San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announces the start of the holiday travel season

Airport outlines travel tips, airport amenities, and lighting ceremony open to the public

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 2017-Nov-16 — /Travel PR News/ — the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced the start of the holiday travel season, outlining travel tips, airport amenities, and an event to illuminate the Airport exterior in holiday lighting.  The holiday travel season will begin in earnest on Friday, November 17, 2017, with more than 169,000 forecasted passengers arriving and departing SFO.  In total, 6.7 million travelers are expected at SFO between November 17, 2017 and January 1, 2018.  This represents a 3.6% increase in traffic compared to the same period last year.

“Our business is about bringing people together, and there’s no better time for this than during the holiday season,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero.  “Our goal is to make SFO an enjoyable part of the travel experience, with festive lighting, the SFO Wag Brigade, live music, and holiday-themed amenities for our guests.”

Tips for Travelers

Passengers traveling during the holiday 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.

The TSA is implementing new carry-on baggage screening procedures for electronic devices.  All devices larger than a cellphone, such as laptops, tablets, and e-readers, must be removed and placed a separate bin at the security checkpoint.  For more detailed information and the latest security rules, please visit:

Passengers who pack liquids or gels as carry-on baggage are limited to three (3) ounces or less.  Such items should be packed in a single re-sealable quart-size plastic bag, with one per traveler.

ID requirements at security checkpoints
Effective January 22, 2018, TSA will only accept state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards if they are issued by a REAL ID compliant state or a non-compliant state with an extension.  As always, travelers may use alternate forms of identification such as a passport, military ID, or permanent resident card.  Visit for a complete list of identification documents accepted at TSA checkpoints.

Options to save time at security checkpoints
Travelers have several options which can save time at the security checkpoint process.  The CLEAR product is available at SFO, offering a membership program which provides expedited access to all security checkpoints.  For more information, visit:

The TSA offers the PreCheck program of expedited screening at SFO.  This program can be joined on a membership basis, through a PreCheck enrollment center located in the International Terminal, near the BART station.  For more information, visit:

Save Time During Immigration
Travelers have a variety of options to save time on arriving international flights.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection offers Global Entry, a program offering expedited clearance for pre-approved low-risk travelers upon arrival into the United States.  Approved Global Entry participants are also eligible to participate in TSA Pre-Check.  SFO features a Global Entry enrollment office, located on the arrivals level of the International Terminal.

SFO offers Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks to expedite the customs entry process for international arriving passengers.  The kiosks allow eligible international travelers to submit their customs declaration form and biographic information electronically, thereby reducing the time they spend with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer.  Individuals can complete the process in approximately 90 seconds.

SFO is also featured on Mobile Passport Control (MPC), the first authorized mobile app to expedite a traveler’s arrival into the United States, allowing eligible travelers to bypass a traditional queue by submitting their passport information and customs declaration form to CBP via smartphone and/or tablet prior to arrival to SFO.  Each authorization is valid for four (4) hours.  The app is available to download from the Apple Store and Google Play.  For more information, visit

SFO also recommends travelers to check the expiration date of their passports prior to travel to ensure the document is valid throughout the period of travel.  Some countries require your passport to be valid for a certain length of time beyond your return date.  For more information, visit

Holiday cheer at SFO

Holiday Lighting Event
The illumination of exterior lighting at SFO has been a holiday tradition for over 10 years.  A ceremony, open to media and the public, will be held on Tuesday, December 5th at 5:00pm to turn on the holiday lighting.  The event will be held on the connecting bridge between Garages “A” and “G”.  Pedestrian access is available from Level 3 of Garage “G”.  For a video of the SFO holiday lighting program, please visit:

Wag To The World – Happy Howlidays from the SFO Wag Brigade, Including Lilou the Pig
Look for festive Wag Brigade photo stations throughout the Airport and snap a selfie with one of our Wag Brigade members.  Wag Brigade members dressed in festive sweaters, bells and antlers will patrol the airport, spreading holiday cheer.  Launched four years ago, the SFO Wag Brigade brings trained animals to the terminals to make travel more enjoyable.  The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) certifies all participating animals through their Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) Program.  The team includes LiLou, a three-year-old Juliana breed pig, who has become a social media favorite.  To view profiles of each animal, please visit:

Live Music
SFO will offer live music in the terminals for travelers on December 20, 21 and 22 from 11am – 2pm. For a full schedule of artists and locations, please visit

Getting to SFO Quickly and Conveniently

Facility Closures for Terminal 1 Renovation
The extensive renovation of Terminal 1 is underway.  On both the departure and arrival levels of Terminal 1, the roadway lane closest to the terminal, and curbside area, is closed to accommodate construction activity.  In addition, the connecting walkway between the International Terminal and Terminal 1 is closed.  Passengers will need to use AirTrain to transfer between International Boarding Area A and Terminal 1. For more information, please visit

Transit & Shared Rides
With holiday passenger volumes, SFO recommends that travelers take transit or share rides to the airport.   BART provides direct service from San Francisco and the East Bay, and there are several shuttle services to SFO.  To learn more about transportation options and to plan your trip to SFO, visit  If travelers elect to drive, they should allow extra time for parking, or have someone drop them off.  Travelers are encouraged to check with their airline to confirm their flight.

Parking availability will be tight this Thanksgiving
In anticipation of peak holiday parking demand, SFO strongly advises travelers to take an alternate mode of transportation to and from the airport.  All parking facilities are expected to be at or near capacity during peak holiday periods, so please plan accordingly.  When Long Term Parking reaches capacity, SFO will provide additional parking spaces for customers in the adjacent parking facility, Lot D, at the same daily rate of $25.  The daily maximum parking rate for terminal parking at the International Garages and the Domestic Garage is $36 per day.  Use FasTrak-designated lanes to quickly enter and exit parking garages at SFO.

Kiss-and-Fly; Cell Phone Lot; Short-Term Parking for $2
During periods of peak traffic, SFO encourages people to drop off friends and family at the Kiss-and-Fly curb at the rental car facility, where they can catch the AirTrain and be at the airport in minutes.  SFO also offers a free cell-phone parking lot, located adjacent to the Long Term Parking surface lot just five minutes north of the terminals.  Avoid the curbside by using short-term parking.  The charge is $2 per 15 minutes in the hourly terminal garages. The fee is waived if using the garage for 10 minutes or less.  For more information, visit

Mobile Car-Washing Service Available in Airport Parking Lots
Parking lots at SFO feature an innovative mobile car-washing service, which allows customers to park in any of the Airport’s parking lots, keep their keys, and return to a freshly-cleaned vehicle.  Customers can visit to schedule the service.  Washing is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  All reservations must be made at least one day in advance.  Prices start at $24.95 for a standard passenger vehicle.

About San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 49 international cities on 41 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with 83 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines.  SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising.  For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit Follow us on and

SOURCE: San Francisco International Airport

CONTACT:  Doug Yakel
Public Information Officer
External Affairs Office
San Francisco International Airport