Sleeping in Airports

San Francisco Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our San Francisco Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

I would rate SFO a very people-friendly airport!!!  -Da Norseman

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at San Francisco International Airport.

What to Expect

San Francisco Airport (Code: SFO)  has four terminals: Terminals 1, 2, and 3 and the International Terminal. The terminals are connected on the landside by walkways and an Air Train.  Airport features include local food outlets, free WiFi, and showers in the International Terminal. Looking for some creature comforts? Economy class passengers can pay to enter a few airport lounges. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and access information.

San Francisco Airport Guide
(Photo courtesy of a guest traveller / 1Apr2018)

Sleeping in San Francisco Airport

Thanks to notorious Bay Area weather, delays are common, so you won’t be the only one looking for a place to catch some Z’s. Overnight campers generally have no problems but will have to search for comfortable seating. Terminals 2 and 3 each have a couple decent sleep spots, both landside and airside. There are padded benched in Terminal 2 near Baggage Claim #4 (post-security in arrivals). Each couch is big enough for two people, provided you like each other. Announcements are low, but bring a blanket.  Airside, you will find a few spots that have some padded couches, but armrests reign at SFO.  Come prepared to sleep on the floor!  Bright lights and frequent announcements are common complaints, so bring along an eye mask and earplugs. Explore our guide to sleeping in San Francisco Airport or read some traveller reviews for more tips. For uninterrupted sleep, check out the in-airport nap rooms, rented by the hour, or take a free shuttle to one of the nearby hotels. See our Airport Hotels section below for more info.

Have you already been to SFO Airport? Write a review and share photos from your own experience.

For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our San Francisco Airport Guide.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all services and times listed below are subject to change.  In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Passes  Air France – KLM Lounge – Location: International Terminal, Airside, Concourse A. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs.

American Airlines Admirals Club – Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Boarding Area D. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door with proof of American Airlines ticket • Lounge membership programs.

Centurion Lounge – Location: Terminal 3, Airside, Boarding Area F, Gate 74. Showers are available. Lounge Access: American Express® Card Members.

Delta Sky Club – Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Concourse C, near Gate 41. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door with proof of Delta Airlines ticket • Lounge membership programs.

United Club – Multiple Location – (3) Domestic Terminal and (1) International Terminal. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door with proof of United Airlines ticket • Lounge membership programs.

Passes  Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse – Location:  International Terminal A, Landside, Check-point A, Level 5.  Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge passes  • Lounge membership programs.

Airline Lounges (members only)

If you are a First or Business Class traveller you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s website.

Terminal 1, Airside: Delta Sky Club

International Terminal, Airside: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse  • Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge • Philippines Airlines Mabuhay Lounge  • China Airlines Dynasty Lounge • Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge • The Emirates Lounge.

Military Lounges

USO Lounge– The USO offers a lounge that is free of charge to active members of the US military and their families. Location:  Terminal 1 – landside, Mezzanine Level. Access via the elevators located behind the Delta Airlines ticket counter.

Related Pages: San Francisco Airport Lounges

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in San Francisco Airport does not appeal to you, there are nap rooms inside the airport and many hotels near the airport:

Inside Airport Nap Rooms – There are 3 nap rooms available at FreshenUp, located inside the International Terminal, landside, level G, Main Hall, next to the Airport Travel Agency. The rooms come equipped with a bed, free WiFi, desk, mirror. Showers are available for an additional cost. Hours: open 24 hours. Rates: $40 (1 hour) • $120 (8 hours – 10:00PM – 6:00AM) • $10 (per 15-minute increments first two hours and then $8 per 15-minute increment after two hours).

Near Airport Aloft San Francisco Airport – (5 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle service runs every 15 to 20 minutes from 4:05AM to 12:05AM, and is available upon request after hours.

Near Airport The Westin San Francisco Airport – 5 minutes from the airport) Free 24-hour airport shuttle service runs every 20 minutes on the hour between 4:00AM to Midnight, and on request after hours.

