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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions
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Here are the most frequently asked questions at San Diego International Airport. If you have a question not answered here — or throughout our web site — please contact us. We look forward to serving you.

San Diego International Airport (SDIA) is open twenty-four hours a day; however, departures only occur without penalty between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. Each airline has its own operating hours, but typically ticket counters are staffed by 4:30 a.m. for check-in. For specific check-in information, please contact the airline you are flying directly.

Terminals Ground Transportation Flights and Airlines Other


Where do I rent a car upon arrival at San Diego International Airport? Top

SDIA has no car rental facilities onsite. Persons who wish to rent automobiles may visit the Interaction Visitor Center centrally located in Baggage Claim of Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and the Commuter Terminal. Volunteer Airport Ambassador assistance is available at the Information Desks in each of the baggage claim areas of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. For more information, click on Ground Transportation.

Where can I catch a shuttle, taxicab or other mode of ground transportation to destinations in/around San Diego? Top

Ground transportation at SDIA can be obtained at the Transportation Plazas located in front of the Commuter Terminal, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Customer Service Representatives (under the blue umbrella) are located across the street from each respective terminal and are available for assistance. Public mass transit (bus) is also available. For further assistance ask a Volunteer Airport Ambassador located at the Information Desk in the baggage claim area of Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. For more information, click on Ground Transportation.

How much can I expect to pay for the closest parking to San Diego International Airport? Top

Parking rates at San Diego International Airport are defined here. Rates are also clearly posted at each parking lot. Your first 24 hours are only $21.00. After the first 24 hours, each additional 24-hour period or any part thereof is $26.00. Lost tickets will be charged at the maximum daily rate.

What other longer-term parking options are available in/around San Diego International Airport? Top

Parking is available at several locations surrounding SDIA at various rates. SAN Park Pacific Highway is one option, available for $10 per day, which includes convenient and timely shuttle service to SDIA. For more information, click on Parking.

How do I get to Mexico from San Diego International Airport? Top

You can catch the Airport Flyer #992 public bus in front of each terminal at San Diego International Airport (SDIA). Request a Regional Day Pass for $5 which allows for free transfers. Exit the bus at Broadway and Kettner, take the Blue Line Trolley going towards San Ysidro from American Plaza Transit Center. For more information, visit www.511sd.com. Shuttle and/or taxi service is also available.

Where can I exchange currency or purchase traveler's insurance at San Diego International Airport? Top

Foreign currency exchange and travelers’ insurance services are available daily at two locations in Terminal 2: in the Baggage Claim area (5am - 6pm) and in the gate areas (5am - 1pm, 4:30pm - 7:30pm). You can reach the Baggage Claim location at (619) 260-1921, or the location in the gate areas at (619) 200-3530 for more information.

How do I get to the Airport from locations within San Diego County? Top

Information regarding ground transportation to SDIA, including shuttle and taxicab services can be viewed at Ground Transportation. You may also drive your own vehicle. On-site short-term parking rates range from $6.00 per hour, to $21 per day (for the first day, $26 each additional day). Other less expensive long-term options are also available.

What services do you offer for guests with disabilities/mobility impairments? Top

Various accessibility services are conveniently located throughout SDIA to assist travelers with disabilities. TDD telephones, visual paging monitors and a courtesy cart operated by the Volunteer Airport Ambassadors are conveniently located throughout San Diego International Airport. Also, Volunteer Airport Ambassadors, Harbor Police Officers and Airport Traffic Officers are available at key locations inside and outside the terminals to assist travelers with special needs. For assistance, click on Passenger Assistance: Accessibility Services.

Where are the nearest mailboxes at San Diego International Airport? Top

All three mailboxes at the airport are located curbside (outdoors). Mailboxes can be found in front of the Commuter Terminal, at Terminal 1 at the Airport Loop, and at Terminal 2 near American Airlines curbside check-in.

Where can I smoke at San Diego International Airport? Top

SDIA is a smoke-free facility. Smoking is only permitted outside of the terminal buildings. California law prohibits smoking within 20 feet of all entrances to public buildings. For your convenience, ashtrays are located in the vicinity where smoking is permitted.

Where can alcoholic beverages be purchased at San Diego International Airport? Top

There are several locations at SDIA to purchase alcoholic beverages. In Terminal 1, options are available pre- and post-security. The Commuter Terminal and Terminal 2 have only post-security options. For more information, click on Terminals: Food & Beverages.

Where can I store my luggage at San Diego International Airport? Top

Due to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) heightened security requirements, all lockers and storage unit use has been suspended. It may be possible to check in early with your airline, please see the ticket agent when you arrive.

Where are ATM machines located at San Diego International Airport? Top

There are eight Bank of America ATMs located throughout the three terminals at SDIA.

  • Commuter Terminal - Main lobby (pre-security) near entrance
  • Terminal 1 - Food Court (pre-security) and gate concourses (post-security)
  • Terminal 2 East - Food Court (pre-security near Starbucks), and gate concourses (post-security)
  • Terminal 2 West - Across from Baggage Carousel #7 in Baggage Claim (pre-security) and gate concourses (post-security)

Where do I catch all flights to Los Angeles? Top

All flights connecting to/from Los Angeles depart from the Commuter Terminal. Flights numbered 3000 – 6000 operate from the Commuter Terminal. The complimentary Inter-Terminal "Airport Loop" bus connects all terminals and departs every ten minutes from curbside locations.

Do you have public showers available at San Diego International Airport? Top

Public showers are not available at San Diego International Airport.

