Navigating the San Diego International Airport this Thanksgiving Holiday

Photo courtesy of San Diego International Airport

PR An average of 60,000 passengers a day are expected to pass through San Diego International Airport (SAN) during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. To help air travelers navigate quickly and safely to their Thanksgiving getaway or vacation destination, the Airport Authority has some important information for customers using SAN this holiday season.

Plan Ahead

Arrive at least 1½ hours before departure for domestic flights and 2 ½ hours for international flights.  The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website provides helpful tips on how to reduce wait times at security checkpoints, such as how to pack and what items are permitted and prohibited. These tips are available at

Construction Update

Construction on the airport’s Terminal 2 Parking Plaza is under way. Access to Terminal 2 parking is available off McCain Road from Harbor Drive. Travelers can visit for any and all parking needs while the Parking Plaza is under construction, including the ability to find the best parking lot based on the airline they’ll be flying.


  • Reserve Parking Online. Save time and money by reserving a parking spot in advance for Valet or the airport’s Long-Term or Economy lots by visiting
  • Short- and Long-Term Parking.  The parking options available at SAN include color-coded short- and long-term lots for ease of use:

Green is for the Long-Term Lot, located east of the airport

Blue is for the Economy Lot, located north of the airfield

Free shuttle buses from these short- and long-term lots to all airport terminals are also color-coded and feature images of popular destinations from San Diego.

  • Valet Parking.  The valet service was created to aid travelers in situations where time, convenience and parking availability are a concern.  When coming to the airport, drive into the designated valet areas in front of Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.  When coming back to San Diego, pick up luggage first on the way to the valet cashier.  The drive-up rate is $40 per 24-hour period, or save $5 on the daily rate by reserving online at Take the receipt to curbside valet and your vehicle will be brought to you, or text (619) 888-6675 with your information once you’ve landed.
  • Cell Phone Lot.  Located east of the airport on Harbor Drive, motorists can wait in this parking lot for up to 60 minutes free of charge.  Once cell phone contact is made between the driver and incoming passenger, the motorist can drive over to the terminal for quick, convenient traveler pick-up.
  • Disabled Parking. Parking for travelers with disabilities is available at all airport lots. For additional information call (619) 291-2087.

Therapy Dogs

In partnership with Traveler’s Aid Society of San Diego and Therapy Dogs, Inc., San Diego International Airport proudly offers Ready, Pet, Go, a therapy dog program aimed at enhancing the overall customer experience. As members of the airport’s Volunteer Airport Ambassadors (VAAs) program, the four-legged team members provide stress relief and comfort to passengers who would like to pet or interact with them. The Ready, Pet, Go program pairs up a therapy dog and handler to roam post-security in the terminals, visiting passengers awaiting flights and providing comfort, as well as airport information.

The Good Traveler

This holiday season airport travelers have the ability to offset the environmental impact of their journey through The Good Traveler, a program designed to encourage sustainable travel. For one dollar, travelers can buy a collectible Good Traveler tag or sticker at select locations within the airport, good for offsetting 500 miles of air travel or 200 miles of driving. Proceeds go toward conservation projects that help counteract the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment. For more about the program, visit

Expedite Security

TSA Pre™ at San Diego International Airport.  TSA Pre ✓™ offers expedited screening for eligible participants. TSA Pre✓™ lanes are available for passengers traveling through SAN on the following airlines:

–        Terminal 1  Alaska Airlines, Southwest

–        Terminal 2 – Air Canada, Jet Blue, Hawaiian, American, Delta, United, Virgin America, Sun Country Airlines and US Airways

Active duty military are also eligible for TSA Pre ✓™.  For more information on TSA Pre ✓™, please visit the TSA website.

Shops and Restaurants

The Airport Authority increased its shopping and dining options from 55 to 84 as part of its Concession Development Program. Offerings include favorite local, national and international concepts such as Phil’s BBQ, Stone Brewing Co., Prado at the Airport, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Jack in the Box and many more.  Before arriving at the airport, please take a look at the list of current shopping and dining options by visiting

Holiday Entertainment

With Thanksgiving kicking off the holiday performing arts season, passengers can enjoy the joyous sounds of live music as they travel through the terminals at San Diego International Airport.

On Wednesday, November 23 passengers will be treated to performances by:

  • Holiday Hipsters, vocal performance from 6 a.m. – 8 a.m. in Terminal 1
  • Full Measure Carolers, vocal performance from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. in Terminal 2
  • Holiday Sax Quartet, brass musical performance from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. in Terminal 1

Lactation Rooms

Nursing mothers traveling through the airport this holiday season can take advantage of any of San Diego International Airport’s three lactation rooms. The rooms are located post-security – two in Terminal 1 and one in Terminal 2 – and include a hand washing station, electrical outlets, comfortable seating, artwork, a children’s seat and soft lighting. The rooms are an addition to the many customer amenities in place at the airport to make passengers’ experience more convenient, comfortable and enjoyable.

For more information visit:

Sign up to receive the latest news direct to your inbox

Previous articleMTS Trolley and Bus Service Schedule for Thanksgiving
Next articleCarjacking & Robbery in Morena District