Home Flying High Airports SFO reaches post-pandemic milestone, expects to set new traffic records this summer

SFO reaches post-pandemic milestone, expects to set new traffic records this summer

San Francisco International Airport / SFO

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) reached a post-pandemic milestone last Thursday and Friday, exceeding 70,000 departing passengers per day through its checkpoints for the first time in over three years. Having cleared this threshold, SFO is looking forward to a busy summer travel season, forecasting the highest levels of passenger traffic since the pandemic began. The summer travel season will begin in earnest on Friday, May 26, 2023, with approximately 140,000 forecasted passengers traveling through SFO.  In total, 14.9 million travellers are expected at SFO between Memorial Day and Labor Day, which represents about 85 per cent of summer travel levels in 2019.

Passengers traveling during the summer season are strongly encouraged to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure for domestic flights and 3 hours prior to departure for international flights.

Parking garages expected to be full – book in advance

SFO expects parking garages to be at or near capacity during the summer travel season. SFO recommends that travellers take public transit or share rides to the airport.  For parking, the airport recommends travellers book parking early using SFO’s online booking system, which allows users to choose their parking dates and times and enter payment information to complete a booking in advance.

New airlines, new destinations for summer

For the 2023 summer travel season, SFO offers new international airlines and destinations, including ITA and United Airlines to Rome, Norse Atlantic to London, and ZIPAIR to Tokyo. Airlines resuming service at SFO this summer include Iberia to Madrid, LEVEL to Barcelona, Qantas to Sydney, and Condor to Frankfurt.

Domestic travellers also have more choices than ever before, with low-cost airline Breeze Airways launching nonstop service to Cincinnati and new nonstop service on United Airlines to New Orleans.

AirTrain station at Harvey Milk Terminal 1 has reopened

Taking the AirTrain people mover to Harvey Milk Terminal 1 is easier than ever, thanks to the reopening of the station serving SFO’s newest terminal, which had been closed since July 2021 for construction.

Favorite amenities at SFO this summer

The Wag Brigade, SFO’s team of certified stress-relief animals, including 28-lb Flemish Giant Rabbit, Alex the Great, will be on duty this summer.

SFO’s world-famous Yoga Rooms are open in two post-security locations, in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. Both facilities are open during passenger hours for free, self-guided use. Common-use yoga mats are available for free use in the rooms and are disinfected regularly.

SFO’s SkyTerrace outdoor observation deck is open on select days, located pre-security in Terminal 2. No ticket or boarding pass is required to access the SkyTerrace, but visitors will undergo a security check as they enter the space. Visitors may bring food and beverages to the area, but smoking is not permitted.

Travellers can also enjoy the Aviation Museum and Library, and the SFO Museum Video Arts room, located pre-security in the International Terminal, which offers a free rotating selection of short films from artists worldwide, each of which can be viewed in 4-5 minutes.