Getting to the Oakland Airport
Archived Q&A and Reviews
- Flying out of Oakland Airport for 10 days, don't want to take BART
- Private driver desired for trip to the Oakland Airport
- Best Way to Get to and from Oakland Airport
- Airport Transport between OAK and SFO
- Transportation from Oakland airport to SF Union Sq
- Park and Fly at Oakland Airport on Christmas Eve
- Best way to get a family of 4 to the Oakland airport?
- Should we drive or take a cab? How early to arrive?
We are a family of 4 flying out of OAK from El Cerrito for 10 days. We do not want to BART. We are considering a car service with no stops, sleep and fly, and off-site park and fly. Can anyone give recommendations on a service they have used that they liked? We are looking for reliability and timeliness. Thank you. Vmn
I have done it all: rented a car for one day (sometimes you find a deal and it's only $25), Park and Fly (didn't seem worth it because sleeping the night before in the hotel wasn't really necessary and had logistical problems associated with packing), and the winner--just park your car at an off-site airport parking place. I like Expresso parking (https://www.expressoparking.com) because they usually have an on-line coupon. If they don't and you have AAA, you get a discount. They have coffee and muffins to take with you (muffins were a hit with the kids, but kinda gross, if you ask me). It's in the $7/day range if you have a coupon. x 10 days is $70 and I bet that's less than a car service x 2. Plus, you have more control-- don't have to worry about whether the service is going to show up or not. park
My wife and I are looking for a private, well-recommended driver to take us from our home in North Oakland to the Oakland airport then pick us up when we return a few days later. There will only be two or three bags. Many thanks. Roger
We use Fred as our private driver, to the airport and to pick up my mother from her conference hotel and bring her to us. He also drove her from the Oakland airport to a conference in Napa once. Fred has a clean nice car, is ALWAYS on time and is very friendly. 510-428-1700. Please tell him hi from us. Heidi
I highly recommend On Time Limo - they will send a driver and comfortable town car. My husband uses them for work-related travel to and from the airport, and we have used them for personal trips to the airport as well. You can find them at http://www.otlimo.com/, or call 888-685-4665. nice to let someone else drive
Both my spouse and I have hired Benjamin Jimerfield to drive for us. I have used him for help when filming videos downtown and don't want to deal with parking and hauling. He quickly responded to my text to pick me up. He is respectful and a safe driver. benjaminjimerfield [at] gmail.com 808-722-4591﻿ stu
http://www.yelp.com/biz/dyer-limousine-services-oakland I know exactly who you should call! Dyer limo services. I've been using them for the last few years for service from Kensingon to SFO. Our driver, Bart, is like a family member to us. They are professional, punctual and great with kids (will provide car seats). I love these guys!!!! Dyer Limo fan
Our family of four will be going out of town for six days in April -- our flight out leaves at 7:20 a.m. (gulp!), and the return flight gets in at 8:30 p.m. We're wondering about the best way to get to and from the Oakland airport from our home 25 minutes away...Bay Porter? Cab? Drive ourselves and use long-term parking? There aren't any recent recommendations on the BPN website, so we'd really appreciate any advice. Many thanks
To get our family of 5 to the Oakland Airport, we drive and park at Expresso Parking (http://www.expressoparking.com/) - they currently offer outdoor self-parking for $6/day, which is way cheaper than getting all of us there on Bayporter, etc. We like Expresso for easy access, friendly service, free and frequent shuttle to the airport, plus free muffins and newspapers. They also offer indoor and even valet parking options for a slightly higher price. We've been parking there for years and just used them in February and they were fantastic as always. Traveller
In my experience it's cheaper and easier to just self park at OAK. I usually use the Park N Fly on 98th Ave.; it never seems to be run out of spaces and has frequent and consistent shuttle pick ups. Baby D.
