A guide to John Wayne Airport (SNA)

John Wayne Airport (SNA) was originally known as Orange County Airport, but it changed its name in 1979 to honor movie star John Wayne, who lived in Newport Beach and died earlier that same year.

John Wayne Airport exterior. Image credit: John Wayne Airport
John Wayne Airport exterior. Image credit: John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport is the only commercial airport in Orange County, making it a convenient choice for locals who don’t want to make the long drive to Los Angeles or San Diego to catch a flight. With three terminals to negotiate, having an airport map can be handy when you’re flying out of SNA Airport.

Airlines flying out of John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport sees more traffic from general aviation (private planes) than from its commercial airlines, which are spaced out among the airport’s three terminals. Most airlines head to domestic destinations, with a few nonstop flights taking passengers to Mexico or Canada.

Terminal A

  • American Airlines (Destinations: Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix)
  • Delta Airlines (Destinations: Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Seattle)
  • WestJet (Destination: Vancouver, Canada)

Terminal B

  • Alaska Airlines (Destinations: Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Everett, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Seattle)
  • United Airlines (Destinations: Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark, San Francisco)

Terminal C

  • Frontier Airlines (Destinations: Austin, Denver)
  • Southwest Airlines (Destinations: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Jose)

Airport lounges at John Wayne International Airport (SNA)

John Wayne Airport is home to a couple of lounges that offer a spot to relax before you fly.

Terminal A – American Airlines Admirals Club

This lounge in Terminal A is open to members of the Admirals Club as well as oneworld Elite members. Any passenger on any airline can also buy a one-day pass to the club.

Plenty of natural light and expansive views of the tarmac make this club a comfortable place to relax. A small business center provides semi-private cubicles with computers and printers in case you have last-minute work to do before you fly. A snack station is available, along with a small selection of beers and house cocktails. You can also purchase premium drinks and hot food for a fee. Free Wi-Fi and power outlets are available throughout the lounge.

Terminal B

United Club

United Airlines hosts its United Club for United Club members, some Priority Pass members, Star Alliance members, and United passengers flying first class or business class on international flights. You can also purchase same-day passes to enjoy this lounge. Snacks, soft drinks, and a few mixed drinks are offered, with premium liquors available for purchase. A private conference room with work cubicles can be reserved if you have work to do.

USO Lounge

Members of the U.S. military, both on active duty and in the reserves, can take advantage of the USO Lounge on the Arrivals level of Terminal B. The canteen provides snacks and beverages to troops and their families, and movies and video games are available for recreation. Staff are on hand to provide any travel assistance needed.

“Flight of Ideas” installation by Beth Nybeck in Terminal C. Image credit: John Wayne Airport

Hotels near John Wayne Airport

Given its location near the tech and business hubs of Irvine, Newport Beach, and Costa Mesa, it’s no surprise to find a wide selection of excellent hotels immediately surrounding John Wayne Airport and within an easy drive.

Hilton Irvine

Hilton Irvine is within walking distance to John Wayne Airport and convenient to most of Orange County’s business hubs and attractions. Plenty of meeting space is available for you to meet with clients and colleagues, and guest rooms include a large work desk. Head to the 24/7 fitness center to get in a workout, or enjoy swimming in the outdoor pool. Two restaurants, including a buffet, provide sustenance, or room service.

Renaissance Hotel Newport Beach

This boutique hotel from Marriott features a sleek modern look with views out to the city. The hotel’s restaurant features live music for entertaining clients, or order 24/7 room service if you’re working off jet lag. Both indoor and outdoor meeting spaces are available, and you can work out the stiffness from your flight at the Renaissance Hotel‘s fitness center or outdoor pool.

Newport Beach Marriott Bayview

Just down the road from John Wayne Airport, this all-suite hotel makes it easy for you to enjoy privacy, even while hosting a meeting in your suite. Unwind looking out to views over the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve — or head to the outdoor pool or fitness center to continue the relaxation process. The Newport Beach Marriott Bayview’s restaurant, Vista.Kitchen.Bar, serves specialty cocktails on an outdoor terrace, and ample meeting space is available if you need to convene a more formal gathering.

Fashion Island Hotel Newport Beach

Just a few miles toward the ocean from John Wayne Airport is the Fashion Island Hotel Newport Beach, a prime choice if business takes you to the Fortune 500 business district of Newport Center. Choose a room on the Island Club floor to take advantage of concierge services, high-speed Wi-Fi, and spectacular coastal views. Indoor and outdoor meeting spaces feature cutting-edge tech to enhance your team’s productivity, and the top floor lounge is ready to host your social gatherings when you need to entertain clients. Unwind at The Spa to get rid of any stress and prepare yourself for the next day’s work.

Services at John Wayne International Airport

At John Wayne Airport, teams of volunteers known as Ambassadors are on duty to help travelers and answer questions, especially during busy hours at the airport. You can recognize the Ambassadors by their red coats, and you’ll find them throughout the Departures level. In addition, take advantage of the following airport services as needed.


Pick up the cash you need for your business trip at the ATMs located at Gates 7, 10, and 17, as well as in Baggage Claim.