Near Airport Hampton Inn & Suites San Francisco Burlingame Airport South – (5 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle service runs every 30 minutes from 4:00AM to 12:30AM. The shuttle picks up at the Hotel Shuttles pick-up area at both Domestic and International Terminals.

Near Airport San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront – (5 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle is available. For airport pick-up, use the courtesy phone in the baggage claim area.

Near Airport Vagabond Inn Executive San Francisco Airport – (6 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle is available from 4:00AM to 1:00AM.

To see more options there is a list of hotels near San Francisco Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport WiFi / Internet and Mobile Charging

WiFi

Free WiFi is available at San Francisco Airport. Connect to the “#SFO FREE WIFI” network.  The service is available for 4 hours; however, if you accept the “terms and conditions” when prompted, you will continue to have free access.

Mobile Charging

Workstations and power outlets can be found throughout the Terminals for free (probably slower) charging. For rapid charging at a fee, head to one of these three locations: Terminal 1, Boarding Area B near Gate 23 • Terminal 3, Boarding Area E near Gate 61 • Terminal 3, Boarding Area F near Gate 87.

Services and Facilities

Business Center – TripTel Business Center offers a variety of services including mobile phone rentals, copying, faxing, etc. Location: International Terminal, Main Hall. Hours: 8:00AM – 8:30PM.

Duty Free & Shopping – DFS Duty Free Galleria has two airside locations in the International Terminal: Gate A2 (Hours: 8:30AM – 11:30PM) • Gate G92 (Hours: 8:30AM – 11:30PM). In addition, you will find a good selection of stores to pass away the time including at least 10 newspaper/convenience style shops for last minute items.

Family Services

  • Baby Care Facilities – If you are travelling with an infant, nursing rooms are available. Locations: Terminal 1, Airside • Terminal 2, Landside and Airside • Terminal 3, Airside. Look for the Nursery and Family Restroom Signs and use the airport courtesy phone to request access.
  • Children’s Play Area – You can keep your small children entertained at the SFO Kids’ Spot interactive exploration areas. Locations: Terminal 1 (Boarding Area B, near Gate 22) • Terminal 2 (Boarding Area D near Gates 54A and 58B, post-security ) • Terminal 3 (Airside, Boarding area F near Gate 87A) • Terminal 3 (Airside, Boarding Area E, near Gate 62). Hours: Open 24 hours.
  • Rental Equipment – Cloud of Good offers car seat, stroller and other baby equipment rentals. Order online and the item will be delivered to one of three kiosks.

Food & Drinks

  • Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules, many open as early as 4:30AM. These options are open 24 hours: Briggo Coffee Haus (Terminal 3, Airside, Gate F3) • Green Beans Coffee ( Terminal 1C, landside, near boarding area C & International Terminal, Landside, near entrance to Gates G) • Roasting Plant Coffee (International Terminal, landside, food court, boarding area A). Vending machines dispensing drinks and snacks are available in all Terminals.
  • Hydration Stations – SFO has water bottle refill stations (Hydration Stations) available airside at all boarding Areas in the Domestic and International Terminals.

Information Desk – If you have any questions, visit on the airport information desks for assistance. Locations: throughout the terminals.

Luggage

  • Baggage Carts – Need a hand with your luggage? Baggage carts (Smarte Carte) are available. Rate: $4.00 per cart, except for passengers arriving at the International Terminal where carts are free.
  • Luggage Storage – Luggage Storage is available at the Airport Travel Agency. Rates vary according to size, sample rates: small bag/$US 8.00/hour up to $US 25.00/day; large bag/$US 10.00/hour up to $US 35.00/day. Location: International Terminal – landside, Main Hall. Hours: 6:00AM – 11:00PM.
  • Luggage Wrapping – Protect your bags from theft and damage by having your bags wrapped in plastic. Locations: at Airport Travel Agency, International Terminal, Main Hall, landside (Hours:6:00AM – 11:00PM. Rates $US 11.00/bag) • LMD Baggage Wrapping Kiosk, International Terminal, Main Hall, landside (Hours: 9:00AM – 11:00PM. Rates $US 9.00/bag).

