San Diego International Airport
Overview & History
San Diego International Airport is located in San Diego, California and is less than five miles away from downtown San Diego. In 1925, there were schedule flights between San Diego and Los Angeles. Two years later, Charles Lindbergh had a test flight at an airfield near the current airport just before he went on his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean. One year after his amazing flight, the leaders of San Diego decided to build an airport for the city. The new airport opened in 1928 and was named the San Diego Municipal Airport-Lindbergh Field. The airport was the first airport that was federally certified in the United States to receive seaplanes as well as land planes. In 1937, the United States Coast Guard had a base just across the way from the airport. During World War II, the Army Air Corps of the United States took control of the airport. In this time, part of the airport was renovated to receive bigger airplanes. After the city of San Diego regained control of the airport after World War II, the amount of air traffic grew. As growth continued, so did the number of terminals at the airport. Terminal 1 opened in 1967. The second terminal, Terminal 2, opened in 1979. About 15 years later, Terminal 2 received a renovation and expansion. A number of years later, the name of the airport was changed and was called the San Diego International Airport. Today, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority runs the airport.
At the international airport in San Diego, there are three terminals. The terminals are Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and the Commuter Terminal. Terminal 1 is divided into two sections. The two sections are West and East. Terminal 1 has 19 gates. The second terminal, Terminal 2, has 22 gates. Like Terminal 1, Terminal 2 has two sections, which are West and East. International flights that arrive at the airport come through Terminal 2. Commuter Terminal has 4 gates. The flights that operate at this terminal are ones that fly to and from the Los Angeles International Airport.
There is only one runway at San Diego International Airport. It is 9,401 feet long. It is made out of a combination of concrete and asphalt. Although it has only one runway, San Diego International Airport is one of the busiest single runway airports in the world.
Passenger Services at San Diego Airport
The San Diego International Airport has an Art Program at the airport. This program has a number of exhibits, performing artists and public art for passengers to enjoy as they are in the terminals. There is an emphasis on jazz music as well as contemporary music at the airport. Instrumental solos, jazz vocals, and various groups all perform throughout the year. During the Christmas Season, a number of carolers, quartets, rock groups and more come to the airport with Christmas music to share. Works of art at the airport come from national and local artists. Titles from art pieces include A Day at the Beach, San Diego: Gateway of the Americas and Los Voladores/The Sunfliers.
The international airport in San Diego has some great places to park. Long-Term Parking has several places for travelers and visitors to park. Each parking location has complimentary shuttle service. The parking areas are SAN Park Harbor Drive, SAN Park NTC and SAN Park Pacific Highway. General Parking is a great option for people to use. The Cell Phone Lot is a place where people can park their vehicles free while they wait for their passengers to arrive at the airport. There are 97 parking places available.
Airlines Serving San Diego Airport
Serving as the gateway into one of the largest cities in southern California, San Diego International Airport gets service more than a dozen total airlines. The busiest schedule at this airport belongs to Southwest Airlines. Based in Texas, this major low cost airline naturally offers direct flights to large cities in the company’s home state. Austin Bergstrom International Airport, Houston Hobby Airport, El Paso International Airport, and San Antonio International Airport are all listed on the Southwest Airlines schedule.
This huge low cost carrier also links San Diego with other important cities in California including Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, and the state’s capital city of Sacramento. Albuquerque, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson are major destinations in California’s neighboring states that can be reached via Southwest Airlines service that’s offered at Terminal 1 in San Diego International Airport.
The Commuter Terminal at San Diego International Airport is entirely dedicated for direct flights to Los Angeles International Airport. American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines offer convenient trips to the main airport in the largest city in California.
Delta Air Lines also offers direct flights to its airport hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, and Salt Lake City. These Delta flights are offered in Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport. Similarly, United Airlines operates trips to major airports in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark, San Francisco, and District of Columbia in the nation’s capital. United Airlines also uses the gates in Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport.
Passengers at San Diego are well connected to the beautiful Pacific resorts in Hawaii thanks to two domestic regional airlines. Based in Terminal 1, Alaska Airlines takes customers to Honolulu, Kahului, and Lahue. Using Terminal 2, Hawaiian Airlines also transports San Diego’s passengers across the Pacific Ocean and into the Hawaiian capital city of Honolulu.
San Diego International Airport also receives limited service from other domestic airlines such as American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Sun country Airlines and US Airways. Most of these American companies use Terminal 2 at San Diego’s main airport.
Several major international carriers operate San Diego International Airport. Providing trips to London Heathrow Airport, British Airways is the only airline to operate a direct route into the United Kingdom. Air Canada offers flights to Toronto and Vancouver. Tokyo can be reached via transpacific flights on Japan Airlines. Volaris offers year round trips to Mexico City.