Sacramento International Airport
Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is a medium-sized airport serving California’s Central Valley communities and more than 8.6 million passengers a year. That passenger traffic makes SMF the 38th busiest of the nation’s 847 airports. Situated just 10 miles northwest of central Sacramento, the 6,000-acre airport is easily accessed from Interstate 5. SMF is owned by the County of Sacramento and was declared an official port of entry in 2006.
Passenger travel is handled at the airport’s two terminals, Terminal A and Terminal B, with a total of 32 gates. Terminal A offers many dining and shopping options and service spots, including a massage bar and a wine shop. On the Lower level are ticketing counters, baggage claim and a coffee bar. Escalators lead to the second level, directly to the security check-point stations. Beyond the check-point stations are the terminal’s 13 gates and several concessions.
The new Terminal B opened ahead of schedule in the fall of 2011, at a cost of $1.03 billion. Terminal B has two buildings, airside and landside, connected via an elevated automated shuttle. The landside Terminal B building is nestled between the parking garage and the Hourly B lot. The terminal’s first Level offers a help desk, the baggage claim area, and a coffee bar. Passengers ascend to Level 2 for ticketing counters and to Level 3 to board the automated shuttles that take travelers to Terminal B’s airside building. It is at the airside Terminal B building that passengers access the terminal’s 19 gates, restaurants, shops, and an unbeatable view of California’s Great Central Valley. The old Terminal B building will be replaced by an on-site hotel.
Competing against larger, nearby airports in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, SMF offers several amenities to enrich the passenger experience. In 2006, SMF began offering passengers free wireless Internet service, one of the first airports in the country to do so. A number of public art installations are sprinkled throughout the airport’s two terminals, many highlighting and celebrating the Central Valley’s beloved landmarks and features. From multi-media presentations to interactive art, SMF’s art exhibits entertain all the senses. To further engage passengers, winter holiday travelers can expect live entertainment throughout the airport.
SMF offers 49 restaurants, cafes, shops, and services at its two terminals. Terminal B concessions earned a variety of accolades, including a North America Award of Excellence by the Airports Council International-North America.
For travelers who are preferred airline customers, SMF recently added priority security lanes. The priority lanes smooth and hasten the check-point process.
Passengers requiring rental cars may access the vehicles through SMF’s consolidated Rental Car Center. The Rental Car Center is in a building apart from the terminal buildings and can be reached via the airport’s Rental Car Center shuttles.
With a thought to airport passengers’ convenience, a gas station is on-site for last minute fill-ups. The ARCO service station is near the airport entrance and the on-ramp to Interstate 5.
Parking is relatively abundant at SMF with a six-level parking garage conveniently near both terminal buildings. The Hourly B parking lot is also close to Terminal B, and the daily surface lot is a short distance away. Shuttles are available every 10 to 15 minutes to transport passengers from the daily lot to the terminal buildings. Shuttles are available at the economy lot but are less frequent, taking up to 45 minutes to transport passengers to and from the terminal buildings.
SMF also offers a free waiting area/cell phone lot for passenger pick-up. The free waiting area is near the airport entrance and is limited to three hours.
Airlines Serving Sacramento Airport
The Sacramento International Airport is not considered an airline hub for any airlines. However, the airport does service 9 million passengers on an annual basis on approximately 323 commercial flights every day of the year. The airport is served by several major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Aeromexico, AirTran Airways, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Blue Airlines, Horizon Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Volaris Airlines.
The Sacramento International Airport has two terminals for passengers. The first terminal is Terminal A, which is home to flights on airlines such as Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways. Terminal B is the terminal in which passengers can find American Airlines, Aeromexico, AirTran Airways, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Blue Airlines, Horizon Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Volaris Airlines’ gates.
Southwest Airlines does not consider the Sacramento International Airport a hub airport or even a focus city, but the airline is the biggest in the Sacramento Airport. Southwest Airlines transports more than 4.6 million passengers into and out of Sacramento each year, which is approximately 52 percent of all the Sacramento International Airport’s annual passengers. United Airlines and their smaller sister airline, United Express is the second largest airline in the Sacramento International Airport, flying just over 936,000 passengers each year, which is only a little more than 10 percent of the airport’s business. Delta Airlines flies approximately 713,000 passengers each year to and from the Sacramento International Airport, making it the third most used airline in the city.
The busiest destination route from the Sacramento International Airport is to Denver. Frontier, United, and Southwest fly approximately 393,000 passengers to this city every year. The second busiest is Los Angeles. Nearly 387,000 passengers use American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines to fly to this location each year. The third most popular destination from the Sacramento International Airport is Phoenix. Approximately 375,000 passengers fly from Sacramento to Phoenix on Southwest Airlines and US Airways each year.
Many flights out of the Sacramento International Airport fly to different destinations all over the world, but not all flights are nonstop flights; many require stops in other cities. However, the Sacramento International Airport does have an impressive list of nonstop flights from Sacramento to other cities in the country. This list of nonstop destinations includes popular cities such as Atlanta, Burbank, Guadalajara, Palm Springs, Houston, Honolulu, Maui, New York, Minneapolis, Ontario, Washington D.C., Long Beach, Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia.