“My car won’t start.” “I don’t have enough gas to drive to the parking lot.” “I am searching for Pokémon Go characters.” When it comes to reasons for wanting to linger curbside, SAN’s 47 Airport Traffic Officers have heard just about everything. And while the primary responsibility of the airport’s traffic officers, many of whom have been on the job for over a decade, is to keep traffic moving (even if the dog ate your homework, you still have to load or unload as quickly as possible), they want to achieve that goal while making your experience at SAN safe, secure and pleasant.
In that spirit, SAN’s Airport Traffic Officers offer these Six Travel Tips:
1. Ask questions. Your flight doesn’t leave for several hours and you want to know what’s within walking distance of SAN – ask a traffic officer. You have to return your rental car but you aren’t sure how to get to the Rental Car Center – ask a traffic officer. You need to get assistance for a passenger, who is inside the terminal, but you don’t know how to do that – ask a traffic officer.
If you have a question, one of SAN’s traffic officers probably has the answer. And they are happy to help.
2. Travel Tuesday isn’t just a hashtag used on social media. Tuesdays can be busy. SAN's airport traffic officers recommend getting to the parking lots early on Tuesday, or better yet, reserving a spot ahead of time at: Upgrade Your Parking.com.
3. Utilize the Cell Phone Lot. It can take anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes (longer for international travelers) for passengers to exit the airport after deplaning. Remaining parked in the Cell Phone Lot until your passenger arrives curbside keeps you from having to repeatedly circle the airport -- which saves time and eliminates aggravation. Not sure if your passenger’s plane has landed? Check the in-lot monitors for real-time updates.
4. Still want to circle? Stay in the left lane and do not pull curbside until you see your passenger.
5. Give your pet some relief. But please do so in the designated areas. SAN has several dedicated locations (fire hydrant, water fountain and artificial turf included) that are meant for use by your furry friend. Eight of the areas are located outside the terminals and one is post-security in Terminal 2 West between Gates 46 and 47. Not sure where to go? Ask a traffic officer.
6. Know your airline. Some airlines offer curbside check-in, while others don’t. Skycaps are available to bring your luggage inside, but for timing purposes, it is helpful to know in advance if you will require assistance. Curbside check-in should be used for baggage drop only. If you need something more (a translator, to arrange for an escort to the gate, etc.), be prepared to park your car and go inside.
The Thanksgiving holiday travel period, according to AAA, is expected to be the busiest it’s been in nearly a decade. And San Diego is projected to be one of the most popular travel destinations. An average of 60,000 people a day are expected to pass through San Diego International Airport (SAN) over the Thanksgiving holiday and that number is expected to grow to 65,000 between Christmas and New Year's Day. Here are four steps that you can take to help make your holiday journey a smooth one:
1. Get to the airport early. Most airlines recommend arriving two hours prior to a domestic flight and three hours before flying internationally. The extra time makes possible delays at security a non-issue and also provides an opportunity to get a bite to eat, do a bit of shopping or to relax.
2. Reserve parking online. If you are flying out of SAN, parking here makes the most sense. From Long Term to Economy to Curbside Valet, we’ve got a parking option that is right for you. And when you reserve a spot in valet at upgradeyourparking.com – you can save time and money.
3. Know the rules. Clearing security is easier and faster when everyone in line knows what to expect. TSA has a host of travel tips on its website to help with that. Everything from how to prepare for holiday travel (don’t put wrapped gifts in your carry-on bag) to a reminder about the 3-1-1 liquids rule (you are allowed to bring one quart-sized bag containing liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes that are no greater in size than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on luggage) to a list of prohibited items (Samsung Galaxy Note7s, tear gas and lighter fluid) can be found at TSA.gov.
4. Stay connected to your airline. Flight information can change, so make sure that the airline knows how to reach you and that you know how to reach the airline. Reconfirming your flight status prior to leaving for the airport is always a good idea.
People rushing through the airport on the way to any of our 50+ nonstop destinations often overlook a team of unsung (and un-paid) heroes—a group of volunteers in green polos, armed with a wealth of knowledge to help you get from A to B, and the heart to match.
San Diego International Airport’s 310 Volunteer Airport Ambassadors help serve airport customers with more than 975 volunteer hours every week. In addition to advising lost travelers, or pointing folks in the direction of the Loop Bus, these volunteers do so much more.
In April of 2008, the TSA began their Military Severely Injured Assistance program. The program is designed to identify military service personnel and veterans needing special consideration in security screening. At that time, the Volunteer Airport Ambassadors began working with airport TSA to assist those identified passengers from curbside to their gate, and also upon arrival. To date, San Diego’s Volunteer Airport Ambassadors have assisted more than 4,000 Wounded Warriors.
