Oakland Airport parking
OAK International offers four on-site parking options across two parking lots that are both located immediately opposite the primary terminal buildings. Electric vehicle charging and accessible parking spaces are available on the lots and a cell phone lot (called “park and call” at the airport) is a short distance beyond the main parking locations.
Premier Parking assures the most conveniently located spaces immediately across the road from the two terminal buildings and adds some other benefits, such as premier lanes at security checkpoints and a free newspaper and water, so it’s an ideal service if you're in a hurry and only taking a short trip over a weekend or for business.
Just behind the Premier Parking area of the main parking lot is the short-term hourly parking area, which is still extremely convenient with the terminals only seconds away. Charging in short 12-minute increments, this is an ideal option for anyone dropping off or picking up travelers at the airport and it also offers a daily rate for passengers on short trips who want to be close to the terminals.
Beyond the hourly parking area is a much larger daily parking lot, which is still only about a one-minute walk to the terminals. It’s the main area intended for passengers taking short weekend or business trips.
Finally, a separate economy parking lot is located just to the side of the main lot and offers great value as many of the spaces are closer to the terminals than those in the daily parking lot, especially if you're flying from Terminal 2. This is the ideal option if you're on a longer trip or holiday and you’re looking for the lowest fees.
Park and Ride parking
Parking at Oakland International is rarely crowded, but you can find off-site airport parking options with advance booking available, too. Most are Park and Ride services that can work out more cost-effective if you don't mind a short shuttle bus ride to the airport.
Guide to Oakland Airport
- +1 510-563-3300
- T1, T2
- Car, bus, train, taxi, rental
- Free 45 minute sessions, premium upgrade available
Oakland International Airport (OAK), based just across the Bay from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), carries around 12 million passengers every year. With destinations served across the USA, Mexico and Europe, Oakland is an in-demand airport that is heavily investing in improvements to infrastructure and services.
It is a focus city for Southwest Airlines, which carries more than 70% of the people traveling through the airport, and Allegiant Air.
Recent infrastructure development at OAK International has added a new control tower, a connection to the BART rail network, improvements to the airport parking garages and on-going refurbishment of Terminal 1.
The outstanding success of the airport has been due to the continual expansion of services, as well as the additions of airlines and destinations over this time. Attracting routes from Allegiant, Alaska, Hawaiian, Spirit, FedEx, Norwegian Air Shuttle, United and Southwest saw passenger numbers nearing an all-time high heading into 2017.
Location of Oakland International Airport
About 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the center of Oakland and 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Downtown San Francisco, Oakland International sits on the edge of San Francisco Bay, next to Alameda and the I-880 on Bay Farm Island. It is well-connected to Oakland, SF, San Jose, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Santa Rosa, Sacramento, Concord and Vallejo by a variety of road, rail and bus networks.
The BART railway system has three lines connecting with OAK at Coliseum station; Richmond-Fremont, Daly City-Fremont and Daly City-Dublin/Pleasanton. There is a regular shuttle train between Coliseum and the nearby airport, whilst Amtrak links to BART at Jack London Square Station near the center of Oakland. AC Transit are the main bus providers for the region and provide a shuttle to the Coliseum BART station, as well as routes from Fruitvale and Alameda, all of which link to the main bus network across the city.
History of Oakland International Airport
A runway was first constructed at Oakland in 1927 and it was built in just three weeks to provide a starting point for the trans-Pacific Dole Race. The longest runway in the world at the time, it was also used as a starting point for historic flights by Charles Kingsford Smith and Amelia Earhart.
Commercial flights began at the end of 1927 with the arrival of Boeing Air Transport and later Tran World Airlines (TWA). The post-war period was when things really got moving with the construction of a true Jet-Age terminal and the establishment of routes by Western, American, TWA, United, Transocean and Pacific Southwest Airlines.
Airline deregulation in the 1970s saw the beginning of low-fare carriers arriving at OAK, which encouraged the construction of a second terminal and a series of enhancement programs through the 2000s. Hit hard by airline closures during the 2007 recession, the airport has rapidly bounced back to near-record numbers of annual passengers.
