Mineta San José International Airport is Ready to Be Stuffed this Holiday Season

Nov. 17, 2022
With passenger traffic to and from Silicon Valley now at its highest level since 2019, Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) expects to be busier this holiday season than it has been for some time. The peak Thanksgiving travel period kicks off this Friday, Nov. 18, and SJC is ready to welcome more than 438,000 passengers over the 12 days through Tuesday, Nov. 29.“Even with our reputation for being the most convenient Bay Area airport, we understand that travel during the busy holiday season can feel a bit overwhelming — especially for passengers who haven’t flown in a while,” said SJC Director of Aviation John Aitken. “With a little advanced planning, holiday travel through Mineta San José International should be easy as pie.”For its part, the SJC team is helping ease holiday travel with musicians roaming the terminals at peak travel times. Team members from across the City’s Airport Department will also be on-site to help guide travelers along their journey.

Plan Ahead for Parking

Parking is in high demand during the peak holiday periods. Before heading to the Airport, travelers should visit flysanjose.com/parking for real-time parking availability and rate information. Since lots can fill up quickly, SJC also recommends travelers keep an alternate lot in mind in case their first choice is no longer available upon arrival. Travelers with parking questions can contact SJC’s parking services team anytime at 408-441-5570.

Arrive Early

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) generally recommends that travelers arrive at least two hours prior to scheduled departure for domestic travel and at least three hours before international flights. Although savvy travelers know arriving that early is rarely necessary at SJC, the Airport recommends playing it safe — especially during the busy holiday season.

Check In Online

During SJC’s busiest travel periods, the longest queues are usually found at airline check-in counters due to the unusually high volume of checked bags, strollers and sporting equipment. Travelers should be sure to check in for their flight online up to 24 hours in advance of departure and keep their printed or mobile boarding pass somewhere easy to access.Most airlines now allow customers to pay for checked baggage in advance online, which speeds up the process at the ticket counter. Of course, travelers with only carry-on luggage can skip the ticket counter entirely with online check-in.

Pack Smart

Before leaving home, review TSA's travel tips at TSA.gov. If traveling with holiday gifts, leave packages unwrapped, as they may need added screening. Travelers with food (including leftovers!) may find TSA’s Tips to Turkey Trot Your Way through the Airport especially helpful.

Speed Up Security with CLEAR

SJC’s TSA passenger screening checkpoints are typically busiest in the early morning hours, but during the holidays, backups can be a bit less predictable. Travelers can jump to the head of the line all the time by enrolling in CLEAR — available at both SJC terminals, as well as airports across the United States.

Use Cellphone Waiting Areas or Park for Airport Pickups

Airport terminal curbs are especially busy as locals come to welcome their loved ones home for the holidays. To help keep traffic moving, meeters-and-greeters should check their arriving passengers’ flight status before heading to the Airport.Upon arrival, drivers should either park in the closest hourly lot and greet their passengers in baggage claim, or park in one of SJC’s two Cellphone Waiting Areas until they receive a call from their arriving passenger that they are waiting at the curb with their checked luggage. To keep traffic flowing for everyone, waiting for any length of time at the terminal curbs is strictly prohibited.