I'm not sure about how the prices will compare to each other, but I'd probably do a cab or drive yourselves and park. Bayporter is great for one person, but they charge per person, so it would be cheaper to just get a cab, I think. From North Berkeley to Oakland airport, a cab costs around $50. I'm sure there are prices on the OAK website for parking prices. Also, I know at SFO there are cheaper longer-term parking places just outside the airport, but that might be more of a hassle with kids and luggage. Good luck! anon
I have started using Royal Shuttle 510-290-1380. It is run by Paul Darke. I have known he and his wife for years because they own (she runs) a photo copy business near my home. I'm not sure where you live (you say you're 25 minutes away.) Paul is reliable and always on time (I had had difficulties with cabs coming period (sometimes they just didn't show up). So far there have not been others riding with me so I don't have to ride around while he's picking up or dropping off others as one often does with some of the other shuttles. I have found his rates to be reasonable. I used to park at one of the lower cost parking places near the Oakland airport but this is so much more convenient. He drops you off right in front of your airline. You can use my name if you like; I don't get anything from it. I just think he's a good person and I would like to see his shuttle business do well. Sharon L
Without knowing where you live, and the ages of your family members, I don't know if this will be helpful, but we usually take BART! It's not quite as easy as gong to SFO since you have to take the AirBART bus from the BART station to the airport, but it is pretty easy. This will only work if you are leaving on a weekday, though, since the weekend BART schedule won't get you to the airport on time. When you get back, if you are too tired to deal with it, you could opt for a cab or BayPorter to get home. R.K.
Shuttles can be great, but I haven't used any for a while, so I'll let others give you their specific recommendations. When I was single, I used to rely exclusively on shuttles, but if I had an early flight and kids to transport, I think I'd prefer to drive and use long-term parking. The advantage with airport shuttles is that you can install car seats (assuming you plan to bring them with you); the advantage with long-term parking is that you don't have to bring carseats, if you weren't planning to. The downside is that you have your kids on the parking shuttle without carseats, though, so you have to decide what you are comfortable with. I personally really like Expresso Discount Parking, which is close to the airport and gets you there quickly. If you can afford it, I recommend valet parking. This is particularly nice when you return from your trip and can just hop in your car. Niki
There are shuttle services, but they charge per person. Your best bet, for a family of four and six days, is long-term parking lots outside of the airport. Espresso charges $6/day currently: http://expressoparking.com/reservations/ for ourtdoor parking. So that would be $36. They have shuttles to take you to the airport, and you get to the airport when you want, in the convenience of your own car. There are lots of other lots. Do some research, but $6 is pretty good. fellow traveller
I fly from Oakland fairly often. I use offsite airport parking, usually Park N Fly, and I pay in advance to get the best rate. Even when my flight arrived late they didn't ask for more money. I've had good experiences with them, drivers are always helpful with the bags. BTW, I always tip a driver who helps with the bags. I don't use BayPorter because I got tired of waiting for them and being driven all over heck and back before arriving at home. A 2+ hour drive to N. Berkeley at night with no traffic is inexcusable, especially after an hour wait at the airport despite a reservation. The last time I checked, the cost of BayPorter or a cab for 4 people was close to or more than the cost of offsite airport parking, depending on the length of your trip. Look for coupons too. I stopped using Avistar/FastTrack lots at Oakland due to surly employees, lousy service and our car was broken into in their lot. since all items were found in a garbage can at another one of their oakland airport lots, it was obviously an employee. . frequent traveler
I am also part of a family of four. We have happily used Bayporter for years -- it's great because they pick you up right at your house. But Bayporter doesn't operate 24 hours a day, and with four people traveling it can be pretty expensive. So for trips where we are leaving before or returning after Bayporter hours, we drive ourselves and park in an off-aiport lot called Expresso Airport Parking. We also park at Expresso if it's going to be cheaper than Bayporter, which depends on how long your trip is. You can figure this out by going on both of their websites. Also Expresso usually has a coupon on their website that you should print out and bring with you to get the best price. When you get there, you just park your car in any open space and there's a shuttle that takes you to the airport, which is less than 10 minutes away. Happy travels! Lucy
The BEST way is to rope a friend or relative into driving you. But assuming that's not an option: We've done the long-term parking lots (driving our own car there, taking the lot's shuttle bus to the terminal) and we've done the door-to-door shuttle van service. Shuttle van x four people may work out to be about the same total cost as parking x # of days; do some comparing. The shuttle service will pick you up considerably earlier than you *really* need to leave, and it's an annoyingly slow trip when there are multiple other people being picked up or dropped off. But with the parking lot option, you have to load up your own car, then unload and reload into the short-trip shuttle bus, which can be a hassle.