While the TSA has already honored the Travelers Aid Visitor Services Director, Gina Bernsen and the Airport Ambassadors twice with their Partnership Award, this week three Airport Ambassadors were singled out for their extraordinary service.
On April 7, 2014, three amazing women were awarded a special TSA Coin for their service in 2013—Ginna James for 958 assists, Dottie Herzog for 350 assists and Barbara Sturgeon for 99 assists. These women have worked tirelessly in support of our Wounded Warriors and have even been known to receive personal calls from veterans who have left the service but are still hoping for assistance. One such veteran was so touched by her kindness that he gave his newborn daughter the middle name, Ginna.
Next time you walk through the terminal and see someone in a green “Airport Information” polo, be sure to remember that these volunteers do so much more for our guests and our community than merely give directions—they give their heart and soul to our customers and we can't thank them enough for that.
What images are conjured up when you think of your ideal Zen moment? Your first thought might not be San Diego International Airport, but now, that opportunity welcomes and awaits you in Terminal 2 West.
“The Spirit of Silence,” also known as the “Reflection Room,” is located just beyond security in Terminal 2 West, and provides welcome respite to travelers looking for a reprieve from the hustle and bustle experienced within the terminals. The feeling upon entering the space is one of peace, calm, and serenity. (You can’t help but feel the need to whisper if traveling with a companion.) Light, translucency and surface combine to create a tranquil place for contemplation, meditation and prayer. Glass panels constructed in Germany present images of the reflective waters of San Diego Bay, the Star of India, and the beautiful skyline of downtown San Diego. Natural bamboo flooring connects you to the Earth.
The space opened to the public June 20, 2014, and is a permanent part of the airport’s Public Arts Program. The installation was designed by Seattle artist, Ms. Norie Sato, who worked in close collaboration with architects to integrate the space into the terminal expansion’s design. Ms. Sato’s work is a welcome addition to the airport’s Public Arts Program. Over the past 25 years, her public art installations have included transit and transportation facilities, libraries, universities, infrastructure, parks and other civic structures, as well as other airports.
The old saying "home is where the heart is" holds meaning for a lot of people. But for members of the U.S. military, those words take on even more significance. This is especially true around the holidays.
In late December, active-duty military have a small window of time in which they are permitted to travel home. This is when assistance from the USO becomes crucial. On a normal day, around 330 service members pass through SAN's Neil Ash USO Airport Center. While there, they are able to watch a movie, enjoy a meal, connect with family via internet or phone or just relax. Between December 22 and December 25, that number more than doubles.
Today is an exciting day for all golf aficionados, foodies, and passengers alike! It is the highly anticipated grand opening of the PGA Tour Grill, the stunning sit-down eatery in Terminal 2 West, located just east of the security checkpoint and across from Stone Brewing Co. It is the only PGA Tour Grill in any airport, worldwide, so San Diego has every reason to brag about this coveted establishment. The restaurant is a show-stopper, with its gorgeous panoramic murals depicting the beauty and serenity of San Diego’s golfing hot spot, Torrey Pines. Twelve high-definition flat screens feature live golf tournament action, highlights from the previous week’s PGA Tour tournament and programming on the Golf Channel. The 6,000 s.f. restaurant is equipped with a full bar, an inviting lounge area, and table and booth seating for over 200 people. This makes it the largest sit-down restaurant at San Diego International Airport.
The PGA Tour Grill provides heart healthy offerings, encouraging travelers to “eat smarter, and play harder.” Open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu features nourishing omelets, appetizers, gourmet salads, signature flatbreads and delectable entrees, along with specialty cocktails such as the Arnold Palmer, the 19th Hole, and the Birdie.
While visiting the San Diego International Airport, please enjoy the many different art installations displayed around the campus. Currently exhibited throughout the terminals is Converging Ingenuities, the Arts Program’s thematic, temporary exhibition for 2014. The exhibition includes twelve different installations, each by a different artist or organization. Each artwork or collection on display explores the intersection of visual art with science and technology. The 12 installations range in subject from phenotypic plasticity (or the ability of an organism to change its traits in response to environmental change) to ocean acidification, and they seek to educate while also creating a visually stunning experience for airport customers. Lauren Lockhart, Airport Art Coordinator II at the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, had this to say: “The diverse group of artists and organizations featured in Converging Ingenuities reflects the innovative work being done at the intersection of art, science and technology here in San Diego.”
One of the 12 installations is Recycled Planet, a piece designed by University of California - San Diego Professor, Oscar Romo. The project depicts a world map constructed solely from plastic water bottles. Beautiful to look at, the project is also a reminder of the importance of recycling. The artist, Mr. Romo, is passionate about designing systems made from upcycling solid waste to deal with stormwater pollution and hillside erosion. Please enjoy his trash revalorization project in Terminal 2 at Gate 24. Converging Ingenuities will be on display through the remainder of 2014.