It’s crunch time for Christmas Travel as airlines expect to see a 184 percent increase from last year according to the American Automotive Association. 

The San Diego International Airport (SAN) shares the following tips to ensure travelers are prepared before they arrive at the airport for a safe and seamless journey.  

Before Arriving at the Airport: 

  • Check for any special requirements or information with your airline before the trip. Airlines have implemented COVID-19 health and safety measures for check-in, boarding, and while on the plane. Passengers should understand the expectations of the airline before arriving at the airport. A list of the airlines that serve SAN may be viewed at
  • Members of the public are urged to consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for information on how to safely travel during a pandemic. Travelers should have a clear understanding of state, local, and territorial government travel restrictions, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements.  
  • The U.S. borders are open to non-essential travel. Travelers must be fully vaccinated before traveling to/from an international destination. If traveling from an international location to SAN, passengers are required to get a viral test one day before the flight departs and provide written documentation of laboratory test results to the airline.
  •  SAN has an on-site COVID-19 testing option through Carbon Health for travelers wanting to get tested before a trip. Appointments are required and there is a fee for tests. For more information please visit,

Once at the Airport:  

  • It’s a federal mandate to wear a mask while on airport property and on an airplane. Masks for sale at many of the concessionaires and through vending machines and complimentary masks are available at the airport Information Desks.
  • All travelers should practice preventative health measures such as washing hands often, avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth, social distance at least 6 feet from others, covering coughs and sneezes, and monitoring daily health by conducting a temperature check before arriving at the airport.
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints are open and all passengers are required to go through screening. Travelers are encouraged to leave ample time, preferably two hours, to get through security and to their gate.
  • Travelers should review TSA’s COVID-19 webpage at for information on what to expect and the health and safety measures they’ve implemented.  
  • Shops and restaurants inside the terminals are open to provide travel necessities, meals, snacks, and more. Dining facilities are open, and patrons should social distance. 
  • Rental Car Center buses may run at reduced capacity due to social distancing requirements. It is recommended to leave ample time to accommodate longer shuttle wait times. Alternatively, the trolley provides service to the terminals at Palm Street on the Rental Car Center shuttles, and the MTS 992 bus is another public transportation option. 

Parking & Transportation Impacts: 

  • The Terminal 1 Parking Lot, Terminal 2 Parking Lot on McCain Road, Terminal 2 Parking Plaza, and Cell Phone Lot are open. Parking reservations may be made in advance by visiting the airport’s parking reservation webpage at
  •  The Long-Term Lot and Curbside Valet Terminal 1 and 2 are closed.  
  • On January 3, 2022, the Cell Phone Lot will be relocated to the Terminal 2 West Parking Lot on McCain Road. Due to the relocation, the Terminal 2 West Parking Lot on McCain Road will no longer be available to passengers wanting to park beyond the one-hour courtesy allowed. After waiting in the Cell Phone Lot, follow the signs to the exit, exit left onto Spruance Road, turn left on McCain, and then turn left at the light onto North Harbor Drive to head South back to Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 to meet passengers.  
  • On January 10, 2022, the Terminal 1 Parking Lot will be partially closed and so parking will be limited. If parking at SAN, please consider reserving a Terminal 2 Parking Plaza parking space ahead of time by clicking here. Travelers may visit for information on construction impacts. 
  • The San Diego Flyer is a free shuttle bus service between the Old Town Transit Station and SAN. The electric shuttle buses operate seven days a week, with an average arrival every 20 to 30 minutes. Pick up and drop-offs are timed to meet the first and last Trolley, Coasters, Amtrak trains, and MTS busses with the first pick up at 4:45 a.m. and the last pick up/drop off at 12:30 a.m.

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