Located 21 kilometres south of downtown San Francisco, SFO International Airport offers flights throughout North America, Europe and Asia. It is the largest airport in the San Francisco Bay Area and the second busiest in California after Los Angeles International Airport serving as the transpacific gateway for United Airlines, as well as the main base for Virgin America.
The San Francisco International Airport houses four terminals, with Terminals 1, 2, and 3 servicing domestic routes and the fourth dedicated to international flights, some of which are connected through airside passages following security screening. Airport lounges for numerous airlines are situated throughout the airport, as well as plenty of shops ranging from news agencies to beauty, fashion and lifestyle stores. Cafes, burger joints and more upmarket restaurants provide dining options for all tastes and budgets, and the SFO Museum presents rotating art exhibitions throughout the terminal buildings. The International Terminal’s main hall is home to the Aviation Museum & Library, whose exhibitions and educational programs are set within a recreated 1930s passenger lobby. There are dedicated Kids’ Spot play areas in Terminals 2 and 3, as well as a Christian Science Reading Room in Terminal 1.
The AirTrain connects the four terminals of the San Francisco International Airport free of charge, as well as the International Terminal garages, the rental car centre and the BART station. From here there are direct services into the city centre and Bay Area, as well as connections to the Caltrain at Millbrae Station for rail services across the state.
Originally named Mills Field Municipal Airport, San Francisco’s first airport was dedicated on a former cow pasture in 1927. Its named was changed to the San Francisco Municipal Airport four years later and then to San Francisco International Airport in 1955, with the first international service from Sydney to San Francisco flying via Auckland, Fiji, Kanton Island and Honolulu in 1946.