Getting to San Diego Airport

San Diego International Airport is one of the thirty busiest airports in the United States of America, and is known by its code of SAN. Another name for the airport is the Lindbergh Field. It is a focus city for the airline companies of Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines, of which Southwest carries the largest percentage of the airport’s passengers. Other airline carriers available include Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines. A large number of passengers drive their own vehicles to the airport, and usually find that San Diego International Airport directions are quite simple to follow. There are also several parking areas available for private vehicles.

This American airport is located in the state of California, an area well known around the world for its magnificent coastline and lively cities. California is on the western coastline of the country, just north of Tijuana in Mexico, and it is surrounded by the American states of Oregon in the north and Nevada and Arizona to the east. Utah and Idaho are not too far away either. San Diego is a city at the far south end of California, to the south of Los Angeles, and just 15 miles, or 24km from the Mexico-US border at Tijuana. San Francisco is further up the coastline to the north. Areas nearby San Diego include El Cajon, Santee, Chula Vista, Encinitas, Escondido and Oceanside. The city’s airport is about 3 miles, or 4.8km from the Central Business District, to the northwest. San Diego Bay is on the airport’s southern side, and nearby areas include Loma Porta, Mission Hills and Midtown.

The major roads running past the San Diego Airport include the Interstate 5 and the Pacific Highway. Both provide connections to Interstate 8, which in turn leads to the Cabrillo Freeway and the Interstate 805. From the city centre of San Diego, it will take between ten and twenty minutes to drive to the airport, depending on traffic conditions.

San Diego Airport directions from downtown and the south

There are a couple of roads that provide convenient access to the airport from the downtown area of the city. Broadway is one of the main roads that can provide a link to N Harbor Drive. N Harbor Drive runs along San Diego Bay, to the west of the city centre, and is the main access road of the airport. Other roads that are connected to N Harbor Drive include Market Street, Ash Street and Grape Street. Alternatively, 10th and 11th Avenue are connected to the Interstate 5, which can be taken towards the airport. Take the San Diego Airport/Hawthorn Street Exit and proceed to N Harbor Drive, turning right. The terminal buildings are then just less than a mile away. The Interstate 5 is also used for airport access from areas further to the south, such as Logan Heights, National City and Chula Vista. It continues all the way to the border between Mexico and the United States.

Airport directions from the north

A few large road lead to San Diego from the north, including the Interstate 5, the Interstate 805 and the Interstate 15. The Interstate 5 can be used from areas such as Encinitas, and motorists will take the San Diego Airport/Sassafras Street exit, which leads to Kettner Boulevard. At the Sassafras Street traffic light turn right and proceed to the Pacific Highway traffic light. Turn left and ride Pacific Highway to Laurel Street (about half a mile) and turn right. At the next traffic light on Laurel Street turn right into N Harbor Drive and head for the airport. The Interstates 805 and 15 (Interstate 15 is from Temacula, San Marcos and Poway) both lead to the Interstate 8, and from here motorists will take the Route 163 or Interstate 5 to the south.

Directions to San Diego Airport from the east

From the far east the main road to San Diego is the Interstate 8, but roads from closer areas include the Route 94 and the Route 54.

Airport directions from the west

There are not many areas to the west of San Diego Airport. However, from these areas, motorists will need to find a link to either N Harbor Drive or the Pacific Highway. For example, from Ocean Beach drive on Loma Boulevard for a connection to Nimitz Boulevard, which leads south to N Harbor Drive. Other areas to the west include Sunset Cliffs, Point Loma Heights and Mission Beach.

At the airport there are three terminal buildings – Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and the Commuter Terminal. Terminal 1 is the main building for domestic flights, while Terminal 2 handles all international flights. The Commuter Terminal is used for flights between San Diego and Los Angeles, and has just four airline gates. Motorists are able to leave their vehicles outside of each terminal, in the terminal parking lots, or they can use one of the long-term parking areas, for cheaper rates. Passengers may also be dropped off outside of the relevant terminal. Alternatively, public buses, private shuttles and taxis can be taken to the airport. The Route 992 public buses leave from downtown San Diego every fifteen to thirty minutes. Currently, there is no direct train service to the airport.

Within the terminal buildings of San Diego International Airport there are facilities such as AMS (9 Bank of America ATMs), currency exchange services by Travelex, pay phones, shoeshine services, baggage carts, and a large number of shops, restaurants and airport club rooms. Some popular shops and places to eat include Starbucks, Pizza Uno, McDonald’s, Baja Fresh, the NFL Bar, Cramer’s Deli, Daily News, the Spirit of San Diego, Water’s Edge, Gifts Etc., Baja Books and Author’s Bookstore. In Terminal 2, passengers can enjoy some peace and quiet in the American Airlines Admirals Club or in the Delta Crown Room, and in Terminal 1, there is a United Club and the Neil Ash USO Centre, which features a children’s play room, a luggage storage area, restrooms and showers, computer/internet services and a large lounge area with big screen TVs.

San Diego International Airport directions in greater detail can be viewed online at, or passengers can contact the airport for more information at 619-400-2404.