San Diego Airport Passenger Reviews and San Diego Airport Traveller Reports
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT customer review : 24 April 2015 by Bill Hawk (USA)|
Rating : 0/10
Avoid Terminal 1 Southwest at all costs. This is the most poorly designed terminal I have ever seen.
Considerable food stands, zero seating. One restroom for 8 gates. Two security lanes, apparently performing on-
the-job training for TSA staff.
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT customer review : 5 January 2015 by Mark Kemper (USA)|
Rating : 8/10
This airport has really stepped up its game in recent times with the upgrade. I have traveled through more than
300 airports and this one ranks as one of the more aesthetically appealing I have seen, at least in the US. I
recall on my first visits in the 90s and early 2000s when the terminal felt very cramped. The hallways were narrow
and people were sitting in the aisles because there was not enough room in the gate area. That has changed
drastically for the better. The airport is what I would call medium-sized and therefore is quite manageable. Upon
our arrival, it was late and the airport was not crowded. We were nonetheless struck by the improvements in
appearance. The walk to the baggage claim was not bad at all. We did have to wait a rather long time for our
luggage and that was probably the biggest negative we experienced. Otherwise, everything was smooth. We found our
way out to the taxi area without too much difficulty though the directions were not as well marked from our end of
the terminal. There were plenty of taxis waiting and we had no problem getting one right away. Our hotel did not
have a shuttle and it was about $18 with tip to get to the Hyatt about 3 miles away. There is a lack of
transportation options. It would be nice if they extended a light rail line to the airport or provided some
alternate means of public transport. With our departure, the check-in area functioned smoothly and the security
lines were fairly well managed making the wait times pretty reasonable. The facilities in the airport were quite
nice. I waited with my daughter for her flight back home and there was plenty of space to sit and relax for the
short time before the flight was called. In the Delta Sky Lounge the facilities there were superb. The atmosphere
was relaxing and presented a great place to wait for boarding. I did not take advantage of the shops and eating
options in the airport, while they seemed to be a bit limited, the were nice. Overall, I was quite impressed with
this airport. The size makes it very usable. Getting to the airport and getting away are processes that are
manageable. While the facilities might not be as packed with commercial options and eateries as some larger
airports, it is a small price to pay. The thing that cannot be underestimated is the general atmosphere that
simply allows this place to become a very pleasant part of the travel experience and not a necessary evil.
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT customer review : 2 September 2014 by James Harthworth (UK)|
Rating : 10/10
Took a flight from London to San Diego. The airport is wonderful, very clean and modern and the views of palm
trees, the bay and skyline from the moment one steps off of the plane (new T2) is a real treat. The immigration
and customs area was smaller than expected but I hear they are working on expanding this as part of the general
airport expansion plans. Staff is courteous, efficient and friendly. The airport is conveniently located minutes
from downtown and probably has one of the nicest physical locations of an international airport I've visited - it
is surrounded by water and is right across (literally walking distance) from the bay with its resort hotels,
manicured promenades and huge marinas filled with pleasure boats.
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT customer review : 8 April 2014 by H Castle (USA)|
Rating : 10/10
Recently traveled through San Diego Lindbergh Field and the newly renovated and expanded Terminal 2 West. In
addition to the added gates, the new restaurants, bars and Sunset Cove area deserve special mention. The new
security area was large and easy to traverse with almost no waiting. There's a new, elevated departures drop off
zone which is very convenient. Improvements to Terminal 1 are being designed. Short of a new airport, they've
done a nice job.
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT customer review : 14 November 2012 by R Adey (UK)|
Rating : 3/10
Apparently upgraded recently to international airport and just not up to it. Facilities poor but not as poor as
quality and competence of check in and gate staff who appear to be let down by their systems. Not a great
advert for what San Diegans call the 'Greatest City in the USA'. If we went back there would seriously
consider flying into LAX and driving down.
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT customer review : 6 June 2012 by S Wyatt (USA)|
Rating : 5/10
Security was quick and the walk to the gate is very short. However, the airport is poorly designed. The gates
are very crowded with little or no seating areas. The gate areas are not designed to handle the capacity of
today's travel capacity. The gate areas are very dirty with trash everywhere. The airport is badly in need of
a redesign and expansion.
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT customer review : 24 November 2011 by Kevin Tunnicliffe (UK)|
Rating : 6/10
Flew into T2 on BA. Terminal very quiet and we were through immigration in about 10 mins after leaving the
plane. Baggage on the carousel within a further 10 mins. Passengers are then made to stand in line and have
their hand and checked bags x-rayed and themselves scanned before being allowed to leave. Big queues by
then as another flight had come in. What a shabby way to treat passengers.
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT customer review : 16 September 2011 by J Powell (USA)
Customer Rating : 4/5
SAN is very easy to get to your plane, whatever time it is. I'm travel through this airport few times a year. The
airport practically has to stop in order for British Airways B772ER to takeoff due to very small taxiways. Never had
any problems with this airport. I agree T1 should be replaced soon.
