Airport Hotel Service

San Francisco International Airport Information

Located 13 miles south of downtown in what was once a cow pasture, San Francisco International Airport has grown into one of the world's busiest airports, ranking 20th in the world in 2009. It handled almost 40 million passengers in 2011.

The airport opened in 1927 when it was known as Mills Field. A couple of name changes later, it became San Francisco International Airport in 1955. It is known as a "gateway to the Pacific," as it is one of a handful of West Coast airports where passengers can fly non-stop to Asia. Airlines also fly non-stop to Europe from SFO, its airport code name.

The airport has expanded over the years from a single administration building to an airport with four terminals, including one designated exclusively for international passengers. Terminal 2, originally built in 1954, recently underwent a $383 million renovation, reopening in 2011. The 640,000-square-foot terminal has 14 gates with club-like seating decorated with dozens of pieces by local and international artists. It is the first terminal in the United States to be gold-certified for its sustainability practices.

The airport has the usual amenities travelers have come to expect from a major airport, including one that is especially important for passengers traveling with their dogs. Pet-relief areas, complete with water bowls and trees for dogs as well as plastic gloves for owners, are located near the baggage claim area in terminals 1, 2 and 3. Free Internet access is available in all the terminals.

Concessions at the airport are outstanding, according to the Airports Council International - North America, which ranked the airport tops among all airports in the United States and Canada in November 2012.

Construction began on a new air traffic control tower in 2012, with the boarding area in Terminal 3 to be remodeled in the future. Renovation of Terminal 1 was completed in 1988. The international terminal, which opened in 2000, ranks as the biggest international terminal in the United States and Canada. Due to space limitations, it is built over the main access road to the airport.

All facilities are connected by AirTrain that is free to riders. Shuttle service is provided between the short- and long-term parking garages and terminals.

The airport is owned by the City and County of San Francisco, even though it is located in San Mateo County.

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