Using a private cab avoids these problems -- and allows you to install your kids' carseats, which may be impossible on either type of shuttle -- but that will typically cost more.
I tend to prefer the parking lot solution, because it's usually faster and I think of it as more convenient (no advance reservations needed), while my husband tends to prefer the shuttle service, I think because he considers the 'scheduled' nature of the trip to be more reliable. And possibly because he's a worrywart about leaving our car parked in a lot, though I suspect our possessions are safer with our car parked in an attended lot, than with the car in our own driveway serving as a signal that nobody's home! (Of course it's a good idea to remove any valuable belongings before leaving your car.) I can't offer specific recommendations (or anti- recommendations) because none of our experiences have been so good or so bad as to be very memorable. Holly
Can anyone recommend the best way for a young teenager ( 14 years old), arriving from the East Coast, to get from Oakland Airport to SFO on a Saturday morning? I'm thinking that one of the shuttle vans would be best--but there are tons! Any recommendations?
You can take a shuttle from OAK to the Oakland Colliseum BART and then BART all the way to SFO. It's pretty easy, the shuttles are all just hanging around outside OAK Jill
I think you can take BART all the way now? Maybe look on the BART website for info on shuttles from OAK to the BART station? Good luck! Anon
My dad is coming to town for a convention. Any recommendations on best way for him to get from OAK to his Union Square hotel? BART, a particular shuttle company, cab? He is nimble and travels light, and doesn't want to pay too much or spend too much time schlepping around. Thanks.
BART is very easy from the oakland airport. There's a shuttle ($2) to the BART station, then BART all the way to Powell Street, walk to Union square. We've had all our out of town visitors take that route, then we meet them at a cafe near union square to get them to our place. anon
Take either the AC Transit bus or BART shuttle from the airport to the Coliseum BART station, then catch either the Daly City or Millbrae train into SF, get off at Powell Station and it's a 5 minute walk up Powell Street to Union Square. The bus is $2 or less, the BART ride about $5. Buses run every 15 minutes, BART runs about every 15 minutes. Total travel time about 1:15. If your dad is nimble and travels light, this is the way to go. A shuttle or a cab would be much more expensive and, depending on traffic on the Bay Bridge, might take just as long.
I'm flying out of Oakland Airport on Christmas Eve day and would like to leave my car in a lot there until New Year's Day. Can anyone recommend a lot where I'd be able to make a reservation in advance? I realize that space will be at a premium at that point. Thanks!
Back in March, we used Expresso Parking, on Doolittle, when we took a trip to DC. As I recall, there was a coupon for CSAA members in the monthly AAA magazine, so it ended up being the cheapest of all the other parking lots (http://www.expressoparking.com/park/park.html). Not sure if you still need the coupon, as I see a notation on their website to just show your card for a discount. The un-discounted price is $7.95/day for outdoor parking. We were pretty satisfied with the service. Oh, and they take reservations. Jim
I'd suggest: http://www.expressoparking.com/reserve/reserve.html I think they're about the cheapest, and they take reservations online. -Mike
Have you considered taking BART? You can take it to the Coliseum station, then take the $2 AirBART shuttle to the airport. If you don't have someone to drop you off at your home station, some BART stations have long term parking for airport passengers. Check out their website at bart.gov for specifics. May as well not use your car if you can help it. adaking88
Sounds silly, but you should try some of the airport hotels' ''stay-park-fly'' packages. You pay for just one night hotel, you can park with no extras charge for 10 days. They shuttle you right to your terminal. R.K.
