Don’t miss your flight: SFO just renumbered its gates today

Oct 16, 2019

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“This serves as a gate change announcement…” for all flights at SFO.

Yes, that’s right. As of Wednesday, October 16, San Francisco International Airport is renumbering all of its gates and boarding areas to make things easier for travelers passing through the Bay Area’s largest airport.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Previously, all gates at SFO were numbered sequentially from 1 to 102 across all terminals. The gates in the international terminal were named with a prefix signifying the boarding area and gate number (like Gate A9), while most domestic gates just received a number (like Gate 67). Adding to the confusion, some gate numbers were split, like Gate 54A and 54B.

Starting on Wednesday, all gates at the airport will be named alphanumerically with a letter indicating the boarding area and a number for the gate number. The new naming scheme will be as follows:

  • Harvey Milk Terminal 1: Boarding Area B, Gates B1 – B27, and Boarding Area C, Gates C1 – C11
  • Terminal 2: Boarding Area D, Gates D1 – D18
  • Terminal 3: Boarding Area E, Gates E1 – E13, and Boarding Area F, Gates F1 – F22
  • International Terminal: Boarding Areas A, Gates A1 – A15, and Boarding Area G, Gates G1 – G14
Map courtesy of SFO Airport

As you can see on the map, the new naming convention makes much more sense. Travelers will be directed to alphabetized boarding areas, and the letter of the gate names will correspond to the respective boarding area.

Another perk of the new naming scheme is that the sections of the domestic parking garage will correspond to boarding areas. For instance, if your flight departs from Gate D3, you’ll want to find parking in the D section of the domestic parking garage to minimize the walk from the garage to the terminal.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

It may take time for frequent travelers to get used to the new system. When I arrived at the airport on Wednesday, I immediately did a double-take when I saw my departing gate listed as F12. Fortunately, the SFO website has a handy table converting old gate numbers to the new naming convention.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Aside from my momentary confusion, the scene at the airport was quite relaxed. A few customers remarked that the gate numbers looked different, but otherwise, things were moving smoothly. There were plenty of signs to direct passengers in the right direction.

Overall, this new naming convention is a welcome improvement to San Francisco’s main airport. It may take some time to get used to the new names, but it’ll (hopefully) result in many less confused passengers.

Featured photo by JasonDoiy / Getty Images

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