SFO by the numbers

Earlier this month, San Francisco International released some stats that BATs will finding very interesting. Let’s take a look:

(Photo: Angelo DiSantis / Flickr)

(Photo: Angelo DiSantis / Flickr)

>Despite the bad rap SFO gets for weather-related delays, 2013 set an all-time record for number of passengers—45 million, up from 44.5 million in 2012. (Why don’t more of you use Oakland or San Jose? Please explain below.) 

>In 2012 it ranked as the eighth busiest airport in the US by number of passengers, after New York-JFK at #7, while Atlanta and Chicago led the pack at #1 and #2. (Eighth place is lucky. Plus SFO is sooo much nicer than most other airports near the top of the heap. Okay, I admit that it’s hard not to love SFO.) 

>United is dominant at SFO with 46% of the market. Virgin America has 9% and Delta’s #3 in market share with 8%. (Keep an eye on the combined American and US Airways, which could upset this status quo next year.)

Norwegian will fly a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner between Oakland, Oslo and Stockholm next year.

Norwegian will fly a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner between Oakland, Oslo and Stockholm starting this May.

>SFO owns 66% of the Bay Area air travel market. It also has 96% of the Bay Area’s international flights. (Norwegian Air’s arrival at Oakland later this year can’t come soon enough! And we keep hearing rumors about another Asian carrier at SJC, but nothing ever seems to come of it.) 

>OAK has 18% of the Bay Area market and SJC has 16%. (When SFO shuts down two key runways this summer, I bet a lot of you will be–or should be– seeking alternatives at OAK and SJC, which will help their market share numbers this year.)

>SFO generates 33,580 jobs– from a variety of different employers– and $2.1 billion in personal income. (Wow. In a way, SFO contributes my job as BAT blogger, so thanks!)

>A new capital improvement program, including projects like the renovation of T1, will create 36,000 new jobs. (The Bay is booming, no?)

>15 domestic carriers now offer nonstops from SFO to 78 cities in the US. (Which city does NOT have a nonstop flight that you wish did? Please leave your comments below)

Shiny new EVA Air 777-300ER flies SFO-TPE (Photo EVA Air)

Shiny new EVA Air 777-300ER flies SFO-TPE (Photo EVA Air)

>There are 34 international carriers providing nonstop flights to 30 destinations outside the US. (Which nonstop destination from SFO feels the most exotic to you? Please leave your comments below)

>In 2013, SFO added new flights to:

  • Anchorage (Virgin America)
  • Austin (Virgin America)
  • Copenhagen (SAS)
  • Ft Lauderdale (United)
  • Guadalajara, Morelia, Leon (Aeromexico)
  • Newark (Virgin America)
  • Paris (United)
  • Shanghai (China Eastern)
  • Sun Valley (United)

— Chris McGinnis

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  • VOR

    I live 20 minutes from SJC but use SFO exclusively. The old saying, “You can’t get there from here.”, applies to san jose. And if there is a flight available from sj it is usually multiple stops with plane changes and more expensive than SFO. Of the last 10 flights I took, only one wasn’t from SFO and that was Oakland.

  • davidjed

    I’ve got lots of family in eastern Canada but am a oneworld customer and not a huge fan of United/Air Canada. Hoping that WestJet expands its presence at SFO and improves connection times to its flights within Canada — would be a big win!

  • EDub

    I also use OAK for almost all of my short flights (like Southwest to the LA area). I always park in one of the off airport parking facilities (the one I use is only like $7 a day), I can’t imagine it is any less safe than parking off airport anywhere else.

  • BCAT1

    I fly STS and SFO. STS is convenient, small and has decent connections using AS. I live in the North Bay.

    Would have liked to see SFO-MEL with the new 787-900 but UA is starting that route in Oct out of LAX. Otherwise, it would be great to see Turkish Airlines or Thai Airlines added to SFO. Would also like a UA nonstop from SFO to either GRU or EZE especially with TAM leaving *Alliance.

  • Name

    Is your vehicle safe parked at OAK?

  • Name

    SJC is 10 minutes from my office but life is easier on United non-stops out of SFO. I love to stay at the Holiday Inn the night before with their Park & Fly program.

  • stellar

    I live 10 miles from SJC and 30 miles from SFO. I like the idea of flying from SJC, but I’m very schedule-dependent, so more often than not SFO is the only option. More often than not, it’s cheaper too.

    I selfishly wish that there was a nonstop to Nashville from somewhere in the Bay Area. I believe Oakland offered OAK-BNA a few years back, but nothing recently.

  • Hugo Traeger

    OAK not convenient for me. I live halfway between SFO and SJC. Schedule and direct or non-stop flight availability comes first. I may fly out of one airport and back into another, But all things being equal I would choose SJC now that they have Clear and PreCheck.

