Don’t like getting to the airport early? Then you’ve never been to San Francisco’s Terminal 2 (T2) which opened in 2011 and cost $383 million. The 640,000-square-foot T2 is equally shared by American Airlines and Virgin America; both airlines control seven gates each. Here are 10 reasons to love SFO’s T2.
1. Yoga Room
Have you ever heard of an airport that has a yoga room? The space is located right after security and is devoted to relaxation, self-reflection, and yoga practice. There is no charge.
2. Hydration Stations
Eco lovers and budget-minded consumers are going to love the hydration stations. Near security, instead of a trash can where you have to throw away your full or empty water bottle, they have a drain. Simply empty your bottle there (after you chug as much of it as you can), and then once through security go over to one of the special tap-water hydration stations and fill it back up. The water tastes pretty good and it’s from the “pristine Sierra snowmelt.”
3. It’s Green
The hydration stations aren’t the only green thing at T2. Contractors recycled 90 percent of construction debris and there’s zero waste. Waste stations replace traditional garbage cans with easy-to-use compartments for composting, recyclables and trash.
4. Recompose Area
Once through security you are in a place the airport calls the “recompose area”. It’s a calming space with cushioned ottomans to allow passengers a quiet and unhurried place to reassemble their clothing and carry-on items. You certainly won’t miss the three original ceiling installations called Every Beating Second, created by American artist Janet Echelman. Echelman is known for reshaping urban airspace with monumental, fluidly moving sculpture that responds to environmental forces including wind, water and sunlight.
What I’ve always loved about SFO are their terminal art exhibits. They are all presented by the SFO Museum and the current one in T2 is titled “From Ship to Shore” which will be on display through December 2013.
T2 has 21 concessions and the Dining & Shopping Marketplace was inspired by San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building: The restaurants and retailers are some of the best in the Bay Area, all focusing on locally sourced, organic offerings. Vendors include: Andale, Cat Cora, Lark Creek Grill, Napa Farms, Burger Joint & Vino Volo, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, The Plant Café Organic, and Pinkberry. It’s the first airport dining program in the nation to recruit Slow Food vendors and requires the use of compostable utensils and containers. The retail shops include: I-Tech X-perience, Kiehl’s, Mango, Mosaic Fine Art and Craft Gallery, Natalie’s Candy Jar, Greetings From SF. Pacific Outfitters, SFO News Express, Sunset News, and XpresSpa.
7. Gate Area
The biggest surprise you will find in the gate area is the club-like lounge seating featuring the stylish egg chairs designed by Denmark’s Fritz Hansen. We had one of these chairs growing up, so I’m particularly fond of them.
8. Free Wi-Fi & Power Outlets
You’ve got to love an airport that has free Wi-Fi in the whole terminal and has over 350 power outlets.
With all the talk about germs these days I’ve learned to really appreciate bathrooms that have touchless soap dispensers and water faucets..
10. Animal Relief Area
Dog lovers are going to love this: Right outside of the baggage claim is an Animal Relief Area.