We may enjoy the pleasures of flying off to places from San Diego International Airport — but first there’s the more mundane matter of how we get to the airport, and how we get back home from there! Fortunately, there are many different options available.
There’s the ever-popular “hug and fly”—or “kiss and fly”, depending upon how close you are to your personal chauffeur! Curbside loading and unloading by friends and family is one way to save the trouble of driving yourself to and from the airport.
If you have a cell phone (unlike yours truly!), your driver doesn’t have to circle around the terminal roadways on the look-out to pick you up. The airport offers a cell phone waiting lot — completely free of charge, and it even has vending machines, restroom and flight information displays so you can know when your party has landed.
If you don’t have someone to personally drive you to the airport or pick you up, there are private vanpool shuttles, as well as taxi cabs or the Metropolitan Transit System’s public bus route 992, which connects the airport to downtown San Diego in a matter of minutes, thanks to the airport’s close proximity to the central business district.
But what if downtown San Diego is not your final destination or starting point on your way to the airport? Airport employees are now able to participate in a demonstration program that, if productive, may be extended to serve other prospective passengers and their meeter-greeters.
The Airport Authority has started operating an express bus from the Commuter Terminal (where the Authority’s administrative offices are located) to the Old Town Transit Center, where the Coaster commuter train to Oceanside (which can connect to the new Sprinter rail line to Escondido), San Diego Trolley and public bus networks all converge.
Here is a look at the route (click on the image below to make it bigger and easier to read):
The new service allows airport employees to go directly to and from the airport without having to go all the way downtown for transfers. The express bus ride takes only 12 minutes and is free for airport employees — you just need to show your airport employee ID badge AND a transit pass or ticket stub. Right now, anyone employed at the airport (including airline and TSA employees and airport vendors) can use the service. Airport Authority employees can go here for more information on this service.
It’s a great way to cut out an extended trip if you don’t need to go to downtown, and it may be expanded to the general public if the demand is there.
So, when you need to get to the airport, consider all your options.