Have you considered spending the night before at one of the airport hotels that offers a ''Park and Fly'' special? It's sure a lot less stressful and it ends up being about the same price.
We recently stayed at the Quality Inn near Oakland Airport and had a very nice experience there. Good breakfast, nice staff, prompt shuttle pickup and dropoff, and safe car parking.
If you do a Google search on ''Park and Fly'' and Oakland, you should come up with a list of hotels that offer special deals. Katy
When flying out of Oakland Airport I strongly recommend using Airpark for your off airport parking. The service is fantastic, the shuttles are clean and run often, the staff is nice and everything is so convenient. You can make a reservation online at: www.airparkoakland.com. Hope this helps! Constantly Flying Mom of 2
We travel very infrequently by air, so I'm clueless about the most convenient and most economical way to get our family of four from the El Cerrito area to the Oakland Airport. We're leaving on the red-eye, so BART is not an option, and anyway, schlepping all our luggage on the BART train doesn't sound too appealing. Are we better off driving and parking in the long-term lot (prices I've been quoted range around the $10/day rate) or taking a cab or a shuttle? Shuttles seem to charge by the person, so that seems very steep. Cabs are in the $35-$50 range each way, so it seems about a wash with the long term parking. Will we wish we had our car right there when we get home, or will we be glad to be dropped off right at the gate when we first leave. For those of you who travel often, which do you prefer, and why? We'll be gone for eight days, so I guess we're looking at $80-$100 whichever way we do it. I just wonder if there are some things to consider when making this decision that I've not thought of. If parking in a long term lot is our best bet, is one better than another? Does one have to reserve a spot, or is parking always available? Clueless traveler
We just flew out of Oakland in live in El Cerrito. Well, obviously, we came back to Oakland too. :) We travelled with 4 kids and 4 carseats and decided to take our own car. I think we paid $74 for 7-8 days. Daddy picked up the car while we picked up luggage (out of 9 pieces, they only lost one) and it was really simple to wait at the curb for him. On the way out, he dropped us (me and the 4 kids) off at the curb and then he went to drop off the car (and used the shuttle to get back to the airport). He was back by the time we were ready to hit security. Kathy
I don't know when you're traveling but I was just told that PCA at the Oakland airport had opened a new lo, and to encourage new customers they were offering FREE parking until August 31. I tried it out and left my car for 8 days...was a bit nervous upon departing as I thought this sounded too good to be true, but low and behold, it was 100% free. You need to call or email to make a reservation before. Here's the info from the oakland chamber of commerce site: http://www.oaklandchamber.com/html/2004_06_pca.html
''What could be better than knowing that a no-hassle, reserved parking space is waiting for you as you rush toward Oakland International Airport to begin your summer vacation or business trip? How about a FREE, reserved parking space? Parking Company of America Airports (PCA) has opened a new, convenient, secure, 2,400-space parking lot within one mile of the Bay Area\xc2\x92s most convenient, lowest-fare airport, and that\xc2\x92s what they\xc2\x92re offering \xc2\x96 totally FREE PARKING all summer long. The huge new PCA-Hegenberger lot is located at the intersection of Pardee Drive and Swan Way, just off Hegenberger Road near the entrance to the airport. For more info and to make a reservation, visit www.PCAFreeParking.c! om or by calling toll free (877) 888-PARK (877-888-7275). PCA doesn\xc2\x92t charge for reservations.''
