Oakland Airport – Shuttles and Taxis
If you enjoy cooling your heels inside an airport for hours and hours, wondering when the fog will lift so that you can board your plane, then you should fly out of San Francisco’s SFO. If you actually want to fly on time in fog-free bliss then you should consider Oakland International Airport (OAK).
What Terminal Do I Need?
There are two terminals at Oakland International Airport. Terminal 2 is for Southwest Airlines and all others are in Terminal One. There are many low-cost airlines that fly out of Oakland making it a popular airport for travelers on a budget. Airlines that service OAK include: Alaska Air, Aloha Air, America West, American Airlines, ATA, Azteca, Delta, JetBlue, Mexicana, United/United Express, and US Airways.
The airport has the facilities for international travelers such as U.S. Customs but service beyond Mexico is shaky at best and nonexistent at worst. If you need to fly internationally then SFO is still probably your best bet.
The security lines at Oakland might seem a little overwhelming at first but they move quickly enough and the staff seems very helpful and sympathetic. The addition of the new baggage claim building for Terminal 2 (scheduled to open sometime in 2008) should eliminate a lot of passenger congestion, improve access, and make things a little more roomier and comfortable for passengers and staff alike.
As it is at most airports, the domestic airlines we spoke to suggested that all departing passengers arrive two hours before their flight time. The international carriers suggested that passengers arrive three hours before flight time to ensure enough time for Customs, etc.
Numerous options make it easy to get to and from the airport. If public transportation is your thing you might consider taking BART, an underground train system that connects to various cities around the Bay Area. While BART does not go directly to Oakland’s airport there is a shuttle service offered called AirBART that travels back and forth from the airport and train station for a nominal fee. Travel time for AirBART can run anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic and weather conditions. If you don’t want to miss your flight we suggest that you rent a limousine and arrive with style, as it has been observed that airport workers can be more helpful with those that appear to be rich and powerful. Renting a car or booking a shuttle van are other options available for getting to and from the airport.
Airport Limousines – quickest, most comfortable, and highest cost.
Oakland Airport Shuttle Vans – Not glamorous, but lower cost and efficient.
Oakland Airport Public Transit to limited locations – lowest cost but takes the the most time.
You may also get a flight where you need to do an airport transfer within the Bay Area, between SFO San Francisco Airport and Oakland Airport. We’ve created a guide to transferring between SFO and Oakland Airport so you can compare the cost and convenience of the different options.
Shopping and Restaurants
In addition to the Duty Free Shop you can find See’s candy, and the CNN newsstand. Depending on the terminal you will find pizza, burgers, frozen yogurt, gourmet burritos, coffee, and even a Your Black Muslim bakery (try the Honey Carrot pie!). Get a sandwich from the Bay Bridge Bar and Deli or have some fresh juice from Juice it Up, whatever your taste buds crave you’ll find it at the Oakland International Airport.
In addition to shopping and restaurants you can find services like FedEx, internet access, shoe shines, and plenty of ATM machines sprinkled throughout the terminals. Relax, you’re in Oakland now!
Courtyard Oakland Airport
By: Drew McKinney, Copyright SFTRAVEL LLC