San Francisco Airport

Customer Reviews

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Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 139 reviews
4/10
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7/10

"Overall, it's a decent airport"

(United States)

Not Verified | SFO is my home airport. I've flown domestically a couple of times out of it, but with the lack of service on domestic airlines, I really don't like flying on US carriers. Thus, my review is a compilation of experiences on both departures and arrivals at SFO over the last six years. My wife and I travel two to three times a year, mostly to Asia to visit her relatives. Most of the TPAC flights we've taken out of SFO have been late night and the security line experience has been quite quick. SFO doesn't use TSA agents. They were allowed to hire contract employees instead and the difference shows, at least in the international security lines. I believe the longest I've taken in a security line is about 15 minutes, and that was for a rare day flight. So departures are typically pretty good. Arrivals have been a different story. We got into the Global Entry system pretty early in the game, back before credit card offers to reimburse the $100 fee were common. We did it after one particularly heinous arrival in which two 380's and a couple of 777's all landed within minutes of each other, coupled with a computer glitch, caused the lines to simply be ridiculous. If you're familiar with the arrivals layout, you know there's a gate way the heck down at the far end of the arrivals hall. That's where the back of the line was. I believe it was 2.5 hours to get through immigration after all was said and done. But even before that, lines were typically about an hour long, even when fewer than the maximum number of flights land simultaneously. Global Entry changed that for us. The last flight we took arrived back in SFO on December 5th at 6.16pm, according to FlightAware. We were in my brother-in-law's car at 6.45 with our baggage. Lounges at SFO are pretty spartan. We have the Priority Pass, and the only lounge that's available in the entire airport, domestic or international, is on the OneWorld (AA) side of international departures. None are in domestic departures. And the international departure area is separated to such an extent that if you go to the OneWorld side and your flight is departing on the Star Alliance side, you have to back out from the secure area and then pass security on the other side. Not a well thought out design. We've also used the United Lounge, and those are pretty universally grim. Signage is good. The food and beverage on the airside, while a little steep (what airport isn't), was pretty decent. While it's possible to get to and from the airport on public transit, I wouldn't recommend it. BART is a pretty poorly run system and security is not exactly their forte, so I would imagine someone with suitcases would be seen as easy pickings. My one experience with the super shuttle was a Zero Dark Thirty ride one morning from our house about 10 miles away. For my wife and I, it was about $20. Overall, it's a decent airport. It won't compare with the Changi's, Incheon's or even Bangkok airports of the world, but it's serviceable and, sadly, it represents one of the better airports in the country.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitDecember 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"staff totally disrespectful and rude"

(United Kingdom)

Unverified | Arriving into this airport was ridiculous, queues for over an hour, staff totally disrespectful and rude not only to myself but other passengers. Organised chaos, no one had a clue of what they were supposed to be doing and when they did some one else would contradict them! The young lady, I use the word lady very loosely and for the sake of this review, who pulled me to question why I didn't have my papers (another member of staff took my papers before I arrived to a member of staff who was supposed to take the papers) spoke to me like dirt and made myself and another two passengers (who I wasn't travelling with) feel very uncomfortable, very bad attitude, arrogant and curt!
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitNovember 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"the worst transfer experience"

(United States)

Verified Review | This has got to be the worst transfer experience I’ve ever had. I only had a 1hr 45min layover. Make sure you have 2.5 hrs or more. The customs alone took about 45 min. I still had to claim my baggage, recheck them and go through security. I mentioned to security that I was late for my next flight and I was transferring. The guy said they don't expedite passengers (and yet many of the good reviews for their airport says they do?) so that’s a complete lie. He nicely suggested I could ask others if I could cut. Here, sadly, it’s common for people to be asking others to cut at security because they are late for their flights. To be fair, so far no staff were rude, just indifferent. But one young guy near the right side security conveyer belts (right before the scanning machine), when I asked him what should I do, grinned and rudely said "it’s not my problem". I didn’t have time to get his name. I had only 5 minutes to get to gate 90 (yep, the one at the very end) and had to run with all I had. Once I got to my flight 1 min past the boarding time officially ending, the crew was nice enough to still let me on. Seeing me panting, red-faced and sweating, one guy nodded at me and said “you had to run too?”
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitNovember 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"most horrible security lines"