Happy travels...! rabinm
I just got a free week of parking at PCA near Hegenberger (right onto Pardee near Francesca's restaurant). I believe they are offering free parking to everyone during July and August. It's a new lot and was a completely smooth (and free) experience for me. You should go on-line and make a reservation. Your printed reservation gets you out free. After August I think it's a much better rate than the on- airport lots but I'm not sure of the prices. Mary
My husband travels extensively (50-75% of his job). He takes a cab every time to the (Oakland) airport, unless I have an hour to spare to take him to the airport and back with my two kids in the backseat (in other words, not very often!). He calls the night before to reserve a cab and it always goes very smoothly. From our house (San Pablo and Ashby) it is a $30 cab ride. Super Shuttle charges the same, is often late, and you often have stops along the way to pick up other passengers. Call a cab. business travel widow
This may seem obvious, but the cheapest and easiest way is to ask a neighbor or nearby friend with a suitably large vehicle to take you and pick you up. Then you can return the favor next time they fly, and you both save a lot of money for a modest expenditure of time. David
We travel a couple of times a year with our child, and we always take our car to one of the off-site long term parking lots (not Oakland economy parking -- they now! charge $17 a day). By the time we get off the plane, we are so frazzled that we don't want to deal with getting a cab, making sure we have enough cash, etc. We just want to get in our own car and go home. Karen
personal opinion -- we like being able to come home, grab the shuttle to the parking lot, and get on home. too many times on bayporter etc. being driven to other people's houses first. the $$ are not really any issue at that point.
Here's a short term solution, only good until Aug. 31st 2004. You can park for free at the new PCA lot. See link below for coupon. http://www.pcafreeparking.com/index_flash.aspx . Jennifer
We used the free PCA lot at Oakland airport last month. Just go to WWW.PCAFreeParking.com for more information. It is located at Pardee Drive and Swan Way. When driving down Hegenburger towards the airport, make a right at Francesca's restaurant and drive to the end of the road. The free offer ends in August so take advantage of it while you can. I just recommend giving your van driver a bigger tip! Tora
When BART is not an option, we usually use Bayporter (see www.bayporter.com). Being driven door-to-door is great. While they do charge per person, it is full price ($27 from El Cerrito to OAK) for only the first adult. Each additional adult is $12, and kids through age 12 are $7. I'm not sure if they charge for under-2's (though of course you will need a seat for the car seat). You don't say how old your kids are, but you can do the math. Also consider what time you will return, and where you've been. If your trip is to the Eastern time zone, and you return late in the evening, your body will feel like it's the middle of the night. Will you feel up to driving then? If you get back to Oakland earlier in the day, BART may be a money-saving option on your return (including a few dollars for a taxi from the BART station to your home). If you plan to consider BART, be sure to get a children's BART ticket (only $4.00 for $16.00 worth of travel) before you leave home. You can buy i! t lots of places, including Safeway - but not at the BART station itself. R.K.
If a cab is an option for you, it will actually be much easier when you get home. If you park your car offsite you have to wait for the shuttle, lug your own bags up the steps, and then walk to your car from wherever the shuttle drops you off in the lot. Then you generally have some hassle with paying as you exit. Cabs at Oakland Airport are frequent and plentiful, and you'll be able to pile in and head straight home. The only issue I can think of is carseats. I guess it depends on whether you're taking them with you on your flight. Have a great one whatever you decide. frequent flier
I've taken the shuttle, cabs, and used longterm parking at Oakland airport. I make my decision based on how many of us are going and for how long. If we'll be gone less than a week, and all of us are going, it's usually cheapest to drive the car and park at the airport. Just allow time for getting from parking lot to airport. Airport shuttles are convenient because they pick you up at your house and deliver you right to the departure area. They usually give discounts for additinal family members. There's one on the BPN website that has carseats and specializes in families with little kids. The downside is they may want to fetch you 2 hours before departure time to allow for picking up other passengers. My older kids and visiting relatives sometimes take BART to/from the Oakland airport. It's pretty convenient if you don't live too far from a BART station but I think it would be a hassle with little kids and/or a lot of luggage. My son and I recently took a cab from the Oak airport to our home in Berkeley, and it was about $37, which was cheaper than taking the shuttle and a heck of a lot more convenient. Ginger
