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Friday, November 22, 2019 at 9:12 AM - For Immediate Release

Thanksgiving Travel Tips from Sacramento International Airport

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Thanksgiving travel is in full swing at Sacramento International Airport. We are fully staffed and excited to accommodate and assist travelers during the holiday season. Whether you’re flying out of Sacramento or picking up friends and family, we strongly encourage you to be prepared by arriving early and anticipating the possibility of some delay and longer than normal wait time for shuttle buses. Prior to arriving at the Airport, check parking availability on our website, Shuttles to and from the terminals can be tracked by downloading the PassioGO! app.

The Airport recommends travelers arrive at least two hours in advance of their scheduled departure time to allow time to park, check luggage, and pass through TSA security. The lines at the ticket counters and security checkpoints are expected to be longer than normal. If your flight departs from Terminal A on United, Delta, American, or Air Canada, you should plan for a 40 minute wait during the peak times between 5:00am-6:00am. If departing from Terminal B on Southwest, Alaska, Jet Blue, Aeromexico, Contour, Frontier, Hawaiian, Horizon, Spirit, Sun Country, Volaris, or Boutique, you should expect a 30 minute wait time during the peak times between 4:30am-5:00am. 

To make traveling easier and more enjoyable, pet therapy dogs from the Boarding Area Relaxation Corp. (BARC) will be in the terminals during the week of Thanksgiving, and local musicians will serenade customers in the baggage claim areas of both terminals at scheduled times on November 27 and 28.

Parking lots may fill to capacity and close, so please plan to arrive early, and look for signage that will direct you to available parking, including the new West Economy Lot. Visit our website and use the interactive parking lot map which shows real-time availability. Download the PassioGO! app to see when to expect the next shuttle bus arrival.

  • Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis; be prepared to know what options are available.
  • Unlike the other parking options at SMF, the West Economy Lot is pre-pay by license plate. Customers pay when they park by entering their license plate number at the pay station which records payment electronically.
  • Shuttle bus service is provided to the East and West Economy Lots at intervals of 25-30 minutes or less.
  • Hassle free covered parking is available in the garage for $18/day and is only a few minutes’ walk to either terminal.
  • Parking overnight at the Hourly B lot (on the west side to Terminal B) is not recommended. It is designed – and priced – for people meeting and greeting passengers in Terminal B. 

Do you prefer to let someone else drive? Ground transportation options include taxicabs, SuperShuttle, offsite van and shuttle bus companies, Yolo bus public transportation, and app-based ride share services such as Uber and Lyft.


  • Parking and waiting at the curb or along Airport Boulevard is prohibited, as the curbs are for active loading and unloading of people and luggage only. Save gas and avoid circling the terminals by using the Free Waiting Area, which is also known as the cell phone lot, and is located near the intersection of Crossfield and Lindberg Drives. This area provides a free place to wait until people are ready to be picked up from the terminals, which are only a 3-5 minute drive away. It will take your arriving passengers about 25 minutes after landing to arrive at the curb.
  • The curbside doors at Terminal B are numbered on the baggage claim level. A fast and easy way to locate your party at Terminal B curbside is to use the door number closest to where your party is waiting.
  • Follow the SMF’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for travel tips and updates.

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