With 12 million passengers a year making OAK a comparatively small medium-sized airport, it has quite a limited range of facilities and concessions. You can, however, still find all the essentials you need to make your time at the airport comfortable, including an all-passengers lounge and some great local and international cuisine. There's also a handful of stores available for you to pick up any items you may have forgotten to pack.
A Visitor Information Volunteer program at the airport places helpful team members at various locations throughout the terminals to assist with questions and directions. If you have any inquiries in advance of traveling through the airport or require special accessibility assistance, contact OAK customer relations on +1 510-562-3300.
- Short-term parking
- Long-term parking
- Premier parking
- Electric vehicle charging
- Cell phone lot
- Accessible parking
- Train and bus stations
- Rental car center
- CLEAR bio-metric security, Global Entry and TSA Precheck
- Hotel shuttles
- Passenger lounge
- Duty free, gifts and souvenirs
- Books and newsstands
- Coffee shops
- Juice bar
- Wine bar
- Cocktail bar
- Fast food
- American, Asian, Italian and Mexican food
- Bakeries and desserts
- Vending machines
- Art program
- Nursing rooms
- Charging points
- Free WiFi
- Lost and found
Oakland Airport hotel and parking
Many of the hotels based close to the airport offer free parking for up to two weeks, as long as you spend at least one night at the hotel at the beginning or end of your trip. The hotels provide a free, on-demand, shuttle bus service that will take you from the airport to your terminal for added convenience.
If you're booked for an early departure or late arrival, this can be an ideal package, ensuring you get a good rest rather than driving tired. Depending on the choice of hotel and length of your trip, it can also mean saving money even if you book the room and don't stay in it.
A cluster of hotels can be found immediately next to the airport offering various packages, including familiar chains like Comfort Inn, La Quinta and Days. The hotel and parking packages all require advanced booking, but also assure free cancelations if your plans unexpectedly change.
Top things to do in Oakland Airport
Enjoy the Escape Lounge
Many airports offer airline lounges reserved for first class passengers, but at Oakland, the lounge is available to all and available to pre-book online. For a single day-membership fee, you receive full access to the lounge and facilities, including comfortable and spacious seating, fast and free WiFi, complimentary tablet computers, charging stations and printing, scanning and copying.
Perhaps the best feature of all is a wide menu of free food and drinks curated by local chef, Chris Pastena, owner of Oakland restaurants like Lungomare and Calavera. The food is focused on fresh, local ingredients divided into breakfast, lunch/dinner and all-day snack selections.
Explore the airport restaurants
If you're looking for a wider choice of food, OAK delivers some impressive restaurants for a comparatively small international airport. Andale is the stand-out eatery; it’s based in Terminal 2 and offers made-to-order Mexican food, breakfast burritos and drinks, including margaritas and other cocktails.
Silver Dragon in Terminal 1 brings Asian cuisine to the airport. Originally established in Oakland's Chinatown in 1956, it offers excellent Chinese and Korean dishes. The classic Oakland offerings come from Heinold's First and Last Chance bar in Terminal 1 or Fenton's handmade ice creams and the Pyramid Ale Taproom in Terminal 2.
Take in the art displays and buskers
Oakland has a small but unique art program that includes busking from local musicians and dancers who have been invited to perform at the airport. Over $1 million has been spent on the art in the recent Terminal 2 Improvement Program alone, which is supported by the Oakland Museum of California.
Focused on contemporary, site-specific commissions, the pieces on display include a 160-foot (48.8-meter) glass wall mural, kinetic sculpture, wall reliefs in plaster and glass and video art from local artists.
Visit the aviation museum
The museum is technically just outside OAK Airport on part of the historic North Field where the first runway was built and from which so many historic flights were launched. It features a broad collection of interesting airplanes including a replica of the Wright Brothers' Model EX. Other attractions include flight simulators, a play area for children, exhibits on aviation history and a collection of aircraft engines. There are also occasional special events, such as open cockpit days and flying boat tours of the Bay Area.