Medical Services – SFO Medical Clinic provides medical treatments. Location: International Terminal, Landside, Main Hall, on the Boarding Area A side, Departures/Ticketing Level. Hours: 7:00AM – 7:00PM (Mon – Fri) and 9:00PM to 4:00PM (Sat).

Mobile Charging – see “Airport WiFi / Internet and Mobile Charging” above.

Money

  • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Landside and Airside. There are Travelex ATM Machines available for international currency: Departures Level near the Food Court by Boarding Area A • Boarding Area A near Gate A10 • Departures Level near the Food Court by Boarding Area G • Boarding Area G near Gate G91
  • Currency Exchange – Travelex America has several currency exchange offices throughout the International Terminal and one office in Terminal 3 (Boarding Area F, near Gate 71, Airside). See also ATMS for locations of foreign currency Travelex ATMs. Hours: vary with flight schedules.

Pets

  • Pet Relief  Areas – Travelling with a 4 legged companion?Several indoors and outdoors pet relief areas are located at SFO! Locations: Terminal 1, Landside, Courtyard 2 • Terminal 1B, Airside, near Gate B6 • Terminal 1C, Airside, near Gates C5-C7 • Terminal 2, Landside, Courtyard 3 • Terminal 3, Landside, Courtyard 4 • Terminal 3, Airside, near Gate F11 • International Terminal A, Airside. Hours: use of the relief areas is available 24 hours.
  • Wag Brigade – In an effort to de-stress passengers, the airport launched the “Wag Brigade”. Look for trained dogs (currently more than 20!) wearing vests that read “Pet Me!”

Rest & Relaxation

  • Hotels – see “Airport Hotels” above.
  • Lounges – see “Airport Lounges” above.
  • Reading Room – The Christian Science Reading Room offers a quiet room to read, meditate and relax. Location: Terminal 1, near the entrance to Gates 40-48, Landside. Hours: 8:00AM – 10:00PM.
  • Reflection Room – The Berman Reflection Room offers a space for “quiet self-reflection and meditation”. Location: International Terminal, Main Hall, Landside. Hours: 7:00AM – 11:00PM.
  • Rest Zones – There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Showers – There are a few places you can enjoy a shower.

  • In the secure zone, if you flying Delta or American Airlines, you can purchase a Single Visit Pass that will enable to you use the shower facilities included at these locations. [ see Airport Lounges above ]
  • In the public area on the terminal, you can find showers at Freshen’ Up in the International Terminal (landside, level G, Main Hall). Hours: 24 hours. Fee: $25 for the Deluxe Shower (30 minute shower, towel, soap, shampoo, lotion, shower shoes, and a hairdryer if required). Airport employees and military pay $12.

Spa – Manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and more are available at XpresSpa. Three locations: Terminal 2, airside, boarding area D • Terminal 3, airside, boarding area E, near Gate E4 • Terminal 3, Airside, boarding area F, near Gates F11 • International Terminal, airside, boarding area G, near Gate G9. Hours vary by location but generally they are open by 7:00AM – 11:00PM.

Traveler’s Aid – Traveler’s Aid a non-profit organization that assists stranded and distressed passengers. Volunteers assist passengers with general airport and destination queries to assisting with situations such as transportation assistance, lost or stolen money, wiring money, emergency housing, etc. Locations: Terminal 1, Landside, across from exit door #6 • Terminal 2, Landside, Level 2, center of terminal • Terminal 3, Airside, Level 2, beginning of Concourse F, across from Yankee Pier Restaurant • International Terminal, Landside, Level 3, 2 locations between the food courts and security entrances • International Terminal, Landside, Level 3, 2 locations across from aisles # 4 and 9. Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM.

Traveller Services – The Airport Travel Agency provides notary services, passport photos, copying, and more. Location: International Terminal, Main Hall, Landside. Hours: 6:00AM – 11:00PM.

WiFisee “Airport WiFi/Internet” above.

