San Jose Airport Shuttles: SJC Transportation
There are many van services which leave from San Jose airport (SJC) for about $40 per person and will take you directly to your San Jose hotel or downtown San Francisco. It is a relatively easy trip from San Jose Airport to San Francisco outside of peak commute hours. The van services can be met in the ground transportation area near the awnings at the end of the parking garage at San Jose Mineta Airport (SJC). The airport “chaperone” will direct you to the best shuttle to meet your needs.
Most vans are hungry for travelers and there is a San Jose airport chaperone that directs travelers into the van. Tranportation is available from San Jose to San Francisco and most other Bay Area cities. Make sure you are comfortable with the van condition, driver, and pricing of the van service you are directed to. You have three main ground transportation choices at San Jose Airport depending on your available time and budget:
Airport Limousines – quickest, most comfortable, and highest cost.
Van and Taxi Services – Cost effective and efficient. Prices and service vary widely (see table below)
Public transit / scheduled buses to limited locations – lowest cost but takes the the most time.
The Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) is located at the northern end of San Jose where Highway 101, Interstate 880, and Highway 87 meet. SJC is the smallest airport in the Bay Area despite being located in the most populous city. The small size of the airport was expanded to more comfortable propotions in 2007.
What Terminal Do I Need?
There are two terminals in the airport. Terminal C, the original terminal built in the 60’s, houses Alaska, Continental, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Mexicana, Northwest, United, and US Airways. You’ll find that jetways (those elevated, enclosed tunnels that we are used to boarding planes with) are rare in this terminal with most airlines using mobile air stairs to get passengers on and off their planes.
Terminal A, which resembles a frying pan, was added in the 90’s and this is where you’ll find American, Hawaiian, and Southwest Airlines. The current expansion plans for the airport call for an expanded Terminal A and a new Terminal B that will replace the aging Terminal C.
International arrivals have their own little area that is attached to Terminal A and services are limited.
The San Jose Airport is quite small in comparison to modern airports and the lines for check-in and security tend to reflect this, especially during peak travel times. When queried, the airlines suggested that travelers arrive two hours ahead of flight time for domestic flights and three hours ahead for international flights. Savvy travelers might want to arrive a bit earlier than suggested times as the lines can get quite long.
San Jose International Airport offers many ways to get to and from the airport. There are public buses, shuttle services, taxis, and light-rail services available. While light-rail is an option to get to San Francisco from here it involves a complicated series of transfers to other rail systems and can soak up a huge chunk of your day (two hours? three hours? four hours? I’ve experienced even longer travel times going this route). Your best options are airport limousines (quick, comfortable, highest cost) and shuttle services (fairly reliable, lower cost, almost-comfortable).
The following list is a full compilation of San Jose (SJC) airport’s van services. Reservations never hurt – but there are always vans waiting ready-to-go without reservation at the airport. You can also reserve pick-up at any residence or business in the area. We’ve researched the prices below for our sample destination, but make sure to get a firm price quote for your trip. A tip / gratuity around 15% is standard / expected if the service courtesy and promptness meets your expectations.
None of the services listed below are specifically known for any problem (or great) customer practices. They are listed as an updated compilation of available airport van services. Use the advice in this article and your own judgment when dealing with airport van companies. For a more luxurious service at a higher price, check out limo service from San Jose to San Francisco.
Typical Shuttle Prices for Popular Destinations:
|City of San Francisco||$70 – $80|
|San Francisco Airport||$60 – $66|
|Oakland Airport||$66- $76|
Comparative van pricing to Sunnyvale hotel area – direct, non-stop rides. Prices include taxes and fees but not gratuity / tip for driver. All prices verified via mystery shop in March 2016.
|Van Shuttle – San Jose (SJC) to Sunnyvale||Telephone||Price Estimate||Phone Customer Service|
|Supershuttle||Quote / Reserve Online||$45 per person||Easy online booking|
|United Express Airport Shuttle||(510) 792-1111||$39 for 1-4 riders||Poor|
|On Time Airport Shuttle||(650) 207-0221||$39 for 1-2 riders / 3-4 riders for $49||Average|
|ABC Airport Service||(800) 840-0522||$39 base price, $3 added charge to pay by credit card||Good|
|California Airport Shuttle||408-603-0761||$35 for 1-4 riders||Average|
|Bayex Airporter||(800) 299-0058||$49 flat fee for 1-4 riders||Excellent|
|Lion Airport Shuttle & Limo Service||(866) 901-5466||$29 for 1 person — up to 4 people $35||Average|
|Zack’s Airport Shuttle||(408) 483-6623||$35 for 1 person — up to 4 people $45||Below Average|
|Alpha-Trans Airporter||(408) 234-7215||$35 flat fee for 1-4 riders||Good|
|Classic Airport Shuttle||(408) 515-9776||$35 for 1-4 riders||Good|
|G S Airporter||(800) 736-1584||$30 for 1 rider — 2-4 riders $45||Good|
|To Downtown San Jose
VTA Shuttle 408-321-2300
|The Free VTA Airport Flyer (Route 10 Metro / Light Rail) is a shuttle to take you to the Metro / Light Rail station. The light rail system can then be taken to downtown San Jose (fares apply).|
|To San Francisco Airport (SFO) and downtown San Francisco
VTA Shuttle 408-321-2300
|The Free VTA Airport Flyer can take you to Santa Clara’s CalTrain station. Caltrain goes to both San Francisco Airport and downtown San Francisco. This is your cheapest, but most time consuming alternative to San Francisco.|
|To Santa Cruz||The Santa Cruz Airport Flyer shuttle van is $40 from San Jose Airport SJC to Santa Cruz, Aptos, and Scotts Valley and ~$55 from San Francisco Airport SFO 831-423-5937|
|AirBus To Monterey / Salinas||Fixed Pickup Locations / Times 831-373-7777 (No door-to-door) Prices Online +$5 Offline
Monterey Shuttle Station – SJC Airport – $35
Restaurants and Services
Both terminals have a variety of restaurants to choose from. If you’re in a hurry then Burger King might be the place for you. Want some California cuisine? Try the California Pizza Kitchen for a unique twist on an Italian classic. Have some coffee from Starbuck’s or turn it down a notch and order an “Appletini” from the Martini Monkey, a swanky hangout with music and great drinks.
Shopping is mostly limited to a series of Gift and News shops although you can find a couple of places offering DVD rentals and there’s always a shoeshine available somewhere.
Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport from two providers, T-Mobile (only available in Terminal A and only from gates 9 to 16B) and Wayport. Prices for Wi-Fi services vary but it’s definitely not provided for free. Other office services are extremely limited so make sure you send a fax before arriving at the airport.
While the San Jose International Airport size is much smaller than other airports in the Bay Area, the extensive expansion plans has made this airport comfortable and convenient.