San Diego International Airport (SAN) served 24 million passengers in 2018, which is a huge 10% increase over the previous year.
As a top U.S. tourism destination and with 1 million international passengers in 2018, it’s pretty impressive that the airport been able to manage the ever-growing passenger capacity with just 1 runway. SAN is actually the busiest airport in the U.S. that operates with only 1 runway.
In 2018, the opening of the new Terminal 2 international arrivals facility helped manage the increased passenger traffic, as will the $3 billion Terminal 1 expansion project that was recently signed off.
Airport: San Diego International Airport (SAN)Terminals: 2 — Terminals 1 and 2Airport address: 3225 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101Distance From Downtown San Diego: 2 miles (3.2 km)Website: san.orgPhone Number: 619-400-2400Passengers Served: 24 million annuallyFlight Information: Departures and arrivals info can be found here
San Diego International Airport consists of 2 terminals: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. These terminals sit side-by-side and are closely situated for passengers to walk in between for connecting flights — just not within the secure area, unfortunately.
Both terminals have ground transportation services and parking garages located outside of the terminal buildings. Terminal 2 is larger and more modern, but Terminal 1 still handles around 50% of the passenger traffic, so it is due for future expansion.
Terminal 1 is situated on the eastern side of the airport and serves mainly domestic flights from 3 concourses — each with a security checkpoint at the entrance.
In the far eastern corner of Terminal 1 is a small concourse providing access to gates 1, 1A, and 2. Next is another concourse with 8 gates (numbered 3-10). Southwest Airlines occupies both of these concourses, as well as operating from a few gates in the west side concourse.
The west side concourse has 8 gates numbered 11-18 operating flights from Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit, and Sun Country Airlines.
Each concourse has a small selection of shops and restaurants, in addition to the facilities that can be found outside of the secure area. A small food court and shopping area are located just before the west side concourse security checkpoint, and baggage claim is located between the 2 larger concourses.
Passengers may use the walkway from the terminal building to access the Terminal 1 parking lot or transit island for ground transportation.
Terminal 2 is on the western side of the airport operating domestic and international flights from 2 concourses. Unlike Terminal 1, the Terminal 2 concourses are interlinked inside the secure area so passengers may move around freely to make use of the facilities.
The east side concourse has 13 gates numbered 20-32 used by Alaska Airlines and American Airlines only. The west side concourse is larger with 19 gates numbered 33-51 and is used by the majority of airlines, including British Airways and Delta.
Terminal 2 has 2 security checkpoints that are conveniently positioned for either the east or west side concourses. A good selection of shops, cafes, and restaurants are located in both concourses and passengers can walk between the 2 to access the facilities.
A Delta Sky Club is located on the mezzanine level of the west side concourse, and a Be Relax Spa is located just after clearing security. The east side concourse also has a Be Relax Spa near gate 27 and the Aspire Lounge located just after security.
SAN has a courtesy shuttle bus that loops the airport terminals and parking garages. These depart from outside of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and operate 24-hours.
Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are not far from each other, and passengers can stroll through the connecting walkways in just a few minutes. The walkway is outside of the secure area, so it is necessary to re-clear security on arrival at the next terminal.
Security and Customs at SAN
SAN has 5 security checkpoints with 3 located in Terminal 1 and 2 located in Terminal 2. The 3 security checkpoints at Terminal 1 are at the entrances to each concourse, so connecting passengers to/from these concourses would need to re-clear security on arrival at the next concourse.
Terminal 2’s security checkpoints do not restrict access to an individual concourse, so passengers can move freely between these to utilize facilities.
SAN’s security checkpoints open at around 4:15 a.m. and close just before the last departure.
TSA PreCheck security lanes are available at every security checkpoint of SAN with varying opening hours. Check the TSA website for timings.
SAN has a TSA PreCheck Enrollment Center located in Terminal 2, outside of security near the American Airlines desks. The center is open Monday to Friday 6:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Hot Tip: It’s good to know the ins and outs of TSA airport security to ensure you breeze through with no issues.
SAN participates in Global Entry for processing passengers that have been approved in the program. Although there is not an Enrollment Center at the airport (the closest being Otay Mesa Enrollment Center), passengers may interview on arrival into Terminal 2 at primary booth 4, daily from 6 a.m – 10 p.m.
CLEAR was introduced to San Diego International Airport in April 2022 and can be found in Terminal 2.
SAN accepts Mobile Passport, where passengers can input their information into the app on arrival at the airport to save time completing an arrival form. Passengers need to present their electronic receipt, along with their passport, to a CBP agent.
SAN has 4 lounges, all located at Terminal 2. Passengers can purchase access into the Aspire Lounge and United Club Lounge, but the Delta Sky Club and USO lounge are for eligible passengers only.
|Lounge||Location||Opening Hours||Day Pass Fee Per Person**|
|Aspire Lounge||Terminal 2, to the left after the security checkpoint for gates 20-32||Daily: 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.||From $35|
|Delta Sky Club||Terminal 2, mezzanine level, in between gates 47 and 48||Daily: 5 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.||N/A|
|United Club||Terminal 2, mezzanine level, in between gates 47 and 48||Daily: 5:15 a.m. – 10 p.m.||$59|
|USO Lounge||Across from Terminal 2 (outside of the secure area)||Daily: 6 a.m. – 12 a.m.||N/A|
*Hours are subject to change without notice. Lounge access may be restricted at times due to capacity. **Day Pass for any passenger. Lounges marked as N/A only allow entry for eligible passengers in their premium cabins, frequent flyer programs, or participating credit card programs.
Hot Tip: Avoid paying any lounge entry fees with the best credit cards for complimentary airport lounge access.
Travelers can also access 2 Be Relax Spas in Terminal 2 near Gate 27 and Gate 36. This spa offers complementary treatments to Priority Pass cardholders. Guests can choose 1 of the following treatments:
SAN Wi-Fi and Charging Points
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout SAN for all visitors in 2-hour browsing sessions. Once a 2-hour browsing session is over, simply re-connect to start the next session.
Hot Tip: Not all airports offer free Wi-Fi. If you don’t want to worry about being disconnected, think about investing in a mobile hotspot to keep you connected.
Charging Stations: Charging points are available throughout the airport and at the departure gates.
Southwest Airlines uses Terminal 1 at San Diego Airport. In some cases this terminal can change, check the terminal with your airline. Check your arriving flight here
What airlines are in Terminal 2 at San Diego Airport?
- Air Canada.
- Alaska Airlines.
- American Airlines.
- British Airways.
- Delta Air Lines.
- Edelweiss Air.
- Hawaiian Airlines.
- Japan Airlines.
What airport does Southwest fly into in San Diego?
What terminal is Southwest in San Diego International?
Does Terminal 1 and 2 Connect in San Diego?
Pedestrian walkways connect Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport. Pedestrian bridges and crosswalks connect the passenger terminals to transportation islands and adjacent parking lots in front of the terminals.