  • TV

    I live in SF so SFO is most convenient. It takes 20-30 minutes by car/taxi and 30-40 minutes by Muni/BART. I almost always fly through T2 or the International Terminal. Both those terminals are way way better than anything OAK has to offer. For folks from the City getting to OAK by car can be a traffic nightmare and the OAK terminals are crowded and kinda dirty. Traffic to SJC from SF can be terrible too. However, the new terminal at SJC is pretty cool. It’s spacious and new. The new SJC terminal real has an international class to it. If SJC were not an hour from SF i would consider using it.

  • Michael James

    The numbers at SFO are impressive. I believe they stated 2014 may stay flat though. As for OAK and SJC, they do not offer the frequency or alliance options for me. Often, SFO is cheaper also due to the competition.

    I mostly fly long haul so I am not too delayed by the weather issues. Short haul flights up and down the Coast are the most delayed.

  • Don M

    My preferences are OAK, SJC and SFO in that order. In general, for international, the only real choice is SFO, but the new Scandinavian option later this year makes OAK feasible. We try to go to Hawaii (normally Maui) yearly and all three airports have options so it also depends upon schedules. We flew to Maui on United from SFO because of availability from SFO whereas the other flights from OAK and SJC were pretty much booked, but we had to pay a premium to do so.

  • DarkStar

    I live physically closer to SJC but use SFO almost exclusively. For me, SFO has several benefits:
    1. Short term parking: always covered and closer to the security gates. Especially helpful when it’s raining.
    2. Clear and TSA Precheck. This was exclusive to SFO until recently, and I use both.
    3. Availability for direct flights on United (my default airline).
    4. Less-risky traffic on 280N in the mornings (my preferred route).
    5. Less-risky traffic on 280S in the afternoons (coming home from business trips).
    6. Good shoe shine stop in the United terminal.
    7. United Club @ SFO, and not at SJC (but their clubs are getting better).

  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    Thanks LCT. I agree about the relative lack of options at OAK. But I wonder if options would improve it we used it more. Sort of a catch 22!

  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    AirBart rail link is coming later this year… I believe in Oct which should help make OAK a more viable option from all over the Bay.

  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    I don’t represent SFO, but it is my most used airport, and BAT readers’ most used airport so it gets a lot of coverage. I’m sure there are plenty of things ‘not to like” about it, but generally speaking and compared to other airports in the US, I think it’s one of the best. Please elaborate on your dislikes here! Would love to hear what you have to say. Thanks– chris

  • Blake

    I fly from SFO and SJC, with SJC being closer to where I live. When I pick a flight, I try for a direct first, which usually means SFO. If I can’t get a direct, then I go with SJC. (Oh, and I’m a Delta guy, so that means most of my New York and Europe trips are done from SFO.)

  • Eariess

    If OAK and SJ don’t have the flights to destination consumers need why would anyone use them? And BTW Chris, are you covering travel or just a representative of SFO. There are plenty of things ‘not to like’ about SFO.

  • briza

    I would fly Oakland from time to time, but United canceled the connection with Denver. Given AirBART, the fewer flights might be more worthwhile, that is if there were flights! I really like having the options. I like San Jose, just to take the train, although, time can be a factor. I love the fact that I can leave home, walk, take a bus, and take BART and get to the gate in 1.5 hours or less. On the other end of most of my flights, it takes me an hour just to get out of the airport!

  • Ed

    We use OAK exclusively for domestic as Southwest is the BEST for service and price. Almost never delayed due to weather. Internationally we use SFO. BART is convenient from Orinda with non stop to the international terminal.

  • netopiax

    I live in downtown Oakland and SFO is only about 10 minutes farther away than OAK by transit, because the AirBART shuttle is so lame and slow. Once there, there’s a United Club and nonstop flights to everyplace I ever need to go. The OAK weather angle certainly appeals to me but then I’d have to fly Southwest. I’m far from United’s biggest fan but Southwest really stresses me out.

  • Alfred T

    SFO simply has more flight options, hands down. If I”m flying to the LA basin, I’ll use SJC but for any other destination, it’s SFO.

  • Left Coast Tom

    You asked: “Why don’t more of you use Oakland or San Jose?”

    With respect to Oakland: I’d use it more frequently with better flight options.

    With respect to San Jose: traffic sucks so frequently that I’m unsure how to predict drive times to SJC, and unlike OAK and SFO there’s no BART option. Traffic sucks generally, but at least I can reasonably predict drive times for SFO and OAK. So…my preferred airport rankings would be OAK, SFO, SJC, but more often than not SFO wins due to flight options.