Oakland International Airport
Positioning itself for decades as the low-cost, convenient alternative to San Francisco’s airport, Oakland International Airport (OAK) serves more than 9.2 million passengers each year. That volume makes OAK the 34th busiest airport of the country’s 847 airports. In addition to its significant passenger traffic, OAK is used to transport more than 1.1 billion pounds of cargo each year, 21 million pounds of which is mail.
OAK is a public airport managed by the Oakland Port Authority offering scheduled passenger, charter, and cargo services. Nearly 216,000 airport operations were conducted at OAK in 2011, with 183 daily scheduled commercial departures. Thirty-one of those daily departures were solely cargo flights. The airport’s stellar 89 percent on-time flight rate and its convenient location in San Francisco’s East Bay Area are just two reasons for the airport’s popularity.
OAK’s operations are aided by the work of 14,000 employees. Its campus includes two air fields: South Field and North Field. South Field operates one runway serving both cargo and commercial operations and houses the airport’s two passenger terminals. Together, the terminals provide 29 boarding gates. North Field has three runways serving general aviation operations, including several fixed-base operations such as charter flights and flight schools. Also at North Field are several aviation maintenance businesses, an aerial surveying operation and the Oakland Aviation Museum.
The airport conducts a variety of “green” initiatives, including a renovation of Terminal 2 that earned OAK a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation by the U.S. Green Building Council. Currently, OAK is building a new tower to replace the existing two towers. The new tower offers 30-mile visibility and is set to open in 2014.
There are plenty of activities and amenities at OAK to help pass the time before or between flights. Travelers have access to free 45-minute wireless Internet connection after first viewing a 30-second commercial; non-commercial wireless connectivity is available for a small fee. Travelers can find sustenance at one of OAK’s 26 restaurants, fast food shops, and coffee shops. Last-minute supplies, snacks, and reading material are found at any of the airport’s two dozen retail shops. Shops and restaurants are located in pre-security areas as well as in areas beyond the security checkpoint.
For help finding locations within the airport, travelers may seek the help of OAK’s visitor information ambassadors positioned throughout the two terminal areas. The airport’s Lost & Found is in Terminal 1 for belongings left in the passenger terminals; for items left in airplanes, travelers should contact the airline directly.
Parking at Oakland Airport
More than 7,000 parking spaces are available at the airport’s parking lots. OAK parking lot customers may use the airport’s complimentary roadside services such as jump-starting dead batteries and finding lost cars. Prior to arriving at the airport, travelers can hear up-to-date parking availability information on the radio at 1700AM, the airport’s TIPS station.
Most of the airport’s parking lots are within walking distance to both terminal buildings, although free shuttles to/from the economy lot are available. For consistent or business travelers, OAK offers a frequent parking program and a corporate parking program. For additional savings, OAK often offers free parking in the daily lot between Thanksgiving and Christmas on certain weekdays.
Electric vehicle charging stations are available at the airport’s “premier” parking lot closest to the terminal buildings. Introductory plug-ins at the charging stations are complimentary, although normal parking fees apply. “Premier” parking customers also receive free water and newspapers inside the terminal and access to a special line at the security checkpoint station.
Disabled parking spaces are in OAK’s hourly and daily parking lots.
Airlines Serving Oakland Airport
Being one of the three main airports in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, Oakland International Airport gets solid service from domestic and international airlines. Southwest Airlines operates the busiest schedule in Oakland. As the nation’s largest low cost airline, Southwest Airlines offers convenient non-stop trips to major cities on the West Coast. Albuquerque, Houston, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Seattle are some of the large cities accessible via this busy carrier. Burbank, Los Angeles, and San Diego are major destinations in California that can be reached by Southwest Airlines service at Oakland International Airport. This huge low-cost airline exclusively uses Terminal 2 while all other airlines use Terminal 1 at Oakland’s airport.
When it comes to the total number of destinations available, Allegiant Air also offers a busy schedule at Oakland International Airport. This modest size low cost American company specializes in regional service to small communities in the western part of the United States. Billings, Bozeman, Idaho Falls, Missoula, Mesa, and Palm Springs are part of the Allegiant Air destination list that’s offered in Oakland International Airport.
Alaska Airlines invites passengers from Oakland International Airport to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii. This regional American airline offers flights to Honolulu, Kailua-Kona, Kahului, and Lihue. The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Portland International Airport are also listed on the Alaska Airlines timetables in Oakland International Airport. Hawaiian Airlines can also be used for reliable non-stop service to Honolulu and Kahului.
In addition to taking Oakland’s passengers to Salt Lake City in Utah, Delta Air Lines also offers flights to Los Angeles International Airport. By taking customers to California’s largest city, the airline company with the world’s largest fleet operates the busiest route at Oakland International Airport.
The only way for passengers at Oakland International Airport to get to the East Coast is to board JetBlue Airways flights to New York JFK Airport. In fact, the flight to New York City’s busiest airport should be reliable because JetBlue Airways is based there. On a seasonal basis, this major low cost company also takes passengers to Boston and the country’s capital district. Spirit Airlines and US Airways are the other major U.S. airlines that serve Oakland International Airport.
Arkefly, SATA International, and Volaris are the international airlines that operate in Oakland International Airport. However, these companies offer limited seasonal service. For example, Arkely operates trips to Amsterdam and Volaris takes customers to Mexico City and Guadalajara.