San Diego Airport (SAN)
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San Diego Airport Car Hire - Did You Know?

  • Most of the landings and takeoffs at San Diego Airport take place from east to west .
  • Because of noise complaints from residents planes may only fly from San Diego International between 6.30am and 11.30pm.
  • San Diego International was the first company to run a blog by one of their employees starting in January 2008.
  • Every day 50,000 passengers use San Diego International Airport on an estimated 600 flights.
  • Charles Lindbergh tested his Spirit of St Louis plane near there before making his historic transatlantic flight.

San Diego Airport Mini Guide

What can you Tell me About San Diego?
It’s America’s eighth largest city and the second biggest in California, eclipsing San Francisco. San Diego is renowned for its Mediterranean climate which makes it one of the most ‘liveable’ cities in the US. San Diego is right on the Mexican border, opposite Tijuana and has its own old quarter of Spanish style haciendas, a remnant of its times in Mexican and Spanish hands. Today it is world famous as the site of North America’s best zoo and for Sea World, probably America’s best aquarium and sea life centre. The city also boasts miles of beautiful beaches varying from the fun packed and busy, to the quiet and relaxing.

How do I get to San Diego?
Flights arrive from all over the States and also some international destinations. BA operates a daily flight from London Heathrow making it the only European route. The airport is only around three miles from the centre of San Diego which is reachable by Metro Bus, airport shuttle, taxi or rental car.

What is San Diego Airport Like?
The airport is reasonably attractive and functional with two terminals operating domestic and international flights and a ‘commuter terminal’ dealing only with Delta flights from LA. It’s currently undergoing expansion plans adding further gates taking it up to 91% of the capacity it was designed for.

San Diego Airport

What Should I Expect When I Arrive at San Diego Airport?
Most likely you’ll arrive at Terminal 2 and dock at a jet bridge on one of the two long and one short concourses. As usual, international passengers will have to undergo security, customs and immigration checks before entering the public areas. You’ll have entered on the second level and must go downstairs to the baggage reclaim area. There are no banks at the airport but you’ll notice several ATMs along the way and in the baggage reclaim area. The airport information desk is on the wall opposite the reclaim and they’ll be able to help you with directions around the busy airport. To get your hire car you’ll have to call the company on one of the courtesy phones then wait for the shuttle at the roundabout at the far end of the terminal. Public transport is also available directly outside the terminal doors.

What can I do in the Airport on the day of my Departure?
After checking in you could spend some time looking at the ever changing art exhibitions at the airport or take an hour or two relaxing over a delicious meal in one of the excellent restaurants. If shopping is your thing, perhaps grab a snack or a take away so you can spend more time in the huge range of shops on site. These are spread out over the public area and beyond security so you can shop on either side. Beyond security you’ll also find more snack bars and light bites should your shopping have made you peckish again. Wi-Fi is available should you wish to work on your laptop or just browse the internet to kill time.

Driving in San Diego Airport - Need to know


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Read our Frequently Asked Questions

San Diego Airport is a busy public airport which runs a number of domestic services. They include routes to Los Angeles with Delta Connection, Seattle/Tacoma with Alaska Airlines and San Francisco with Southwest Airlines. It is classed as an international airport as you can also fly to Canada.

Pick up a low cost car rental at San Diego International and you can enjoy the wonderful weather and beaches of California. We have all sort of cars to suit any customer, including people carriers with roof racks for surfers. SAN is one of the busiest airports in the world to operate with only one runway and that delivers more than 18 million passengers to the airport per year.

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