Workstations – Charge your laptop, phone etc, free of charge. Available throughout the airport.

Yoga Room – Relax or stretch in between flights at one of the airport’s yoga studios. The studios comes equipped with complimentary practice mats. Locations: Terminal 2, airside, Boarding Area D, adjacent to the Recompose Area • Terminal 3, airside, Boarding Area E, near Gate 69. Hours: 5:00AM – 11:00PM.

Related Pages: Things to do on a layover at San Francisco Airport

Things to do at San Francisco Airport

Art At SFO – The airport has permanent and rotating art exhibitions throughout the terminals.

Aviation Museum – Location: International Terminal, Main Hall, Landside. Hours: 10:30AM – 4:30PM.

Flight Deck – Interactive touchscreen kiosks with information about SFO Airport and San Francisco. Location: Terminal 3, Boarding Area E, near Gate 60, Airside. Hours: open 24 hours.

Movie and Portable Entertainment rentals – InMotion Entertainment offers electronics, accessories, movie and game rentals for your trip or extended stay at the airport. There are 3 locations:

  • International Terminal – landside, Main Hall. Hours: 8:00AM – 12:00AM.
  • Terminal 3 – airside, Boarding area F near Gate 71. Hours: 8:00AM – 12:00AM.
  • Terminal 3 – airside, Boarding area F at entrance to Gates 80-90 Located airside Concourse C. Hours: 8:00AM – 12:00AM.

Museum – There are 40 exhibitions showcasing cultural, art , historical and scientific topics. Locations: Terminal 1 (Arrivals Level; Departures Level; Boarding Area B, Landside & Airside) • Terminal 2 (Departures Level, Landside & Airside) • Terminal 3 (Departures Level, Landside & Airside) • International Terminal (Main Hall and near Boarding Areas A and G, Landside & Airside). Hours: open 24 hours.

Outdoor Terrace – Watch the planes take off and land from the outdoor terrace. Location: International Terminal, Boarding Area G, Airside. Hours: 7:00AM – 11:30PM.

Self Guided Tours – There are three self-guided tours available at SFO. Children who complete the route can receive a prize from the Information Deck upon completion (Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM). Check out the routes: Terminal 2 • Terminal 3 • International Terminal.

Related Pages: Things to do on a layover at San Francisco Airport

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Keep in mind that TSA, airline check-in and baggage drop hours vary according to the flight schedule. Check these hours with your airline. If you are in the public area of the terminal (landside) you will not be able to get through to the secure area of the terminal (airside) until the morning. The TSA security screening checkpoint hours vary according to boarding areas:

  • Boarding Area A: 4:30AM – 2:00AM
  • Boarding Area B: 4:00AM – 12:30AM
  • Boarding Area C: 4:00AM – 1:00AM
  • Boarding Area D: 3:45AM – 12:30AM
  • Boarding Area F (checkpoint 1): 3:30AM – 12:00AM
  • Boarding Area F (checkpoint 2): 5:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Boarding Area G: 4:30AM – 1:00AM

Airlines

San Francisco airport is served by the following airlines: Aer Lingus • Aeromexico • Air Canada • Air China • Air France • Air India • Air New Zealand • Alaska Airlines • American Airlines • ANA • Asiana • Avianca • British Airways • Cathay Pacific • China Airlines • China Eastern • China Southern • Copa • Delta • EL AL • Emirates • EVA Air • Fiji Airways • Finnair • Frenchbee • Frontier Airlines • Hawaiian Airlines • Hong Kong Airlines • Iberia • Icelandair • Interjet • Japan Airlines • JetBlue • KLM • Korean Air • Level • Lufthansa • Philippine Airlines • Qantas • SAS • Singapore Airlines • Southwest Airlines • Sun Country • Swiss • TAP Portugal • Turkish Airlines • United Airlines • Virgin Atlantic • WestJet.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Amtrak Connections

The Amtrak Train Station can be accessed from the airport via the Bay Area Rapid Transit Rapid Rail and a short (8 min) walk with a total trip time of 40 minutes. Alternatively you can also take a taxi which should take approximately 25-30 minutes.

