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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

Palm Springs Airport is Easy to Navigate

Updated: Jun 26

A large metal sculpture in the courtyard of the Palm Springs Airport. It is hollow so you can see through it.
Palm Springs Airport Art Photo by Nadine Conger

If you tell someone you are from Palm Springs, California, it more than likely takes no less than three sentences before someone will say I love your airport, if they have flown into Coachella Valley. Our airport was designed by Donald Wexler, known for his modernist style. The style of the 50s and 60s is prevalent in Palm Springs and celebrated during Modernism Week each February and October.

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Location of the Palm Springs Airport (PSP)

Located on the north side of Coachella Valley, the Palm Springs Airport is a relatively small airport two miles from downtown Palm Springs and an easy 6-minute ride in a taxi, Lyft, or Uber. If you are staying down Valley, you may want to rent a car, but reserve a car ahead of time.

Once you are off the plane, head down the escalator to our open courtyard. Especially on a cold northern day, arriving outside with the warm breeze is the first thing that will alert you that it will be a memorable getaway or conference.

Follow the signs to baggage, go through the revolving door, and turn right to baggage claim. The rental car agencies are located immediately behind the baggage claim area. Once assigned a vehicle, it is an easy, short walk to your car.

Taxis are lined up in front, ready to take you to your destination. If using Lyft or Uber, follow the signs to the left for the pick-up point.

Checking In for a Flight

Palm Springs is the home to the following significant events:

·  Modernism Week (February)

·  BNP Paribas Open (March)

·  Coachella (Two weekends in April}

·  Stagecoach (April)

·  Fall Modernism Week (October)

Each of these events brings in thousands of people. This means if you come during one of these events, you must prepare for a couple of hours to get through security before going to your assigned gate when leaving Palm Springs.

However, TSA lines and plenty of CLEAR stations can help those with the proper credentials. If you only have a carry-on, have your transportation to the airport drop you off at the main door, and you will be right in front of security.

Palm Springs Airport directional signs to the gates right outside of security.
Palm Springs Airport Directional Signs Photo by Kathy Condon

Once Through Security

After getting yourself back together and ensuring all your belongings are accounted for, walk out the door into our beautiful airport courtyard. Take time to look around at the art that dots various places.

Check your gate number, for you will be heading to one of two places:

Archway with name Sonny Bono Concourse and stairs and escalator leading to the second floor
Sonny Bono Concourse at the Palm Springs Airport Photo by Kathy Condon

1. Straight head is The Sonny Bono concourse, where you go up the escalator under the canopy constructed to protect you from hot summer days. Here, the larger planes with a longer distance tend to load. There is an elevator to the left of the escalator, making it convenient if you have more than one carry-on.

The open area at the top of the escalator is being remodeled, so be prepared for an uneven floor.

2.  For smaller planes, and often connecting flights through Phoenix and Dallas, be prepared to do a little walking to the south concourse. However, the pathway is wide and has lovely plantings, art, and trees to observe as you make your way to this adjacent terminal. Just before you reach the concourse, on the right, are large spaces reserved for restrooms.


When boarding and out the concourse door, you are often asked to put your carry-on on a cart before heading up the ramp to the plane. Make sure you have what you might need for the usually short flights.

Refreshments and that Important Cup of Coffee

Once you leave security, even if you must catch an early morning flight, PSP Coffee House will serve you a hot cup of coffee at 4:00 a.m. It is located to the right of the escalator and elevator.

The front of Nine Cities concession stand at the Palm Springs Airport.
Palm Springs Airport Nine Cities by the South Concourse Photo by Kathy Condon

On my recent trip, I smiled when I noted that Nine Cities Craft is now located outside the terminal where the smaller planes leave—no more balancing PSP Coffee down the long walkway to the second terminal, which was open at 5:00 a.m. They also have pastries and other drinks available.

Breakfast and more substantial food and drink are available in the Sonny Bono Concourse at Santa Rosa Kitchen & Spirits. This full-service restaurant has outdoor seating, making it the perfect place to have breakfast before your flight. It also has grab-and-go food available for your meal on the plane.

PSP Wine Bar also has an outdoor patio. Here, you can grab some light snacks if you have plenty of time before your plane leaves. If you are like most of us, we seem to get to the airport early and are most of the time amazed at how easy the airport is to navigate.

Four cement pots filled with blooming flowers on the pathway at night at the Palm Springs Airport
Palm Springs Airport at Night Photo by Kathy Condon

My plane from Dallas was recently delayed, resulting in my arrival time in Palm Springs at 1:00 a.m. Even though I was so tired, for it was 3:00 a.m. in the time zone I had just come from, I cherished the warmth of the Palm Springs evening.

With carry-on in hand, I started my journey down to the exit. I smiled as a Frank Sinatra sound wafted through the otherwise quiet airport. It was so good to be home.

Kathy Condon is a journalist, travel writer, and award-winning author. Her niche is luxury experiences and communities living in the shadows of larger cities.     760-902-3094





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