SFO Community Newsletter
Winter 2021

SFO's 2019/2020 fiscal year was like no other. In July 2019, we started the fiscal year with strong passenger and revenue numbers, but in March 2020, seemingly overnight, that all changed. The COVID-19 pandemic led to global shutdowns which drastically altered the landscape in which we all live and work.

The Airport’s fiscal progress halted quickly as concern for public safety grew. Airlines suspended flights, businesses temporarily closed and masks and physical distancing became the new normal. So, where do we go from here?

For SFO, the answer is onward and upward. Over the last 10 months we have seen that what began as our greatest challenge, has ultimately revealed our greatest strengths — the resilience, resourcefulness and commitment of our airport and its employees.

See our Fiscal Year 2019/2020 story

When It’s Time to Travel, You’ll Want to be Ready

We’re looking ahead to brighter days! While you may not be able to take a trip just yet, there are a few things that you can do now to prepare for travel later in 2021.

Complete your travel checklist

Welcome Qatar Airways!

We're pleased to welcome our newest airline, Qatar Airways, with nonstop service to Doha (DOH). The new service offers connections to more than 100 global destinations across Africa, India, Nepal, Pakistan and South Africa, amongst others, via Qatar Airways’ home and hub of Hamad International Airport.

Four flights per week are available, with service ramping up to daily flights by July 2, 2021. Flights are operated on Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900, featuring 36 Qsuite Business Class seats and 247 Economy Class seats. Business Class passengers on this flight can enjoy the award-winning Qsuite Business Class seat with its enhanced privacy, including sliding doors. The Qsuite seat layout is a 1-2-1 configuration, providing passengers to the Middle East and beyond with the most spacious, fully private, comfortable and socially distanced Business Class product in the sky.

Read more about Qatar Airways' new route

Air India Starts the U.S.' First Nonstop Flights to Bangalore

January 9, 2021, marked the start of Air India’s first-ever nonstop flights between SFO and Kempegowda International Airport (BLR). This inaugural flight between the sister cities of San Francisco and Bangalore (Bengaluru) was operated by an all-female cockpit crew that flew the polar route.

Known as “the Silicon Valley of India”, Bangalore accounts for more than 35% of India's software exports. The new service provides the first nonstop link between these two centers of technology. Additionally, through BLR, Air India provides connectivity to other points in South India.

This flight, currently the only nonstop service between Bangalore and the United States, operates twice a week onboard Air India's Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.

Learn more about Air India's new BLR service

Pura Vida! Costa Rica is Closer Than Ever Before

On January 9, 2021, United Airlines launched its first-ever nonstop service between SFO and Liberia (LIR), Costa Rica onboard its Boeing 737-900 aircraft. 

The flight operates once a week and departs on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. The return flight from LIR arrives on Sundays at 4:25 p.m.

Find out more

Flight Arrivals

Flight Arrivals

Upcoming Service Additions at SFO

Subject to Change Without Notice

Airline Destination Effective Date Notes

Austin (AUS)

Feb 11

New daily service

New York (JFK)

Feb 28

New daily service

Raleigh-Durham (RDU)

Mar 4

New daily service


Ontario (ONT)

Mar 7

New service (Thu & Sun)


Now Open: New Shops at SFO

DFS Duty Free Gallerias

Departing international passengers may now stop by SFO's newly remodeled DFS Gallerias for a selection of cosmetics, fragrances, liquor and tobacco. Visit the in-store designer boutiques and pick up a treat for yourself or a special gift - all at duty free prices! Domestic passengers may purchase duty paid beauty products, food and select gifts. The Gallerias are located in the International Terminal, post-security A & G Gates.

View exclusive offers available at the DFS Gallerias at SFO.

DFS Duty Free Boutiques Now Open!

The wait is over – Gucci and Hermes are now open at SFO. DFS invites SFO travelers to discover its curated selection of fashion and accessories while having an unforgettable shopping experience. Both boutiques are located post-security in the International Terminal G-Gates.

The Scoop

Here's the scoop: SFO's latest newsstand offers a range of in-flight reading options and travel necessities. Also available: souvenirs, gifts and snacks. The Scoop is located in Terminal 2, post-security near Gate C5.

Featured: DFS Galleria, G-Gates

View all shopping options at SFO

Now Open: Drake's Flyaway

Our newest restaurant, Drake's Flyaway, offers delicious salads, burgers, pizzas and a great selection of local beer on tap. Drake's Flyaway is located in Harvey Milk Terminal 1 near Gate B19.

View all dining options at SFO


Hair Style

SFO's newest exhibition explores the evolution of hairstyles and styling aids

For centuries, women have styled their hair in all manner of fashions. Historically, women’s hair care and styling took place at home with the help of family, friends, or domestic staff until the late 1800s, when salons began to open. By the late 1920s, thousands of beauty parlors had opened across the United States. Since then, hairstyles and styling aids have continued to evolve, demonstrating that hair remains an important part of popular culture. 

SFO Museum's Hair Style exhibition features historical tools, hair products, and novelty items, from early curling irons and hair dryers to afro picks and one-of-a-kind hair sculptures, mostly from the collection Jeff Hafler’s Beauty Bubble Salon and Museum in Joshua Tree, California. This exhibition is now on view in Harvey Milk Terminal 1, post-security until August 22, 2021.

View objects from the exhibition

SFO Takes Top Honors for Marketing, Communications, and Customer Experience

Airport Council International - North America (ACI-NA) recognized SFO with the highest honor in its 2020 Excellence in Airport Marketing, Communications, and Customer Experience Awards: the prestigious Peggy G. Hereford Award. SFO was selected for this honor after receiving the most first-place wins and honorable mentions across all categories in the 2020 awards.

The Airport received first place in Partnering with Concessionaires/Service Providers, Customer Experience Programs (Large Airports) and Print Communications categories. SFO also took second place in the Brand Identity and Newsletters categories.

Learn more

"Simplified Arrivals" Lands at SFO

Passengers arriving at SFO on an international flight will now be able to complete the federal inspection process more quickly and easily with “Simplified Arrivals”.

Operated by the United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP), this facial comparison technology matches a photo taken at Customs when a traveler arrives with previously provided passport or visa photos. The Airport expects this technology to reduce wait times at CBP inspection checkpoints.

If a traveler cannot be matched to a photo on record, a CBP officer will process the traveler. US citizens and passengers meeting other criteria may also ask to be processed manually by providing a valid travel document for identity verification by a CBP officer.

Find out more about Simplified Arrivals

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