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Elk Grove Citizen

What's New at Sacramento International Airport

Mar 17, 2021 12:00AM ● By By Samantha Mott, Sacramento County News

Sacramento International Airport is announcing several new, non-stop flights. Photo: Sac County

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - As destinations begin to open up, Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is announcing several new nonstop flights to make weekend getaways and Spring Break trips easier than ever. Additionally, passengers traveling to Hawaii have a convenient on-airport option for testing that meets the state’s entry requirements.

New and Returning Flights - Sunseekers have several options to escape the winter chill. Frontier brings four times per week service to Phoenix (PHX), which started last week. The desert city has gorgeous spring weather, with temperatures hovering in the high 70s/low 80s, tempting visitors with days by the pool, world-class golfing, museums, nightlife and dozens of parks and preserves for hiking and biking. Tickets are available now on the Frontier website

The beach is calling! In March, JetBlue begins nonstop service to Cancún (CUN), an incredible place to relax or play. The white-sand beaches and clear blue water of the Caribbean Sea are ideal for diving, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing or windsurfing and paddleboarding – or relaxing with a good book and a tropical drink in hand. Cancún’s renowned culinary scene fuses Mexican and international flavors in both iconic street food and Michelin-recognized restaurants. Cancún is known for its legendary nightlife, where visitors can dance the night away in clubs and party boats throughout the area. Flights will operate three days per week on Monday/Wednesday/Saturday. Tickets are available now on the Jet Blue website.

A Volaris nonstop, that launched last fall, brings Mexico City even closer. The cosmopolitan city mixes colonial-era history with a buzzing modern city, well known for exceptional culinary options – from street food to fine dining – and vibrant arts and culture. The historic Zócalo is the heart of the old city while incredible sights like Xochimilco, “the Venice of Mexico,” and the artistic neighborhood of San Ángel are worth exploring. Tickets are available now on the Volaris website.

Two new options make it easier to get to popular southern California destinations as well. Spirit begins daily nonstop flights to Orange County (SNA) in April. Whether it is the 42 miles of beaches, celebrated theme parks or coastal luxury, Orange County is one of the state’s most popular destinations. Home to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, the area is beloved by families and kids at heart. Towns like Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach capture quintessential California with their iconic piers, dining and entertainment while world-class shopping is a short drive away. Tickets are available now on the Spirit website

Alaska Airlines is reinstating its four daily nonstop flights to San Diego (SAN), California’s second city, in April. Renowned for its idyllic climate, miles and miles of beaches and exciting family attractions, San Diego has something for everyone.  Unique neighborhoods highlight the city’s diversity including downtown's historic Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Coronado, La Jolla and Hillcrest. Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the U.S., is home to 15 museums, many art galleries, beautiful gardens, The Globe Theatre and the San Diego Zoo. Tickets are available now on the Alaska website

Frontier’s new nonstop to Ontario (ONT) adds four flights a week to the Inland Empire. The centrally located city attracts many business travelers, while vacationers will revel in the area’s retail therapy. Ontario Mills, one of Southern California’s top outlet malls, is home to 200 stores. Ontario also provides a great starting point for exploring southern California destinations like Temecula and Palm Springs. Tickets are available now on "‹the Frontier website

“We’re excited to see our airline partners expanding their schedules and routes, giving our passengers a growing number of options for great destinations in Mexico, California and throughout the west,” said Cindy Nichol, Sacramento County Department of Airports Director. 

COVID-19 Updates - SMF has partnered with City Health Urgent Care to offer free COVID-19 testing to travelers. Testing takes place daily at one of the airport’s parking lots. 

For those traveling to Hawaii, the state has implemented a safe travel program due to increased COVID-19 cases. To comply with State requirements, CityHealth Urgent Care will provide COVID-19 test recipients with an official declaration of their results. Travelers must provide written confirmation of a negative test result within 72 hours of travel to the islands to receive the quarantine exemption. SMF has a number of options to get travelers to several islands with direct flights on HawaiianAlaska and Southwest Airlines. For more on what travelers need to know before visiting the Aloha State, visit the Hawaii State Department of Health’s website.

The CDC is now requiring all arriving international passengers, including U.S. citizens, to have a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to their flight home. For flights originating in Mexico or Canada, travelers should check with their airline for testing documentation requirements. 

Know Before You Go - As we gear up for the spring travel season, Sacramento International Airport continues to put the health and safety of passengers first. Not only has the airport changed the way we prepare the terminal for travelers, but the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also has rolled out new rules to reduce the spread of coronavirus. A few things to keep in mind before arriving at SMF that will make traveling easier: Parking: The East Economy at $10/day is open with shuttles running to both Terminals. Additionally, both the Garage, $18/day, and the Daily Lot, $10/day are open, and the Hourly Lot pricing is still $29/day. Self-Scanning: passengers will scan their own boarding passes and not hand them over to TSA employees. Liquids: liquids still must be in 3.4 ounce or smaller containers with the exception of hand sanitizer, which can be in a 12-ounce container. It must be removed from baggage before it goes through the X-ray and will be screened separately. Food: if passengers bring meals on their flights, they should be placed in a clear plastic bag, in a separate tray from their luggage, for scanning. Personal Items: TSA recommends that all personal items (keys, phones, wallets, etc.) should be placed in carry-on bags instead of directly in the bins, to avoid contamination.

Beyond the security screening area, passengers should minimize touchpoints and are encouraged to use touchless options, like online check-in, mobile boarding passes, prepayment of bag fees, etc. SMF reminds everyone to travel safely and take extra precautions when at the airport. Anyone in a public space is required to wear a face covering. The airport has installed social distancing signage not only inside the airport but also in areas where passengers wait for pick-up, taxis, rental car shuttles and ride-hailing apps. As always, it is recommended travelers arrive early in anticipation of additional security screenings. For more information, visit our website"‹