San Antonio International Airport: Tips for Flying

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As summer quickly approaches, traveling to visit family and friends over the summer can be exhilarating and exhausting. Traveling to or from the San Antonio area, your convenient local airport is the San Antonio International Airport (SAT). According to the airport’s official website, “More than 8.5 million passengers fly into and out of historic San Antonio each year, visiting more than 30 non-stop domestic and international destinations on 10 airlines.” As you can imagine, air travel often sees an increase throughout the summer months as many children are on summer break from school. As the Fourth of July holiday approaches during mid-summer, the San Antonio International Airport expects a high volume of passenger traffic during the days leading up to and following the national holiday. With additional passengers adding to congestion through all summer months, travelers are advised to arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

Leading up to summer, it’s helpful to review a series of tips and information regarding the San Antonio International Airport. Take a look at our travel tips and tricks below, they just might help you save a little extra time, a little extra money, and maybe even a little extra stress that air travel can so easily cause.

Photo credit: StuSeeger via / CC BY

San Antonio International Airport: Brief History

Built in 1941 as a military base, the San Antonio International Airport was transformed into a commercial airport in 1953. The airport is located in Northern San Antonio, approximately eight miles, or 15 minutes, away from downtown San Antonio. The airport stretches over 2,600 acres with two terminals, and services 10 domestic and international airlines providing commercial service to over 30 non-stop domestic and international destinations. As San Antonio’s closest major airport, it plays a vital role in the growth of the area with booming local industries in bio-science and healthcare. The airport itself is also an economic generation for the region, supporting over 97,500 jobs and providing nearly $1.6 billion in annual earnings for workers and proprietors.

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Airlines & Non-Stop Flights

The San Antonio International Airports services 10 major airlines for commercial travel. Those airlines include:

  • AeroMexico (AM)
  • Alaska Airlines (AS)
  • Allegiant Air (G4)
  • Delta Airlines (DL)
  • Frontier (F9)
  • Interject (4O)
  • Southwest (WN)
  • American Airlines (AA)
  • Volaris Airlines (Y4)
  • United Airlines (UA)

The San Antonio International Airport also provides a long list of non-stop flights for a variety of destinations both domestic and international. Non-stop flight destinations from San Antonio include:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Cancun, Mexico
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL Midway
  • Chicago, IL O’Hare
  • Dallas, TX Love
  • Dallas, TX DFW
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI
  • El Paso, TX
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Houston, TX Hobby
  • Houston, TX Intercont.
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Miami, FL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Monterrey, Mexico
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York, NY Newark
  • New York, NY JFK
  • Orlando/Sanford, FL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Tampa, FL
  • Washington DC Dulles

*Some non-stop flights are seasonal.

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Parking & Ground Transportation

The San Antonio International Airport offers a variety of various parking options for its visitors. Currently, the airport is undergoing construction on a new short-term parking and rental car facility, so the Long Term garage and Green Lot are two of the main options for parking.

The airport also offers their “SAT Frequent Parking Program,” which is “designed  to meet the needs of frequent flyers and business travelers…providing guaranteed, no-hassle parking for individuals and companies.” As a member of the program, you receive multiple benefits including guaranteed parking even when the garage is full, exclusive corral parking on the first floor with quick access in and out of the garage, parking within walking distance to the terminals, and a membership card, which can only be used by one customer at a time but can be shared by multiple people within a company or family. The SAT Frequent Parking Program costs $240 a month, but the total cost equals an equivalent to less than the cost of parking in the old Hourly Parking Garage for 10 days. Membership for the program is limited, so to find out more visit the SAT Frequent Parking Program page.

For all other travelers, parking is available in the Green Lot and in the Parking Garage. For a 24 hour period, parking in the Green Lot costs $8, while parking in the Parking Garage costs $11 for a 24 hour period. Other rates vary depending on the amount of hours your car is parked. At each of these locations, there is a free shuttle service to the terminal, which typically runs every 5 to 8 minutes.

If you are waiting to pick up a passenger from the San Antonio International Airport, there is a free Cell Phone Waiting Lot located one block of of 410 at the corner of Airport and Northern Blvds. There is no need to circle around the airport, so feel free to stop, park and wait for your passenger for free. Once they arrive, you can provide to make one loop to the terminal for pick up.

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In terms of ground transportation, the San Antonio International Airport has a long list of options available for travels. From car rentals, taxi cabs, shuttle services, hotel shuttles, the city bus service, charter buses, limousine service, and ride share programs, travelers are bound to find a ground transportation option that best fits their individual needs.

Ground transportation is located curbside in front of Terminal A and B baggage claim area. Uniformed transportation agents (wearing red shirts) can describe services and provide estimated rates to various destinations.

Additional Information

In an effort to help local travelers, the San Antonio International Airport has provided a list of “Know Before You Go” tips to make travel easier and stress free:

  • The Airlines generally recommend arriving two hours prior to your departure time. You’ll want to account for your parking time so as not to be rushed!
  • Only active loading and unloading is permitted at the Terminal curb areas and drivers must remain with their vehicles at all times. If additional time is needed for check-in or passenger pick-up, the driver will be required to move. You may park for up to 15 minutes FREE in the Hourly or Long-Term areas, or use the Cell Phone Waiting Lot.
  • Peak Periods at the airport are: Spring Break, Mid-July to early August, Thanksgiving, Christmas – New Years.

For additional travel tips or to learn more about the airport and all of its services, visit the San Antonio International Airport.