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Monday, December 18, 2017 at 11:56 AM - For Immediate Release

Christmas Travel Tips from Sacramento Intl Airport

SACRAMENTO - Sacramento International Airport is ready to serve holiday travelers with festive holiday decorations, live entertainment, and abundant options for last-minute shopping. The airport recommends travelers arrive 2 hours in advance of flight departure and be prepared for longer-than-usual lines at airport parking facilities, ticket counters, and the TSA security checkpoint.

The biggest crowds are expected Dec. 21-23 with a second rush expected on Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 2 as holiday travelers fly home. Because of increased airline seat capacity, almost 70,000 additional seats will be available to Sacramento travelers this December compared to last.

Make your travel experience easier by being prepared with information. Here are some tips.


  • Ample airport parking is available Christmas week, but it may not be at the price you prefer. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, both the daily lot ($12/day) and economy lot ($10/day) intermittently filled and closed. Check your options by viewing the parking availability map:
  • Parking overnight at the Hourly B lot is not recommended, as is it designed – and priced – for people meeting and greeting passengers in Terminal B. 
  • Hassle-free covered parking is available at the garage ($18/day). A popular option at other times of the year, the garage has abundant spaces during the winter holidays. It is a five minutes’ walk from either terminal.
  • Getting to Sacramento International Airport is as Easy as SMF. Options include taxicabs, SuperShuttle, offsite van and shuttle bus companies, Yolobus public transportation, and on-demand taxicab services like Uber, Lyft, and Wingz.


  • Don’t circle the terminal looking for your passengers. Save yourself time and gasoline by using the Free Waiting Area, also known as the cell phone lot. Visitors can park and wait until their passenger calls to let them know they have their bags and are at the curb ready to be picked up. It’s a 5-minute drive to both terminals.
  • The doors at Terminal B are numbered and designated by airline name.  Tell your passenger to pick a numbered door to stand by. Tip: Traffic is most congested by doors 1 and 2. It may be easier to pick up passengers outside doors 3 or 4.
  • If you’re a savvy traveler who is familiar with Sacramento International Airport, ask to be picked by on the second level departures area of Terminal B.


  • A bottle of California wine to accompany holiday meals? The latest trendy gadgets and hi-tech headphones? A little holiday bling for someone special (like yourself?) Airport concessions offer excellent last-minute gift ideas.
  • Live musical entertainment will be available Dec. 20-24 in both terminals.   
  • The Boarding Area Relaxation Corp (BARC) support dogs will be out in “fur” force Dec. 20-24 to soothe and entertain customers.

The Sacramento County Department of Airports is responsible for planning, developing, operating and maintaining the county’s four airports: Sacramento International Airport, Executive Airport, Mather Airport and Franklin Field. Sacramento International Airport offers more than 155 daily nonstop flights on 12 domestic and international carriers to 36 destinations. The regional economic impact of the Sacramento County Department of Airports is more than $4 billion annually. For more information, visit