

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 an 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 $9.65.

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 Terminal G is the SFO Museum

Renovation of Boarding Area C will include a connector to T1-B and is expected to be completed by 2024, following which the entire airport will be connected airside (however going from A to G would require passing through B, C, D, E and F).

AirTrain Map:


As the map shows, Red Line runs clockwise; Blue Line runs counterclockwise. The mistake to avoid is getting on the Blue Line and heading off to the rental car center and long term parking lot when you were only trying to go from one terminal to another (e.g., don't take Blue when you want to go from International-G to Terminal 1). CAUTION: recently when arriving in the late evening, the red line has been closed, and only the blue line is operating but in the opposite direction from the arrows show. Keep an eye out for "sandwich board" signs on the platform, and pay attention to the overhead video screens by the boarding doors for accurate real-time directional info.







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Connecting in SFO

Old Dec 6, 15, 10:20 am
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Connecting in SFO

Placeholder while I fill out a wikipost
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Old Dec 6, 15, 3:12 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 3:39 pm
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Old Dec 6, 15, 3:53 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, 9:36 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, 10:15 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, 10:51 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, 11:04 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, 11:22 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 9, 15, 12:07 am
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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, 4:13 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, 10:35 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, 11:47 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, 1:40 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 23, 16, 12:34 am
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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, 7:48 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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