Play a round of golf
The Metropolitan Golf Links is located immediately next door to the airport, providing club and cart hire and welcoming non-residents to play.
A links-style course designed by Johnny Miller and Fred Bliss, it offers beautiful views of the Bay and receives a challenging breeze off of it. Each hole offers six sets of tees to suit players of all abilities and a key feature of the course is its incredible drainage, so even if there was a storm the night before, you should still have no trouble playing.
Top things to do near Oakland Airport
Oakland Museum of California
Just a nine-mile (14-kilometer) drive from OAK International Airport, the Oakland Museum of California display exhibits on the history, nature and art of California in a modernist building surrounded by roof gardens, lawns, sculpture and a koi pond.
The collection includes art and design from the 1800s to present day, including the photography archives of Dorothea Lange, historical items relating to events like the California Gold Rush and natural sciences exhibits celebrating the incredible biodiversity of the California area.
There's plenty of interactivity to keep kids happy and regular special exhibits that are always fresh and innovative.
Sat nav instructions: 1000 Oak St, Oakland, 94607
Redwood Regional Park
California's coastal redwoods are the tallest living trees on the planet, reaching over 379 feet (115 meters) in height and living for up to 2,000 years. Just 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Oakland Airport, you can find the largest remaining natural stand of them in the East Bay area at Redwood Regional Park.
Most of the trees there are only around 100 years old, but still inspire awe. It's a beautiful park full of great walking trails for all abilities and ages. As loved by locals as it is by visitors, there are some gorgeous views of the city and you get to enjoy the feeling of being a million miles away from the hustle and bustle as you walk amongst the gigantic trees.
Sat nav instructions: 7867 Redwood Road, Oakland, 94619
The Cathedral of Christ the Light
The first cathedral to be built entirely in the 21st century, the Cathedral of Christ the Light is a stunning piece of contemporary architecture – and it’s only a 10-mile (16-kilometer) drive from Oakland International Airport.
Embraced in steel and glass, the cathedral space inside manages to inspire serenity and awe in minimal and contemporary fashion. It features a vast wooden interior framework that gently filters light into the space and reverberates the sounds of the choir, if you’re lucky enough to catch a performance.
Whatever your beliefs, this remarkably designed building is well worth experiencing (the natural light is particularly impressive late in the day).
Sat nav instructions: 2121 Harrison St, Oakland, 94612
Chabot Space and Science Center
A combination of planetarium, movie theater, observatory and science museum, the Chabot Space and Science Center is an engrossing visit just 12 miles (19 kilometers) from OAK Airport.
With exhibits like old space vehicles, telescopes trained on fascinating sights in the sky and an IMAX-style screen for planetarium viewings, there's plenty for all ages to do. Beautifully set amongst the redwoods of the surrounding national park, it's well worth looking out for special events such as film screenings and night sessions observing interesting events likes comets passing the Earth.
Sat nav instructions: 10000 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, 94619
A gradually developing neighborhood since the 1850s, Oakland's Chinatown area is just nine miles (14 kilometers) down the I-880 from OAK Airport.
As you walk around it, you'll find food, culture and languages from China, Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and many other places, such is the diversity of the area.
It’s smaller than many Chinatown districts, but it carries a huge amount of history and authenticity and is packed full of Asian food shops, markets, restaurants and fascinating stores.
Sat nav instructions: Chinatown, Oakland, 94607
San Francisco Bay Ferry
Seeing a city from the water so often gives you stunning skyline views and the San Francisco Bay Ferry is a classic example.
Caught from Jack London Square Terminal, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Oakland International Airport, there are three routes across the Bay to San Francisco from which to choose. They all offer beautiful vistas of the city; the route to Pier 41 is the longest and shows the most of San Francisco, but the route to the San Francisco Ferry Building has the benefit of a wonderful marketplace and plenty of places to get some great food in the old ferry terminal itself.