Expresso Parking on Doolittle has a shuttle (they all do) to the airport. Self-Park outdoors is I think $6.95/day. They also have self park indoors - don't know cost, and valet $10.95/day. They also honor AAA for a 15% discount, and the shuttle drivers are pretty nice. I use them a lot and have been happy every time. I think they have a website as well. I found out about them from the AAA magazine I get. They also have a frequent parker program for free days on your next trip after 7 days (not sure if only valet days or not.) Anyway, happy parking. PS, I used to use VIP on Hegenberger, but they only have outdoor (got bird droppings on my car), and I really like the indoors in the rain. frequent Oakland airport parker
Easy - rent a car one way. Most of the name brand car rental companies let you rent a car in one place in the Bay Area and return it in another with no extra fee. I've done it several times both to OAK and SFO. You do have to pick the car up but there are enough name brand rental places around so that shouldn't be a problem. Jon
I highly suggest using Airpark Oakland on 98th Avenue. Their website is www.airparkoakland.com and there is a coupon on the webpage. They are just great. You drive you car there - you can even make a reservation online - park and their shuttle will take you, your family and all of your luggage to the airport. The people who work there are nice and very, very helpful - especially with your kids and their stuff. Definitely check them out - I cannot give them higher praise. Very Frequent Family Flier
I hope I'm replying to the right post--about how / where to park at the airport. The best deal in town this summer is free airport parking at the new PCA at Oakland Airport! Just go to www.pcafreeparking.com and enter your name and dates of travel. You will get a coupon to print out. The lot is really close to the airport and it seems to be very well organized and running smoothly. I traveled for a few days and it could not have been easier--and it's FREE, all summer, through Aug. 31! Tracy
My husband sorted out this issue for us a while ago. He rents a car here in Berkeley and we drop it off at the airport. Generally, it runs about $30-40. We have done it coming home from the airport as well. good luck! frequent flyer
We'll be travelling out of Oakland International Airport next week (United Airlines). I'm be interested in advice from others who have travelled recently (particularly over the Thanksgiving holiday) on how long to expect check-in and security to take. Also, any advice on whether to take a cab to the airport (we are a family of four including two little ones in car seats) or whether we should just drive ourselves and park in long-term parking (we're travelling one week before Xmas so I imagine there will still be long-term parking available). Thanks! Margaret
I highly suggest parking at off-airport parking (less expensive and easier in & out). Taking their shuttle is quick and easy (even with kids) and they will assist you with getting your luggage on & off of their shuttle. Check out this link - it is for Airpark - right off Hagenberger. There is a coupon attached as well. Have a great trip! http://www.douglasparking.com/airport.html A Seasoned Traveling Mom
Hi - We travel frequently out of Oakland International with our two year old child. What we generally do is park at an off-site long term parking lot (PCA) on 98th Ave. They use shuttles and help get luggage off and on for you so you can manage the children. We just leave our son in his stroller for the shuttle to the airport since there are no seatbelts to attach a car seat with. The cost is significantly less per day than parking in the airport's long term lot. We try to do this about 30-45 minutes before we are due at the airport. In terms of check-in, security, etc while inside the airport - I suggest getting there about 1-1 1/2 hours prior to your departure. The lines move swiftly at Oakland, in my experience. Hope this helps. A Travellin' Mama
I travelled on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and had no problems whatsoever. It all seemed scarily easy. We ended up with over an hour to kill at the gate because check-in took 5 minutes and security less. And Dulles was the same coming home. Long term parking isn't bad, but at $12 a day you could pay for a cab, which is easier all around. I waited over 45 minutes at midnight (with my 5 y/o) for a shuttle to LTP, and finally asked one of the traffic cops and she laughed and told us to walk to our car, five minutes away. During which three shuttles passed us, in a row. Kean
