I left more than my heart in San Francisco (SFO). Mainly, my patience.
Honestly, SFO is never my airport of choice to fly into or out of, and there’s one reason for that. The morning fog that chills the air…turns out I DO care, Tony Bennett. I care because I’ve never had a morning flight that was not delayed due to nature’s wet blanket.
But, it’s one of the busiest airports in America as it is a gateway to the East and Europe, so sometimes its inevitable. It’s about 13 miles from Downtown SF, which is basically a year away, approximated for traffic. The exterior reminds me of NY JFK, and the interior is also reminiscent. That’s not a compliment for either airport.
There are 4 terminals and 7 concourses with about 85-90 functioning gates. Terminal 1 (Delta, Frontier, Southwest); Terminal 2 is Virgin and American, Terminal 3 is United, and then there’s international (for some reason Hawaiian and JetBlue are grouped in here) which is another ballgame.
The thing I do appreciate, however, is the dining and shopping options. There’s a real focus on local brands amongst the national chain restaurants, and lots to see in the duty free shopping portals (2 Gucci stores! Most cities don’t have one Gucci store!). There’s a Three Twins Ice Cream, which almost makes up for the delays… almost. Of course, as a huge international hub, there are 17 airline lounges.
It’s not the worst and it’s not the best place to have a layover, depending on the area.
Remember: ✈️ = basically alcatraz to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = bae area
Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️ (it’s the largest airport in CA, larger than LAX which is HUGE)
Convenience of security lines: ✈️✈️ (there’s a lot of people which slows things)
Dining: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (so many local options: Gott’s, Dogpatch, Gordon Biersch–from Palo Alto, Boudin, 24th & Mission–but, at local prices)
Bathrooms: ✈️✈️ (as with any major airport, could be cleaner)
Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️ (free wifi but it is shotty at best)
Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (yoga rooms, kids areas, museums, airline lounges, Xpresspas, a Ghiradelli store, luxury shopping–which is very good in International, did I mention there’s 2 Gucci stores?)