Sat nav instructions: 10 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607
Jack London Square
A bustling hub close to Chinatown and Oakland's city center, Jack London Square is a waterfront neighborhood full of stores, restaurants, markets, theaters and other entertainments.
The district developed naturally, but is now the focus of considerable development to expand on the public spaces, shopping and special events.
A great place to hang out, get lunch or spend an evening exploring, the Square is also home to the legendary Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon and half of Jack London's Klondike cabin.
Sat nav instructions: Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
Home of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, Oracle Arena is just over four miles (six kilometers) from OAK Airport, close to the Coliseum station that links the airport to the BART rail network.
The oldest arena in the NBA, opening in 1966, it has been continually renovated and packs out for games with a huge atmosphere. It’s a place that will live long in the memory of Warriors fans in the area.
Regularly hosting music concerts and other sports including ice hockey, the Oracle is part of the history of basketball and offers detailed tours of the arena outside of game-times.
Sat nav instructions: 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA 94621
A surprise to find so close to the city center, Lake Merritt is a beautiful lakeside park landscaped with plants from all over the world and themed gardens, including native plants and a collection of ancient bonsai trees.
There's an amazing amount of wild birdlife enjoying the water; Canada geese, heron, egrets, ducks and pelicans are all regulars and there are plenty of seasonal visitors like scaup, all just seconds away from the bustling city center about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Oakland Airport.
The park also includes a small and old fashioned amusement park for young children, which has lots of things to play with and entertainment such as puppet shows every day. It's an amazing place to inspire imagination, since it’s set in the beautiful surroundings of the lake and park, too.
Sat nav instructions: Bellevue Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
With only two terminals located immediately next to each other and connected pre- and post-security, Oakland International Airport is quite easy to get around. The terminals are practically selected in terms of passenger numbers, with Southwest, by far the busiest carrier at the airport, using all of Terminal 2. All other airlines at the airport are found in Terminal 1; if you're flying from Terminal 1 and making use of the on-site airport parking, keep in mind that the economy lot is as close to the terminal as the short- and long-term parking lots.
Customer relations volunteers are dotted around the airport to help with directions if you do have any problems finding your way.
How to get to Oakland Airport
Found just off of the I-880 that connects Oakland and San Jose, OAK is a very easy airport to get to by road. US Route 101 connects at each end of the I-880 for travel from nearby cities such as Berkeley, Concord, Santa Rosa, San Jose, Palo Alto and Salinas.
The I-880 also connects via the I-580 to the I-5 connecting the major West Coast cities of Sacramento, Los Angeles and Portland.
If you're driving from the east, the I-880 connects to the I-80 running through Sacramento, Reno and Salt Lake City.
Once you've turned off the I-880, 98th Avenue runs through a collection of airport hotels before reaching the main airport property, where there is just one easily found primary terminal and parking area. Taxis, limousines and shared-ride shuttle services can all be found as alternatives to self-driving for more local passengers.
AC Transit provides a range of public bus services to Oakland International with buses running as often as every 15 minutes during the day with a late-night service to boot.
The AC network reaches cities throughout California and links with other public transport providers such as BART and Amtrak stations, with the main airport service connecting to the Coliseum rail station and Downtown Oakland.
Please note that the AirBART service that used to run from the airport was stopped upon the completion of the BART rail connection.
One of the most convenient public transport options, Oakland Airport now has a dedicated BART rail station on-site. It is located immediately opposite the terminal buildings with an eight-minute travel time to the Coliseum station, where it connects to the main BART network.
BART has connections across the Bay Area and is a popular and low-cost way to get around. It connects to Amtrak services at the Coliseum station for journeys beyond the Bay Area to other major cities in California.
Economy parking spaces are very close to the terminal
Economy parking is typically some distance from the terminals at most airports, but at Oakland, it is very nearby. If you're traveling from Terminal 1, many of the economy spaces are closer to the terminal than spaces in the hourly or daily lots.
Allow time for security and baggage reclaim
One of the biggest complaints amongst regular passengers at Oakland Airport is the waiting time at both security and baggage reclaim. This varies depending on the time of day, but both have the potential to slow you down, so allow a little extra time when arriving or getting picked up.