I travel out of Oakland International regularly. Depending on the day of travel, the security line can be long, but it moves quickly. Don't plan to bring wrapped gifts through security--it will slow you down. Expect to remove shoes and jackets. Parking at Oakland is terrible--even if long-term is available, it will probably be way, way, way in the back of the lot. There is a shuttle that runs through the lot, but it is sporadic at best. I've never managed to catch it--or even see it moving through the parking lot, for that matter. A better bet is to park at one of the off-site lots (they are listed on the airport website). They are cheaper and the shuttle will let you off in front of the terminal. (They also feel safer to me. I have never seen a security guard in the airport lot.) I've found this to be a much better option than circling through the airport lot frantically looking for a space in long term. Long term parking is about 15 dollars a day, whereas the off-site parking is about 9 dollars a day. Even with kids, the off-site parking is easier; you won't have to lug your car seats 1/2 mile through the parking lot. anon
It really depends on what time your flight is and what airline you are using. Generally, the earlier the flight the better. I have found that the line to check in can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 min. Another 15 to 35 minutes for the security line. You might want to add another 30 min. to your timeframe because it will be getting more and more crowded with the holidays. The long term parking in the airport is a little pricey and you can get a better deal by using the lots on Hegenberger or on Doolittle- $8 to 15 a day- I'd find out how much the taxi will be to and fro (or an airporter van) and see which one works better for you. Add in a little hassle factor for parking yourself and then taking a shuttle over to the airport and back (plus extra time) whereas a taxi will bring you there right away. Just a thought. Good luck! Juliette
Allow yourself plenty of time to deal with the airport. 2 hours is not unreasonable. Even if the lines are moving, you'll need the extra time to deal with your kids, luggage, car seats etc. and the extra time will help you to not feel as pressured and to therefore maintain your cool. I have found that the United lines are very long so if it's possible for you to do curbside check in, I highly recommend it. The lines are shorter and move faster, only problem may be if you do not have your seats already, not sure if they can provide you with seat assignments. If you already have, shouldn't be a problem then. The security lines at terminal one now seem to be incredibly long and slow now that they have turned securty over to the federal screeners. What had been a ten minute line now seems to easily take over 30 minutes. As for parking, I highly recommend the off site parking lots. They are only a little further out than long term and the shuttles pick you up and drop you off right at your car. They are also patient with you if you are loading a lot of stuff. I believe that at long term parking you need to lug all your stuff to one of the pick up places for the bus to get you to take you to the terminal. I have also had the bus pass me by on several occasions which was very frustrating. One last bit of information. When I flew United recently with my son who was seven months at the time, United did not allow prebaording any more for families with children or if you were disabled. They claimed it had something to do with 9/11. It was terribly frustrating because we were lugging the car seat, stroller etc. Fortunately the flight attendants seemed equally frustrated with the policy because it actually makes boarding more difficult for everyone so they were very helpful once we were one board in helping us to get situated. We have also recently flown American and Southwest and they still have a preboarding policy so I think it's just a United thing. Hope this info helps. have a great, safe trip! Arquelle
I would like to recommend one more option for getting to the Oakland (or SF) airport. We almost always use BayPorter Express. They send a 7-passenger van to pick you up at your home, and drops you off right at the terminal. When you call to reserve, they let you know a pick-up time, and they are always on time (sometimes early), and handle all the luggage. All of the seats have seat belts (though only the two window seats and front seats have shoulder belts). The one-way charge is around $18-$22 (depending where you live) for the first adult passenger, but only $10 per additional adult and $5 per child from the same address (free for the youngest ones - be sure you let them know you'll need a seat for the car seat). In my experience, they make only 2-3 pick-up stops - all in the same general area- before heading to the airport. Returning from the airport, the wait may be a little longer, and you may end up travelling farther to drop off other passengers, so a cab may be a better bet for that trip, if you are in a hurry. The drivers have always been very curteous, & don't smoke in the van. My only complaint is that they seem to drive a bit faster than I'd prefer, but no worse, I think, than taxi drivers (and many of you out there). We love that it saves the hassle of driving, parking, shlepping luggage, etc. R.K.