Where is the Lost and Found office at San Diego International Airport? Top

The Airport Lost & Found Office is located on the first floor of the baggage claim area in Terminal 2 West. Daily office hours are 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The phone number is (619) 400-2140.

How do I meet a minor who is traveling into SDIA? Top

By prior arrangement, unaccompanied minors may be met at the aircraft arrival gate by an airline representative. As another option, you may also contact your respective airline to make arrangements for a Gate Pass. Otherwise, the Information Desks, staffed by Volunteer Airport Ambassadors and located in each of the baggage claim areas of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, are good locations to meet arriving passengers. For a listing of airline telephone numbers, refer to Flights: Airlines.

What are the hours of operation for airline ticket counters at SDIA? Top

SDIA is open 24 hours a day; however, departures only occur without penalty between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. Each airline has its own operating hours, but typically ticket counters are staffed by 5:00 a.m. for check-in. For specific check-in information, please contact the airline directly. For a listing of airline telephone numbers, click on Flights: Airlines.

How early do I need to check in for flights departing San Diego International Airport? Top

As a general rule, it is recommended to allow at least two hours for domestic travel, and three hours for international travel. For more specific guidance, please contact the airline directly. Click on Flights: Airlines.

Do you have a business center at San Diego International Airport? Top

San Diego International Airport does not have a business center. Many local hotels conveniently located in the vicinity of the Airport offer business center services.

Does San Diego International Airport offer Internet or High-speed wireless Internet service? Top

Yes, the Airport does have wireless service available free of charge to all airport patrons.

Is there a USO located at San Diego International Airport? Top

SDIA is host to one of the nation's largest United Services Organization (USO) center, providing our military with a welcome respite while traveling. Opened in March 2010, this 5,000 square-foot facility hosts approximately 150,000 service members and their families each year.

The Center is located outside Terminal One, adjacent to Alaska Airlines ticket counter. For more information, please call (619) 296-3192.

Who can I contact with questions regarding Customs and Immigration at San Diego International Airport? Top

The Federal Inspection Services International Arrival Terminal at SDIA can be reached by calling (619) 230-8178. Other offices are available by pressing the appropriate number when prompted:

  • U.S Customs and Border Protection Service
  • U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Public Health Service

What items are permitted for transportation aboard aircraft? Top

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) governs regulations regarding items that may be transported aboard aircraft. Click on Security: Traveler Tips or Security: Prohibited Items.

What is the address of San Diego International Airport? Top

SDIA is comprised of three adjacent terminal buildings and is located approximately four miles west of downtown San Diego.

  • Commuter Terminal - 3225 N. Harbor Drive
  • Terminal 1 - 3665 N. Harbor Drive
  • Terminal 2 - 3707 N. Harbor Drive

Each address is located in San Diego, California 92101.

How do I check the status of arrivals and departures at San Diego International Airport? Top

To check the status of arriving and departing flights to/from SDIA click here. To ensure the most accurate and timely information, contact your respective airline directly. For a listing of telephone numbers to airlines serving SDIA, click here.

Where are the airline cargo offices located at San Diego International Airport? Top

The following companies have air cargo offices located near SDIA:

  • Delta Air Lines (619) 231-7122
  • California Air Cartage (619) 291-8644
  • Northwest Airlines (619) 231-7340
  • United Airlines (619) 231-5604
  • Southwest Airlines (619) 231-7345

Please contact the company directly for the exact location.

How do I get to the Cruise Ship Terminal from San Diego International Airport? Top

The Cruise Ship Terminal is located approximately two miles east of SDIA on N. Harbor Drive. Click on Ground Transportation for options.

How do I find out prices for airline tickets from San Diego International Airport? Top

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is the owner and operator of SDIA. Each airline operating at SDIA is its own business enterprise. For destinations served from SDIA, click here. For availability and pricing information, please contact the airlines directly. For telephone numbers of air carriers operating at SDIA, click here.

Where are bicycle racks located at San Diego International Airport? Top

Bicycle racks are available free for public use in the following locations:

  • Commuter Terminal Lot (East End) - Located on the east side of the parking lot directly in front of the Commuter Terminal.
  • Terminal 1 Parking Lot - Under the Terminal 1 sky bridge in the area between the escalator and Transportation Island.
  • Terminal 2 Parking Lot (East End)
  • Terminal 2 Parking Lot (West End)

Bicycles may be parked for up to 30 days.

Where can I get a tax refund for items purchase inside the U.S. before I return to my country? Top

Foreign visitors to the United States frequently confuse the California state sales tax with the value-added tax (VAT). The state sales tax is a small tax on purchases or services, calculated at the time of purchase, which individual states assess and which the U.S. federal government neither determines nor receives. The VAT, on the other hand, is a national tax commonly applied in foreign countries that is included in the actual sales price rather than at the time of purchase. The United States does not have a VAT and the federal government cannot refund state sales taxes.

State taxes are generally not charged to diplomats or employees of some international organizations who have been issued a tax-exemption card. This card must be presented at the time of purchase in order for sales taxes to be waived.

For additional information, please visit the U.S. Customs website.

How may I contact San Diego International Airport to offer my company’s services or products? Top

Thank you for your interest in San Diego International Airport, operated by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

The Procurement Department maintains a list of suppliers interested in doing business with the Authority. Vendor registration must be completed for your business to be registered in the Authority's Vendor Database. Register your business here.

The Authority encourages open competition and conducts business in a fair and impartial manner. Contracts can be awarded on the basis of best value using predetermined evaluation criteria and weights. For additional information please call (619) 400-2540.

 

Copyright 2011 San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. All rights reserved.