Although busy times can cause delays, they're relatively rare with the bulk of travelers from the region heading for larger airports such as SFO.
Take advantage of the links post-security
If you find long lines at your terminal, keep in mind the terminals are linked after security, so you can go through a shorter line in Terminal 2 even if you are bound for Terminal 1.
Explore the terminals
With the two terminals at OAK immediately next to each other and connected post-security, it's easy to explore both when looking for food and drink options. Oakland International gets some criticism for its limited choice, but it is a small airport and has a surprising variety of sustenance throughout the terminals, so it’s worth exploring if you’ve got a bit of spare time.
Take advantage of the Escape Lounge
The Escape Lounge at OAK is a particularly worthwhile investment for those who want somewhere quiet to relax whilst waiting for a flight. It has comparatively low fees and excellent complimentary food and drink options included.
Avoid sleeping at the airport
OAK International is open 24 hours and passengers are able to sleep there to catch an early morning flight or because of a layover. Unfortunately, almost nothing at the airport is open overnight and anyone staying over will be moved to a specific waiting area pre-security. There are a multitude of local hotels providing free shuttles and many of them are gathered immediately outside the airport entrance, so a comfy bed isn’t out of reach.
Oakland Airport FAQs
Does Oakland International Airport have free WiFi?
Yes, OAK is partnered with Boingo, which provides WiFi at many US airports. There is a complimentary option that is supported by adverts, meaning that you need to watch one ad to gain 45 minutes of WiFi access, or a premium high speed and ad-free option for a charge. The service at the airport is generally good, but can slow down at busy times; a separate and faster network can be found in the Escape Lounge.
How far is Oakland Airport from Downtown San Francisco?
OAK is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the Downtown area of San Francisco if you are driving the I-880 through Oakland and taking the Oakland Bay Bridge. It takes 30-60 minutes depending on the weight of traffic. The BART train service is a great way to get into San Francisco in a hurry, since the journey times are consistently between 40 and 50 minutes.
Where is Oakland Airport?
Set just south of Oakland in California and just across the Bay from San Francisco, Oakland Airport is found off the I-880 between Oakland and San Jose. Oakland itself is about halfway up the West Coast of the USA amongst a cluster of major cities including San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose.
How big is OAK Airport?
Passenger numbers are growing quickly at Oakland International. It currently carries 12 million passengers a year, making it one of the smaller medium-sized US airports, but it is often overlooked as many travelers use the more prominent SFO in San Francisco for their flights. OAK is, therefore, a great way to avoid the crowds during air travel.
Does BART go to OAK Airport?
An extension to the BART network installed a new station immediately opposite the Oakland Airport terminals in the Premier Parking area. Trains from the airport run to the nearby Coliseum station, where you can link with the rest of the BART network, as well as Amtrak trains.
Is OAK Airport open 24 hours?
Yes, although it is not fully operational overnight, with nearly all concessions closing early due to the fact that there are no flights and few public transport options through the night. If staying over, you must have ID and a flight reservation to be allowed to sleep in a specific pre-security area.
Can Uber pick up at Oakland Airport?
Yes, Uber and other taxi services can pick up at the same passenger collection and drop-off points used by any other driver just outside the main terminal buildings.
Does Oakland Airport have TSA Precheck?
Yes, TSA Precheck is available at Oakland, as are several other services to help you get through security checks, immigration and customs quicker. The airport has CLEAR and Global Entry kiosks and offers its own Premier Parking service that guarantees a space immediately opposite your terminal and special access to a Premier Parking security line.
Where is Oakland Coliseum station?
Oakland Coliseum station, which used to be the main station for OAK Airport before the new BART station opened, is about four miles (six kilometers) from OAK on the opposite side of the I-880. It can be reached in about 10 minutes via the BART service from the station and is well-connected to BART and Amtrak networks, given its location about five miles (eight kilometers) from the center of Oakland.