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT customer review : 28 August 2011 by M Rogers (USA)
Customer Rating : 3/5
Like many airports that have expanded in fits and starts over the years, SAN is broken up between 3 terminals,
terminals one and two, and the commuter terminal for short flights to Los Angeles. Terminal one is a bit older and
cramped, especially if you go in the morning rush, or fly on Southwest. Terminal two is a bit nicer, but currently
undergoing expansion construction until 2013-2014. Parking is via shuttle, and you have several choices between
private and operators associated with the airport. The big plus is that the airport is located 5-10 minutes from
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT review :31 December 2008 : by C Mein
Customer Rating : 2/5
SAN airport is the most poorly designed airport. I live here and have to use that airport weekly,
which gives me the right to say this airport stinks. Terminal 1 is way too small, sometimes so
small that when Southwest has long check in lines you can't determine what is the check-in line
versus the security line. The other thing is how long it takes to get your bags. I have no idea
how places like DFW, JFK, and even O'Hare can have bags on the baggage claim carousels within 15
minutes of getting off of the plane but at SAN it takes an average of 25-30 minutes, minimum - what
the heck are they doing?
SAN DIEGO AIRPORT review :15 August 2008 : by Oliver Braddick
Customer Rating : 3/5
As others have commented, SAN is a comfortably sized airport with a somewhat irritating need to go
up, over a bridge, and down again to get from the baggage carousels to the shuttle buses. However,
a special warning to international travellers. We came in on the new Zoom service from London (8
hrs late, but that's another story). The immigration staff at SAN have clearly not yet learned to
handle the demands of diverse international passengers. We were on J-1 (exchange visitor) visas -
not uncommon you would think for a city with a major international university and numerous high-tech
research institutes. The officers appeared completely unfamiliar with this - we were asked if we
were students (aged 60+!) sent off for secondary questioning, returned, waited while a second
officer sought guidance from superiors on where to stamp the form.., at least 1/2 hour to our wait
time. Another young man coming in on a student visa got similar treatment. I was also struck that
the flight crew, who have a dedicated desk and in my experience usually walk straight through
immigration, were waiting in line up to 40 minutes. Next time we'll return to the madhouse of LAX
where at least they know what they're doing.
San Diego Airport review by N Prestage
3 June 2008 Customer Rating :
Arrived via AA. Terminal easy to negotiate but it would sure be nice if AA would advise its
passengers as to which baggage carousel would be used. Because of SAN weather being pretty much VFR
all the time, flights are pretty much on time, even though there is only one runway. Rental car
shuttle vans are a bit of a walk, but once you're in your car, its a breeze getting into SAN
downtown, or onto I-5 or I-15 freeways. Great for cruise passengers, as you can actually see the
cruise ship (s) right outside baggage. AA has a small Admiral's Club with computer terminals and
printers if needed.
San Diego Airport review by Samir Akhavan
23 April 2008 Customer Rating :
Just travelled through SAN on my way to PHX. Terminal one must have been designed by a fool who has
never been through an airport and has no regard for the needs of passengers. You have to use a sky
bridge to get in and out, and the terminal must still have the same look and design as when
originally opened. Avoid this airport - at least terminal one - at all costs.
San Diego Airport review by Geoff Maguire
4 October 2007 Customer Rating :
SAN is a hogde podge of up and down stairs evolutions. Access and egress with baggage is a pain. It
has only one runway and is frequently affected by weather. The old style tunnel like concourses are
cramped and the airside concessions are wedged in. Security is also wedged in forming narrow
bottlenecks and is subject to frequent delays and back ups The airport authority and the city has
resisted moving the airport for years and relied on a never ending series of short term fixes which
make the facility ever the more dysfunctional. Not a bad connection if your destination is San Diego
downtown but miserable if you are going anywhere else in the region. For one of the nations favorite
tourist destinations and a tech hub to have such a poor airport is really a shame. Free wireless sound
San Diego Airport review by J Marshall
27 September 2007 Customer Rating :
Travelled through SAN in September and contrary to the last post the airport does have Wifi and what's
more it's free! A real bonus. This is a great airport and will be my preferred gateway into Southern
California from now on. I previously used LAX which is dire. SAN is fairly small and clean with a good
selection of shops and eateries. Parking is convenient and I found no problem using the car hire
shuttles. What's more it has the bonus of being right in downtown.
San Diego Airport review by Jeff Pug
10 October 2006 Customer Rating : n/a
I'm at SAN several times a year. My main issues are the fact that you
have to upstairs for departures (a problem with heavy loads of luggage &
the lack of elevators) or to get to any of the parking lots (doesn't
make sense to go down to get luggage only to go back up to get to your
car). Also the shuttle buses to the rental cars are a severe time-
drain. The terminals are small enough that there should only be one
pick-up point per terminal to speed things up (rather than 2 per
terminal). Also for such a technologically advanced city like San Diego,
not having WiFi in the terminals is a major sin.
