A long layover at San Francisco Airport will give you a chance to enjoy a relaxing massage before your flight, catch up on email – and explore the many art exhibits located in each of the terminals. We all know that sitting in an airport is not one of the most enjoyable parts of traveling, but this airport has gone to great lengths to make it fun.
Shops, Dining And Activities
San Francisco Airport has plenty on offer if you’ve got some time before your next flight.
For retail, you will find accessories and fashion, gifts and souvenirs, health and beauty, news agents and bookstores, duty-free, electronics, travel accessories and convenience stores. You’ll also discover lots of candy and chocolate stores, wine and other local delicacies.
For dining, there are cafes, pubs and bars, Mexican, Asian, Italian, Greek, healthy eating, surf and turf, coffee outlets, and the usual assortments of fast food eateries.
If you have enough time, take a little relaxation at Xpress Spa. Not only can you find massages galore, but manicures, pedicures, facials and waxes. For those with less time you can visit Freshen Up, where you can take a shower before your next flight.
Terminal 2 features the world’s first airport Yoga Room for contemplation and relaxation before boarding your flight.
Or head over to the InMotion Entertainment store – you can rent DVDs and hand-held players, gaming devices, and music. What better way to spend some pre-flight time than with your favorite movie?
For more visually enticing delights, you can visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMMA) store and discover locally made art, jewelry, books and more. In addition, the San Francisco Museum and the SFMMA offer many exhibitions located throughout all of the terminals.
Take a wander and you’ll find exhibitions offering insights into air flight history, resident artists, cultural displays and more. Permanent collections are complemented by many rotating and temporary exhibits. And if that isn’t enough, you will also find the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Museum with displays on the development of commercial aviation in the International Terminal.If you head over to Terminal 1, you can enjoy the Museum’s aquariums. They house creatures and marine life from the rainforests on the American continents and a coral reef in the Philippines.
And lastly, for those with more than 4 hours to spare, you can take the AirTrain and connect to the San Francisco public transport train system. From there it’s a short ride to many of the city’s hot restaurants and iconic sites.
For locations of stores and other places mentioned, refer to the maps on the San Francisco Airport website.
There are several lounges for your comfort: Air New Zealand is partnered with EVA Air. You will find the lounge on the second floor near Gate 92A. United Airlines has a First Lounge between Gates 96 and 98.
For these lounges you will need to be a member of the airline’s club or flying Business class. Visitors to the lounges enjoy complimentary refreshments, magazines and newspapers, computer access and WiFi, showers and bathroom facilities.
If you’ve lost something, contact your airline (for any items lost in transit) by calling: Air New Zealand, on 800 262 1234; United Airlines domestic on 800 864 8331 and United Airlines international on 800 538 2929.
For anything lost on the AirTrain or within the terminals, contact the airport lost and found directly at the office in Terminal 1, or call 650 821 7014, or email [email protected] The office is open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays. Items lost at a security checkpoint will need to be reported to Covenant Security by calling 650 821 8587 or emailing [email protected]
Visitors to San Francisco Airport will bathrooms in all the terminals. Showers are not available to any passengers, although you will find paid shower services at the Freshen Up store on the first floor of Terminal 4, as well as the Xpress Spa in Boarding Area G. See the locations listed below for more information.
For emergency medical services call 911, or for non-emergencies call 650 821 7111. The airport medical clinic is open from 8.30am to 5pm on weekdays and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. It provides various non-emergency services as well as urgent attention for more serious issues. You can contact the clinic at 650 821 5600. There are also defibrillator stations throughout the terminals, along with water-refill stations for your drinking needs. There is no dedicated pharmacy in the airport.
San Francisco Airport offers Travelex currency exchange stores. The stores sell Travelex credit cards, travelers checks, money transfers, phone cards and exchanges of cash. You may wish to order Travelex currencies online instead, which saves you from paying the commission fee and locks in the exchange rate. In addition, you can pick up your currency at the Travelex when you arrive at the San Francisco Airport.
ATMs are also located throughout the airport. See below for locations of both ATMs and Travelex stores.
TripTel stores offer pay-per-use business services, including internet, fax and phone. Alternatively, the San Francisco Airport offers a free wireless internet service.There are also kiosks that offer free power so you can charge your computers and mobile devices while you surf. Rapid-charging outlets are available for a fee – but they do charge your device twice as fast.
Free internet service can be found in the Premium Lounges as well.
To use wireless internet:
- Select ‘SFO-WiFi’ from your network options and click connect;
- Open your web browser and follow the instructions.
Locations of hotspots and kiosks are given below.
Rest Areas And Hotels
The airport is open 24 hours a day and there are places you can rest, although limited in comfort. You may wish to walk the terminals – it only takes about 25 minutes to do a loop – until you find a suitable area. Different terminals have different seats, and Terminal 1 seems to offer the most comfortable ones.
Although it does get quiet at midnight after the last flight, you may wish to avoid the nightly cleaners and obtain a hotel room for long layovers. For more information about local hotels visit the airport’s website.
Smoking at the airport is allowed, but only in designated areas outside each terminal entrance. No smoking is allowed inside the airport. Locations are listed below.
Locations Within The Airport
- Airport information desks are located in Terminal 4 in the check-in area on the first floor, as well as in the arrivals hall on the ground floor.
- Lost and found offices are in the Terminal 1 building, on the ground floor near Baggage Claim.
- The medical clinic is located in Terminal 4 on the first floor on the left of check-in (as you enter the building).
- No dedicated pharmacy is in the airport.
- AirTrain stations can be found at either side of check-in on the first floor of Terminal 4; and outside each of the other terminals.
- Bathrooms are located in check-in area on the first floor of Terminal 4, and outside several Gates. No bathrooms are in the arrivals hall on the ground floor. Freshen Up’s showers can be found near check-in on the first floor of Terminal 4.
- ATMs located in Terminal 4 are to the right of check-in (as you enter the building) on the first floor and outside Gates A3, A7, and G91. There are no ATMs on the ground floor in the arrivals hall.
- Travelex located in Terminal 4 throughout check-in on the first floor, as well as at Gates A4, A8, G91, and G93. There are three in the arrivals hall on the ground floor.
- Wireless and charging stations can be found throughout the airport. The computer kiosk at Triptel is located on the ground floor of Terminal 4, in the arrivals hall.
- Telephones can be found throughout the airport.
- Smoking areas can be found outside the airport: look for the signage in front of the entrance doors.
San Francisco Airport’s website has interactive maps for you to use online and to print out, with all of the locations mentioned above marked clearly.