(United States)

Verified Review | The most horrible security lines I have experienced since directly after 911. One security lane was open for hundreds of travelers. People missed flights because the TSA personnel would not allow them to go through the TSA precheck line. I will never fly out of SFO again. Would rather fly out of OAK!
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitNovember 2017
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

!will avoid SFO at all costs"

(Canada)

Unverified | We arrived from Toronto at Terminal G and needed to find the departure gate of our connecting flight to Sydney. In Terminal G there were no signs showing departure gates of flights leaving at other terminals. After asking cleaners and security guards we were told we would have to leave the secure area and re-enter in the other terminal. indications to find Terminal A were hard to find and we were advised to use the train. There is a blue and a red line; the red line was not operating and it was a 20 min ride from Terminal G to Terminal A, then we had to go through security which offered no help for connecting passengers, the plane was fully boarded when we arrived at the gate. We ran around 90 min and swore we will avoid SFO at all costs in the future
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitOctober 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
no
1/10

"Horrible planning at this airport"

(United States)

Verified Review | Horrible planning at this airport. Over the past 10 days I've landed at this airport twice at around 1.00 am and were informed that our gate was occupied, having to wait about 20 min to be given another gate. People at SFO, please do better planning, you should not keep people waiting on the planes constantly due to your poor planning.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitSeptember 2017
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
no
3/10

"There are no signs"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Arrived into T1 and needed to transfer to international. There are no signs. Our flight had been delayed so we had very little time to get from T1 to international. It was terrible. Huge security queues. No one to ask for help. Walking down endless long corridors between terminals with no signs not knowing if we were right or wrong. No way of jumping the security queue even though we would have missed our flight had we not skipped the 300+ people in security queue.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitAugust 2017
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"arrival in international was horrendous"

(United States)

Verified Review | Arrival in international was horrendous. Herded through long lines and a feeling of chaos. I'm a citizen and have never waited so long for a stamp in any of the dozens of countries I've travelled - except now my own thanks to San Francisco. It was an hour in line, with equally exhausted and upset people. I looked over and saw the visitor line was 4x longer, meaning they stood for 2 or more hours for a stamp. Welcome to America? Not cool! After finally getting stamped, I was at baggage claim for an hour and a half. Some people 2 hours to get their bags, again, first time ever for me. 2.5 with no water or toilet as a single traveler you don't want to leave baggage area thinking your bag is coming out - but 1.5 hours later it finally does. I felt so embarrassed that this chaos is the very first impress for visitors and I missed 2 airport busses myself. I have no idea what inefficiency is going on at international arrivals but it's really, really bad.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitJuly 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
10/10

"improved markedly"

(United States)

Verified Review | We flew from Terminal 3, the base for United's domestic operations. Things have improved markedly at San Francisco over the past couple of years. Terminal 3 has been thoroughly modernized and has many state-of-the-art features. United's clubs, at gate 69 and in the satellite concourse, are both among their better clubs. Check-in is well-spaced and efficient. Security, long a problem for Terminal 3, seems to have been configured to move quickly. We were flying at midday and experienced no wait at TSA Pre-check. As an aside, I'm also familiar with SFO's international concourses. They are among the best in the US, with lots of facilities and efficient boarding areas.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMay 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"officials were pleasant"

(Australia)

Customs and immigration with a returning ESTA was reasonably quick using the newish kiosks. All the officials were pleasant which has not always been the case previously. Bags were quickly available and their onward checking efficient. Security check into T3 was also quick and painless. Plenty of places to eat and drink before heading for gate lounge. Lots of seating, easy to read departure boards, clean rest rooms and well organised boarding procedure. No complaints at all.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMay 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
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