San Diego Airport review by Joe Osborne
25 February 2005
San Diego airport is a joy to look out the window and convenient only if you arrange for someone to
pick you up. Off airport rental cars are an extreme time sink, and on-airport (Hertz, Avis,
National) not much better. Why someone would design an airport such that you have to go down the
stairs to get your bags on arrival, go back up the stairs and then back down the stairs to cross
over to parking or shuttles is beyond me. Lindberg Field was great until redesigned. If the
airport wishes international traffic, I am not sure why, downtown in the current spagetti
configuration makes no sense. Current proposals include a tunnel to a remote runway across the bay!
Why not just build a proper airport and keep Linberg local. A long runway invites noise and a hub
temptation that will hopefully die with Delta and United.
Diego Airport by Thomas Gomez
Living in San Diego, I constantly use SAN. While Terminal 2, (1998 Expansion) is beautiful and open.
The more cramped Terminal 2 (1978) and Terminal 1(1967) are not a joy to go to. After the demise of
TWA and the move of Continental and Aeromexico, the first part of T1 is all Southwest which could use a face lift, bigger areas, and new lines. At the other end, the virtually empty T1 is
only UAL, US Airways, and Alaska is not to bad. The whole plan should be to make older T1 & T2 just
like the new T2 with better Security, Immigration and more gates. The commuter Terminal is now a
desert and empty, with most regional jets at the gates. The runway had a chance to be expanded but
the city planners, decided to put HOMES! at the end. We could of had an 1,000 to 2,000 feet of
runway, a new terminal possibly, a expansion of the parking (a parking garage maybe), but we just
had to have homes. We lost our only flight to Europe in October 2003, (Yup, BA left taking its
memories of BCAL's 747/DC-10, and the othe DC-10s,744, and 777). But we have flights to Canada and
Mexico, even though Mexico is 20 minutes away, with Tijuana's dirty crowded, yet longer
runway. But the idea to move it to a floating airport in Pacific Beaches, or
a military base of Miramar (since the Desert idea and BrownField (Dual National Mexico/US) are dumb
ideas. We should just stay and renovate and revamp the area and airport.
Diego Airport by T Hutchins
Much like the city of San Diego, the airport is small, comfortable and intimate. I agree with the
previous posts that the sights when arriving are rather unique and breathtaking- the crystal blue
waters of the bay, the sail boats, the city park, urban skyscrapers, deserts, and breaking surf.
The airport is small, which makes it very quick to get in and out of. There is no need (except for
security) to arrive early, you should be in and out in no time.
The airport has two terminals- Terminal 1 is older and houses Southwest. Terminal 2 handles most of
the international flights- there are non stops to London and other global destinations. Terminal 2
is much newer. It is beautiful. San Diego has done a great job with comfy chairs in waiting areas
to dramatic public art. I especially like the sealife fountain in the dome. Dining in terminal 2
includes fabulous choices like Wolfgang Puck and Karl Straus. The old terminal has more limited
options. San Diego is much nicer to fly into than crazy LAX or John Wayne. San Diego is also the
perfect place for a Southern California vacation. I would recommend taking the Amtrak train from
downtown or Solana Beach to Disneyland- the train runs along the beach for most of the ride.
Diego Airport by Iain Mottram
I flew into and out of San Diego in the evening so I didn't see the throngs of people the previous
chap mentioned. The food choices are limited and again, which seems to be a habit at US airports,
were mostly closed at that time of the evening. It's extremely irritating to get to the airport and
hope for a quick bite to eat and find everything closed. Terminal 2 is clean and comfortable but
it's not that clear that you have to go upstairs for check in so navigating isn't that easy.
Diego Airport by David Friedman
As I am at SAN about twice a year, I can tell that SAN is a wonderful airport. It's not too big and
you have all the shops and restaurants, you have at all bibber airports. It has, in my opinion, the
world's nicest approach as you fly almost through Downtown.
By the way, there are some international flights to Mexico, Canada and London.
Diego Airport by M Hartt
Unpleasant airport, too crowded and poorly marked/signed, nowhere near
enough seating areas at gates, poor food choices, etc. It's great that Lindbergh is so close to
downtown, it makes it very convenient, except that getting to the off-site rental car location also
took forever somehow. I think what really did kill it was just that it was incredibly crowded and
it made the airport feel hot and unpleasant.
I think they'll build another airport in SAN sometime sooner or later, there have been numerous
discussions about it, and I think that since they are basically out of land at Lindbergh, they'll
find a way to build an airport out in the hot desert, a challenge because they have to avoid rather
Diego Airport by Christopher McMahon
San Diego Lindbergh Field is a trip to land at. The runway is not long enough for intercontinental
Jumbo jets. On approach (always from the east) the plane flies right next to downtown. Sit on the
left if you want to see the workers in the office buildings up close! Just before landing you fly
over some houses that are way close to the beginning of the runway.
The terminal itself is completely outdated but the location is so convenient to the city that you
never have to spend much time there. I don't think there are any international flights from San
Diego except to Mexico.
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