International Travel Tips
San Antonio International Airport offers these international travel tips and resources to help make your journey safer and more enjoyable.
- International Visitors Representatives
- Global Entry
- Meeting Arriving International Passengers
- Visa/Passport Information
Arriving from an International Flight
As an arriving passenger, you will be required to provide international documentation, such as a passport, and declare any items of value. The inspections program is responsible for ensuring that individuals entering the U.S. are eligible to do so under U.S. immigration law.
You can find more information on U.S. Customs and Immigration at www.dhs.gov.
International Visitors Representatives
International Visitors Representatives (IVRs) are available for every flight in the customs arrival area to answer questions and assist in directing passengers as they enter the airport. IVRs can also assist passengers with reviewing federal forms, provide interpretation services as needed and provide information regarding airport facilities, ground transportation and tourist attractions. Additionally, there are 2 information booths staffed by volunteers in the Terminal A baggage claim, right outside the customs area that can assist passengers.
Global Entry is now offered at San Antonio International Airport. It is a new program managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) which allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States.
Participants of Global Entry will enter the United States by utilizing automated kiosks located in the Customs and Boarder Protection area. The average time for Global Entry processing is around 40 seconds. The program targets those who leave the country at least four times per year, mainly airline personnel and business travelers. Those participating in the program benefit from being better equipped to make tight connecting flights.
View step-by-step instructions on how to use the kiosks in each Global Entry airport.
View how to apply for Global Entry on the Global Entry.gov web site for more information.
The airport does not have a Currency Exchange location on the premises but there are locations throughout the City of San Antonio. Here are a few options that may provide this service.
Marcy's Business Travel Center
Location: Terminal A, Lobby
Hours: 5:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Frost Bank – Downtown
Texas Currency Exchange
Meeting Arriving International Passengers
Passengers from international flights arrive at Terminal A. It typically takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to clear U.S. Customs and Immigration. The best place to meet arriving international passengers is at Baggage Claim, lower level Terminal A.
International Flight Tips for Departing Passengers
- Bring copies of your passport. In the event that your passport gets stolen or lost, you want to be able to prove your citizenship. and be able to get back into the country.
- Register with your embassy. It’s a good idea to register with your embassy, just on case there is a problem in the country. This will make it easier for your government to contact you and get you to safety. For information on how to register, go to the Smart Traveler web site.
- Check-in with your doctor. Work with your doctor to make sure that you have all of the proper vaccinations. Also, make sure that you have renewed all essential prescriptions.
- Contact your insurance carrier. Contact your medical insurance provider if your policy applies overseas for emergencies. If it doesn’t, and you may want to add extra coverage, consider supplemental insurance.
- Look up the monetary conversion before you go.
- Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards so having local cash on you will be helpful. This is especially important when using public transportation.
- Purchase attraction tickets early. By doing this, you can save time and skip the lines. You may also be able to get a deal.
- Invest in guidebooks. Guidebooks usually include maps, key words or phrases.
- Download popular apps before you travel.
- Have a charger adapter. Countries have different size plugs and voltage.
- Research your phone’s global capabilities. Avoid roaming charges when using your cell phone.
- Pack an extra set of clothes and snacks in your carry-on bag.
All departing passengers must go through passenger security screening. You must be ready to show an agent a valid passport or other approved government-issued photo identification and a flight boarding pass before entering the screening area. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration describes security screening and its airline travel policies on its Web site: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information
Visit the Department of Homeland Security Web site for more information.
For a list of international travel resources, entry requirements, international driver's licenses, travel warnings, and more, please visit usa.gov.
Texas Tax Back for Int'l Shoppers
The sales tax in San Antonio is .08% and foreign travelers receive refunds on this tax! This is true statewide.
How to Receive the Refund
You must purchase the merchandise in San Antonio within 30 days of departure from the U.S.A. and present it for rebate at tax back locations around the city.
- North Star Mall
Second Level in front of Forever 21
Third Level of Macy's Department Store
- The Shops at La Cantera
Just outside Dillards Department Store
- San Marcos Premium Outlets
In between Bose and Dooney & Bourke