San Francisco International Airport is seeing a surge in passengers so far this summer, thanks to added airline service, the attraction of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the regular set of seasonal vacationers, officials said.
Airport duty manager Douglas Lyon said SFO sees some 40,000 passengers during his typical evening swing shift, with a total of approximately 100,000 passengers all day. Those figures are about 5 percent greater this week with a convergence of Fourth of July holiday returns, All-Star Game events and passengers heading out for vacations.
“There were lots of people here just to see if they could catch any players and get some autographs,” Lyon said. “And that’s not counting the busy summer we’ve already been having.”
Several airline carriers reported completely sold-out flights starting Memorial Day weekend — a weekend officials estimated was their busiest Memorial Day holiday since 2000 — with planes flying at more than 90 percent full. Lyon said that trend has continued past Fourth of July weekend as expected, with the airport parking lot full and travelers heading in and out of the facility even during off-peak hours.
Additional security personnel were stationed airportwide after bomb scares were reported in London and a car plowed through Glasgow Airport in Scotland late last month. San Francisco police Airport Bureau Sgt. Mike Sullivan said officers are still cracking down on those who linger at curb pickup and drop-off areas — a security measure enforced in earnest after the incidents in Europe. He said the bureau is bringing security protocol back to normal, a level that was already more stringent since last August after federal officials raised the security level to “orange” on the security threat scale.
“We’re still busier than normal,” SFO duty manager Chris Davison said Tuesday. “But things are running smoothly and there haven’t been many delays.”
Travel experiences this week were slightly more harried than normal for some who regularly fly into SFO. For traveler Chris Gunderson, heading into SFO from Los Angeles on business, the busier season was most evident in the lines heading to the parking lot, the larger clusters around baggage claim and the lengthy lines for ticket check-in.
“It’s always busy here, but this looks even more so,” Gunderson said.
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