Recap: Official @flySFO Plane Spotting Event August 2017

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The social media team of the San Francisco International Airport, better known as @flySFO on social media, was holding a plane spotting photo contest. The winner would get the chance to go out on the field and up close with the planes to have an even better opportunity for plane spotting.


I come to SFO a lot to do plane spotting and even wrote a small guide for some good locations. Plane Spotting Guide for SFO. I found more locations and the guide will be updated soon. My first plane spotting event at SFO was Lufthansa’s A380 plane spotting event for their inaugural flight of the A380 from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco.

I was so excited when I found out on Monday, that I was one of the lucky winners. The event started Friday, August 18, 2017, at 1 p.m. at the Info booth of terminal 2. From there we checked in to the event, by having our ID checked and took the bus out to the field. Our event location was almost right at the intersection of the runways where they crossed each other (see map below).

We got there just in time to see the Korean Air Boeing 747 and the Asiana Airlines Airbus A350 taking off. We got to take pictures from planes all sizes. Starting with small private jets like a Cessna 560 all the way up to the Airbus A380 from Lufthansa and Emirates. Besides amazing photos of this planes, we had the rare opportunity to capture pictures of airlines who will soon cease to exist: airberlin and Virgin America.

airberlin’s A330-200

Virgin America A320-214

Lining up for plane spotting

The Emirates A380 was taxing by our photo location so close, you almost were able to touch it. Of course, you are not allowed to. We spent a good two hours out there taking as many pictures as we could.

Emirates A380 passing by right next to our spotting location. Photo courtesy of flySFO

Even the pilots were wondering whats going on and looked at us. Like these two pilots of the Lufthansa A380 taxing out to take off.

Not only we, the plane spotters, were curious, also the pilots. 🙂

Just before we left we took a group picture which got later on shared on flySFO’s social channels.

Photographing the Photographer

Group Photo just before the end of the event. Photo courtesy of flySFO

Plane spotting is really fun. The time out there was amazing! I hope the airport team is giving us future opportunities to do that all over again. That would be really amazing.


Below the gallery with my best photos. The whole set of photos of this event can be found in my Flickr album.

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