As mentioned above, San Francisco international airport has four terminals, one designed for international flights and the rest for domestic flights.
Terminal 1 is not the oldest terminal of the airport. Historically known as “South Terminal,” now it is referred to as Harvey Milk Terminal 1, in commemoration of American politician and LGBT activist Harvey Milk, who served on the board of supervisors of the city of San Francisco. The construction of the Terminal began at the beginning of the 1960s, and by 1963 it was already operational.
Terminal one covers the boarding areas of B and C. Boarding area B has 24 Gates (B6-B9, B12-B14, B17-B18), and C area has 11 (C1-C11).
Currently, Terminal 1 is undergoing a redevelopment process by SFO, a $2.4 billion project that is designed to revolutionize the passenger experience in the terminal and meet the upgraded needs of modern-day travelers. The airport expects redevelopment to be fully completed by 2020.
Terminal 1 offers full-service restaurants or fast food joints, such as Bun Mee, The Little Chihuahua, Amy’s Drive-Thru, Bourbon Pub, and retail stores, InMotion, Paradies, DepARTures, NYS collections, and others.
Terminal 2 is the oldest terminal of San Francisco International Airport that opened in 1954 and previously known as “Central Terminal.” In 2008 SFO started a renovation project of the Terminal worth $383 million and reopened it again in 2011. As a result, Terminal 2 was turned it a state-of-the-art terminal for domestic flights.
Before the opening of SFO’s international terminal in 2000, Terminal 2 was responsible for receiving international flights.
The terminal covers boarding area D, which consists of 17 Gates (D1-D12 and D14-D18). It has a capacity of hosting more than 5 million passengers a year.
Terminal 2 houses 12 restaurants, a gourmet marketplace, and several retail stores. Additionally, it offers passengers a recomposure zone with comfortable benches and plants and water features designed to give you every bit of relaxation after going through the security checkpoints. Here passengers are welcome to use laptop plug-in stations, work counters and benches, and free wireless internet.
Terminal 2 was renovated on the concept of Green Economy and sustainable development. That is why here you can find paperless ticketing and preferential parking for hybrid cars.
Terminal 3, previously known as “North Terminal” covers the boarding areas of E that consists of 13 Gates. The area connects to another Boarding Area F consisting of 23 Gates. As for the Boarding area G, also located in Terminal 3, it is easy to get to the International Terminal’s main hall from here.
Terminal hosts inbound and outbound domestic flights primarily operated by United. Like Terminal 2, Terminal 3 also underwent the reconstruction and innovation process, which was highlighted by Solar Panels installed on the roofs of the terminal in 2007. These panels power the terminal 3 lights during the day.
SFO Terminal 3 offers its passengers free wireless internet, ATMs, public phones, mailboxes, work stations, yoga rooms, nurseries, and wheelchair renting services.
SFO’s International Terminal also shortened I, T-I, INTL serves all the inbound and outbound international flights to and from the airport. It is the largest and one of the busiest international terminals of North America. It covers the boarding areas of A and G.
The international terminal is where the passengers from outside the US go through Custom and Border Protection entry procedures, except for those entering from pre-cleared countries. After going to CBP control, passengers are welcome to collect their baggage and head to the meeting points or exit to the city.
The terminal consists of the main hall and area A to its east and area G to its west. The upper level of the G area covers food court and shopping concessions, but that is not all. Tired passengers can go for spa facilities or showers here. Additionally, if you need baggage carts, charging stations, workstations, public phones, ATMs, or storage area, you can find it here.
The terminal also houses lounges for the world’s one of the biggest and largest international airline carriers.