Bus

SamTrans Public Bus Service provides 24-hour bus service (via 3 bus routes) between SFO, San Mateo County and parts of San Francisco.

  • Terminal 2:  Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level, center island adjacent to Courtyard 2
  • Terminal 3:  Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level, curbside adjacent to Courtyard 4
  • International Terminal:  Level 1 at Courtyard A and curbside adjacent to Courtyard G

For routes, fares and schedules, go to the SamTrans website.

Car Rentals

SFO’s onsite car rental agencies operate within the airport’s Car Rental Center, on the 1st and 4th floors, and is accessible from the airport terminals via AirTrain Blue Line. Off-site car rental agencies provide a free shuttle.   1st Floor: Fox • Hertz. 4th Floor: Alamo • Avis • Budget • Dollar • Enterprise • National • Thrifty.  Most counters are open 24 hours, with the exception of Enterprise which operates from 5:00AM – 12:00AM.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels offer free airport shuttle service as a convenience for their guests. Courtesy shuttles pick-up from the “Hotel Courtesy Shuttle” zones located on the center island, Level 2 (Departures/Ticketing) of each terminal. Contact your hotel of choice for shuttle service availability and information. Here are a few hotels that offer airport shuttle: Aloft San Francisco Airport   •   El Rancho Inn, BW Signature Collection   •   Comfort Inn & Suites San Francisco Airport West   •   Days Inn San Francisco International Airport West   •   Gateway Inn and Suites Hotel   •   Hampton Inn & Suites San Francisco-Burlingame-Airport South   •   Hotel Aura San Bruno   •   La Quinta Inn & Suites San Francisco Airport West   •   The Millwood   •   Ramada San Bruno SFO Airport   •   Super 8 San Bruno / San Francisco Intl Airport West   •   The Dylan at SFO   •   The Westin San Francisco Airport   •   Vagabond Inn Executive SFO Airport.

Inter-Terminal Transportation

The AirTrain Red Line connects all terminals, airport garages (excluding long-term parking) and SFO BART station, while the AirTrain Blue Line connects all of those areas with the Rental Car Center. Both lines run in intervals as frequent as every 4 minutes. AirTrain stations and trains are fully wheelchair-accessible.

To reach the long-term parking facilities, take one of the free SFO shuttle buses from the terminals. Buses run every 5 – 15 minutes.

Private Transportation Networks

SFO is served by Lyft, Sidecar, UberX and Wingz. These networks provide chauffeured transportation between the airport and the requested destination, using the driver’s personal vehicle. Services are pre-booked online or via smartphone app. Contact your service provider of choice for rates and information.

Shared Ride Vans

Several companies offer shared ride service to and from SFO. Reservations are not required for service from the airport, but strongly suggested, especially for rides after 11:00PM. Rides to the airport, however, must always be pre-booked. At the time of this April 2019 update, fares are $17.00 per passenger for a one-way ride between the airport and downtown San Francisco.

Taxi

Taxi ranks are located in the center island of the roadway outside on the Arrivals/Baggage Claim level of all terminals. Uniformed taxi coordinators are available on hand from 7:00AM – 1:00AM to assist passengers with questions or locate a wheelchair-accessible taxi for passengers who request one. At the time of this December 2019 update, fares range from $47 – $67 for a one-way ride between the airport and downtown San Francisco.

Train

See Bus section above for info about connections to SamTrans Buses.

BART is a commuter train network serving San Francisco, northern San Mateo County and the East Bay. SFO has a BART station on the Departures/Ticketing level of the International Terminal at Boarding Area G. For BART ticket vouchers, fares, schedules and other information, visit the BART website.

CalTrain offers commuter rail service between San Francisco and San Jose, with weekday service to Gilroy. BART connects SFO to the CalTrain network at Millbrae Station, a common stop on both networks. For further information, visit the CalTrain website.

Last updated: 2020-06-16

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.