Travel assistance for travelers with disabilities

John Wayne Airport hosts a Helping Hands team to assist travelers who may find navigating an airport difficult. All travelers with disabilities or medical conditions have access to the TSA Cares toll-free hotline for information about transiting security checkpoints. Visual paging is also available for passengers with hearing disabilities, and free wheelchair assistance is offered by Skycaps as well as by individual airlines.

Lounges for nursing mothers

Rather than the enclosed pods offered at many airports, John Wayne Airport hosts a quiet, private lounge in Terminal B for mothers to nurse their babies or pump milk. The lounge features comfortable seating, a changing table and sink, and aviation-themed artwork created by local student contest winners.

Animal relief

If you’re traveling with a service animal or a pet, you’ll find secured animal relief areas outside Terminals A and C. Waste disposal bags and waste receptacles are also provided.

Music and art at John Wayne International Airport

John Wayne Airport endeavors to make the travel experience an enjoyable one by bringing music and art into the airport. A “Play Me!” piano is available between Terminals A and B for anyone who feels inclined. In addition, scheduled concerts take place Sundays through Fridays at the airport.

In addition, the airport features art from Orange County students throughout, with specific pieces chosen through school-based contests. Other featured art displays present the works of local artists and photographers as well as historical exhibits of interest relevant to Orange County.

A general aviation aircraft at SNA. Image credit: John Wayne International Airport
A general aviation aircraft at SNA. Image credit: John Wayne Airport

Shopping at John Wayne International Airport

Shopping choices at John Wayne Airport are limited, perhaps because two major shopping meccas (South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and Fashion Island in Newport Beach) are mere miles away from the airport. Nevertheless, in each terminal, you’ll be able to pick up travel essentials.

Terminal A

If you’re passing through Orange County on vacation, stop at Rip Curl to pick up surfing apparel and accessories, and don’t forget a pair of sunglasses from Sunglass Hut before you hit the beach. Souvenirs from the OC are available at Hudson News Discover OC as well as at the kiosks dotting the Orange County Market. You’ll find travel necessities and reading material for your flight at Hudson News.

Terminal B

Update your travel electronics at InMotion Entertainment or at Brookstone, where you’ll also find a wide variety of fascinating gadgets for everyday life. In addition to travel essentials, magazines, and books, you’ll find casual clothing from OC brands Roxy and Quicksilver at Beachfront News and pieces from local artisans at South Coast News. Stop in at XpresSpa for a massage, a mani/pedi, a facial, or a new hairdo.

Terminal C

Reading material for your flight awaits you at Beachfront News, CNN Newsstand, and CNBC, which offers a unique “Read & Return” program that can come in handy if you’re a frequent flyer through this airport. Pick up those headphones or other small electronics at InMotion Entertainment or the Tech on the Go section of the CNN Newsstand.

Restaurants at John Wayne Airport

Most of the dining options at John Wayne Airport consist of quick-serve or grab-and-go eateries, including a couple — Zov’s and La Tapenade Mediterranean Cafe — that are located before security in case you want a few last minutes with friends, family, or colleagues. Once you’re through security, choose from these dining spots.

Terminal A

  • California Pizza Kitchen: This airport outpost of the popular SoCal restaurant features pizzas baked to order, as well as soups, sandwiches, and salads. Pick up grab-and-go options at the same location.
  • Farmers Market by Laguna Culinary Arts: At this quick-serve spot, locally sourced ingredients fill the menu, which changes seasonally. Look for salads, soups, and local cheeses.
  • Ruby’s: At this table-service, 1950s-style diner located between Terminals A and B, you can enjoy the best in burgers, innovative milkshakes, and onion rings. Don’t miss the cinnamon rolls at breakfast time. Ruby’s To Go, right next door, offers a limited menu for travelers in a hurry.
California Pizza Kitchen. Image credit: John Wayne International Airport
California Pizza Kitchen. Image credit: John Wayne Airport

Terminal B

  • Vino Volo: Relax at this table-service wine bar while you wait for your flight. Appetizers and full meals are available to go with your wine, and if you find a vintage you enjoy, the shop is happy to ship it to you.
  • Hobie’s Sand Bar: You’ll feel like you’ve enjoyed a day at the beach when you stop in for some casual fare at this spot inspired by the famous Hobie catamaran.
  • Blaze Pizza: This popular chain hand-crafts pizzas to order and cooks them in a pizza oven so hot, you’ll be ready to eat in three minutes. Find Blaze between Terminals B and C.
  • Javi’s: Enjoy the best of Mexico at this table-service restaurant located between Terminals B and C. Mole poblano and seafood enchiladas are among the favorites here — not to mention the margaritas.
  • Zov’s: This quick-serve spot from award-winning chef Zov Karamardian features modern Eastern Mediterranean cuisine.

Terminal C

  • Belgium Beer Bar: Stella Artois and other favorite Belgian beers are on tap at this popular watering hole near the gates.
  • Anaheim Ducks Breakaway: If the game is on, this is where to watch it. This bar and grill features innovative pub grub and salads, along with signature cocktails that help you get ready to fly.

With John Wayne Airport’s location between so many business hubs, having reliable transportation on hand can help you be fully prepared and ready for your presentations and meetings. Book a professional Blacklane airport transfer for John Wayne International Airport (SNA) to finish the last leg of your journey in comfort and style.