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Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 8:37 AM - For Immediate Release

Holiday weekend travel tips from SMF

With more than 100,000 travelers expected to fly out of Sacramento International Airport (SMF) during the Indigenous Peoples’ Day holiday weekend, SMF would like to offer travelers a few travel tips to help make their journey that much easier.

Analysts predict that between Thursday, October 5 and Tuesday, October 10, more than 100,000 people will travel through the airport.

Top destinations for travelers flying out of SMF include Hawaii, Southern California, Mexico, Las Vegas, and Seattle. SMF is also expected to welcome thousands of travelers who will spend the holiday weekend exploring the Sacramento region.

Aftershock, one of the West Coast’s biggest Rock festivals, anticipates 160,000 music fans. The 4-day festival event will be held at Sacramento County’s Discovery Park from October 5-8.  Additionally, Indigenous Peoples Day has traditionally been one of SMF’s busiest travel weekends.

To ensure a smooth experience, all travelers are encouraged to be prepared by staying on top of communication from their airlines and packing their patience when arriving at SMF. Here are a few additional tips for travelers heading out this weekend:

When to arrive at the airport
One of the best ways to save time before a flight is to make plans to arrive ahead of time. SMF recommends that travelers arrive at least 2.5 hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.  SMF is expecting many customers to use the Rental Car Center, so please allow additional time if you are dropping off a car.

Parking at SMF
Anyone planning to drive their own vehicle to the airport should plan to navigate directly available lots. Extra signage and staffing will be provided onsite to help with navigation.

During holiday travel, parking lots at SMF can get a little tight. The garage and hourly lots are expected to fill quickly as demand exceeds capacity. Fortunately, travelers can check how many spots are available in real-time on the Airport’s Parking Status Webpage.

Shuttle service to and from the parking lots can also take more time during peak hours. Shuttle service is provided at 25–30-minute intervals. It can take 60 minutes from the time you park until the time you arrive at the terminal.

For additional questions about parking at SMF, please email 

Rideshare/public transportation is recommended

Travelers are also strongly advised to consider getting dropped off by friends/family, taking public transportation, or using a taxi or app-based ride sharing.

Public Transportation: Sacramento Regional Transit District’s route 142 runs express service between the airport and downtown seven days a week. YoloBus also offers daily routes throughout the region.

App-Based Ridesharing: Lyft, Uber and Wingz all service SMF and have designated areas for pickup at both terminals.

Taxis: Taxi service is provided by the Sacramento Independent Taxi Owners Association. Travelers can make reservations by calling 916-444-0008. Taxis can be found outside of baggage claims at both terminals. Visit this link for more information about parking lot options and rates at SMF.

Insider tip: If you are picking up someone at SMF, please park in the Free Waiting Area until they have their bags and headed to the Arrivals area. Parking and waiting at the Arrival area is not permitted and it can take approximately 30 minutes from the time the aircraft lands until a passenger’s bags reach the baggage carousel.

Another insider tip: there are check-in kiosks throughout the terminal before the security checkpoints, not just near the airline counters, so travelers can avoid the crowds at the main desks by using kiosks located in other areas.

Want to get through security faster? 
SMF’s TSA Pre✓ enrollment center is also open at SMF. The TSA Pre✓ expedited screening process for travelers reduces the time spent waiting in the security line. If travelers pre-enroll on the Pre✓ website, they can go through the entire process at SMF in five minutes or less. 

The application center is in the baggage claim area in the southeast corner of Level 1 of Terminal B. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-in customers are accepted and will be accommodated around scheduled appointments.

SMF has expedited lanes for CLEAR subscribers that speed up the identification process in the security line. CLEAR uses your eyes to confirm your identity, moving you faster through the line. It does have an annual membership fee and travelers will need to subscribe before getting to SMF. To become a CLEAR member, visit their website

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