United Consolidation at SFO Delayed, Free Airport Tours Extended

Chris McGinnis reported last week that United Airlines will remain in Terminal 1 at San Francisco International Airport through at least the end of January 2014.

According to his sources, the renovation of the E concourse (American’s old gates from 60-67) has been delayed for several factors, pushing the expected completion back from its intended October 2013 target.

Yakel explained that the delay is due to, “the addition of items in the project scope, including additional airline and concession space as well as expanded wayfinding. The biggest single item was the addition of another elevator, which required the creation of a new elevator shaft.”

Additionally, United will gain gate 47 in the interim in Delta’s C concourse in Terminal 1 beginning July 1. There’s no word if it’ll also be used for United Express flights, as is the sole function of United’s operation in T1 (with some Express flight operating out of T3, as well).

Free Airport Tours Extended

So what this means, then, is that United passengers connecting in SFO who have gates in both T1 and T3 (or inbound SFO passengers arriving in T1 with checked bags) will continue to use shuttle busses between terminals.

Initially the process was confusing with United assigning phantom gates to boarding passes, which directed them to shuttle stop locations. But the process has improved greatly and in my experience, works quite smoothly.

And for #avgeeks like myself, it provides a free tour of the airport apron and views we travelers would normally never see in the bowels of the terminals. I love it!

My other favorite “tours” include the ride at LAX between American’s Terminal 4 and the remote Eagle gates, from United’s C concourse at Chicago O’Hare to the F gates, the moon buggies at Washington Dulles and the always frequent remote stand arrival in Frankfurt.

Do you have a favorite “tour?”

Related posts:

Flight Review: United Global First San Francisco to Tokyo

United Airlines ‘Geeks United’ Video Montage


  1. One of my favorite airports for almost guaranteed tours is Johannesburg. There are many unique African flags that operate there (LAM Mozambique, TAAG Angola, the sole Air Zimbabwe plane) with unusual types. Of the 6 flights last month we only got the jetway twice but aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed getting full views of the 380 from Air France and Lufthansa parked next to each other and a Qatar freighter.

  2. As much as I hate Heathrow, the tours on the airside inter-terminal buses are pretty cool – the terminals are so far apart, especially 4, that you really do end up seeing everything in the airport apart from the inside of the terminals themselves. There are plenty of interesting airlines and airplanes as well, including some that you can see maintenance on as well.

  3. I just get so sick of flying up from BUR to SFO then having to take the darn shuttle every single time. I’ll welcome the completion of the new concourse. But I’ve got a story about the shuttle from last night involving swearing and smoking! Stay tuned. 😉

    • @Ken: I have yet to experience JNB… one of these days…
      @Jason: I need to get back to Heathrow. It’s been 5 years.
      @Matthew: Wow… you’ve got the traveling stories this year! The ride never gets old for me, though.
      @Scottrick: Very true. The old international terminal took forever.

  4. Anyone remember NRT before they finish reconfigured T1 back in 2006 ? It was almost guaranteed your arrival or departure flights on UA or NW would park by the remote gate that need to be bused in. Sure the bus is nice driving around the airport, but sometimes when you were connecting both of your arriving and departing plane were all park by the remote, it was pain in the butt if you have heavy carryon bag, you have to drag your bag down the stairs then drag it up the stairs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.