United moving flights to Terminal 1 at SFO

Terminal 1 at SFO

Just in time for the peak summer travel season….and with little warning… it appears that United Airlines will move many of its southern California (and Vegas) flights to Terminal 1 at SFO. Its “primary domestic operations” will remain in Terminal 3.

In an email, airport spokesperson Charles Schuler confirmed  “that there is a plan for UA to start operations from T1 sometime in early June.” Schuler also said that United would be utilizing old Continental Airlines gates in Terminal 1 which were abandoned when flight operations were consolidated into Terminal 3 last year.

So far United has only confirmed that it is adding “new gates at SFO.” I have not been able to confirm that the slides below (sent to me by a reader) are from United.  I’ll post confirmations and dates here when I do.

So… this means that if you are flying from SFO to Las Vegas, Orange County (SNA), San Diego, Ontario, Burbank or Santa Barbara, you’ll catch your flight at Terminal 1 starting in June or July. Those poor souls arriving on a United flight at SFO’s Terminal 3 and then connecting on a United flight to one of these cities will have to take a bus across the ramp all the way around to Terminal 1. Below, United says buses will run every 5 minutes.

Another downer: There are no United Clubs in Terminal 1, so if you were planning on a Club visit to load up before your flight to Vegas, you’ll be sorely disappointed. In addition, there are no dedicated United GS/Premier security lines at Terminal 1– flyers with status will share special lanes with the other airlines operating in Terminal 1.

Please leave your thoughts and questions about this change below….

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  • John Shea

    Cool idea, plus there is plenty of empty ticket counter space for United to set up in T1. Signage will certainly have to reflect those destinations since there are only a few. If people go to T3 by accident, then hopping the bus or Air Train will be no big deal, they just have to know in advance of this change.

    I also think that United is doing this in a competitive response to Southwest and Virgin America especially as they are very popular. I hear nothing but good stuff about Virgin America. United can compete with better flight times in their main terminal 3 along with expanded Summer schedule.

    Plus, Terminal 1 could use more business as that part of SFO is the quietest it seams. In the past, I have seen other airports with similar changes with airlines having gates and counters in separate terminals. It will be like Continental never left since the logo and livery was retained as the two carriers merged. Love the changes !

  • Meghan

    Boo! Good thing I don’t fly to those too cities often.

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