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Traveling During the Holiday Season? Check Out These Helpful Travel Tips

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Traveling During the Holiday Season? Check Out These Helpful Travel Tips

For those who will be traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday, here are some tips to ensure you have a safe and seamless journey:

Preventative Health Actions:

Remember to practice preventative health measures such as washing hands often, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, social distance at least 6 feet from others, cover coughs and sneezes, and monitor daily health by checking your temperature prior to arriving at the airport. The California Department of Public Health requires that you wear a face covering while on airport property. Face coverings are available at airport information desks, concessionaires, and vending machines located in the terminals.

Travel Guidance:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has information on how to safely travel during a pandemic. Travelers should have a clear understanding of state, local, and territorial governments travel restrictions, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements.


Check with your airline for any special requirements or information prior to your trip. Airlines have implemented COVID-19 health and safety measures for check in, boarding, and while on the plane. You should understand the expectations of the airline prior to arriving at the airport.

Security Checkpoints:

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints are open and all passengers are required to go through screening. Remember to leave ample time, preferably two hours, to get through security and to your gate. We suggest reviewing TSA’s COVID-19 webpage at for information on what to expect and the health and safety measures they’ve implemented. You may also find it helpful (and amusing) to read this blog post for information on what is permitted through the security checkpoint. Spoiler alert: Turkeys are allowed in carry-ons.


The Terminal 1 Parking Lot, Terminal 2 Parking Lot on McCain Road, and Terminal 2 Parking Plaza are open. Parking reservations are encouraged and may be made in advance by visiting the airport’s parking reservation webpage at

Please note the Cell Phone Lot is temporarily closed, as is the Long Term Lot and Curbside Valet Terminal 1 and 2. As an alternative to parking in the Cell Phone Lot, terminal parking lots offer a 10-minute free grace period. Those lots include the Terminal 1 Parking Lot, Terminal 2 Parking Lot on McCain Road, and Terminal 2 Parking Plaza. Private vehicles are prohibited from parking in the rideshare lot, taxi hold lot or other airport roadways or entrances.

Ground Transportation:

Rental Car Center buses require social distancing and therefore are running at reduced capacity. Please plan ahead and leave ample time to accommodate longer shuttle wait times.

The Trolley provides service to the terminals at Palm Street on the Rental Car Center shuttles. The MTS 992 bus is another public transportation option.

Rideshare companies, taxis, and other transportation modes have implemented their own health and safety measures. Travelers should review their policies so they can safely comply with any health and safety requirements.

There is no inter-terminal shuttle service during this time.

Concessions and Amenities:

Some shops and restaurants are open to provide travel necessities, meals, snacks, and more, however availability and hours may vary. Dining facilities are open and patrons must comply with social distancing requirements.

Let’s Go Safely:

San Diego International Airport (SAN) has achieved Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation for the health and safety modifications that have been implemented throughout the terminals, Rental Car Center, Parking Plaza, and Airport Authority administration building. These modifications include increased cleaning of high touch points, electrostatic spraying, signage on preventive health measures, floor decals and seat separation signage to queue six-foot social distance, hand sanitizer stations, Plexiglas sneeze guards in certain public spaces, and facial coverings required on all airport property. We encourage you to visit our COVID-19 webpage, for up-to-date information on how to prepare for your trip, what to expect, resources, and frequently asked questions.