The man drove to the airport, went into the International Terminal, “walked around the departure terminal and pulled out an edged weapon” before attacking three men at about 6 pm, police said.
The travellers were in the pre-security area when they were attacked, airport duty manager Russell Mackey told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Police officers arrived and arrested a man, whose name wasn’t immediately released.
The victims were treated for minor injuries before continuing on their travels and other airport operations weren’t affected, officials said.
It wasn’t clear if the suspect was a traveller and the motive for the attack was unknown, Russell Mackey said.
A KTVU-TV reporter who was covering the Golden State Warriors’ homecoming at the airport said a large knife was removed from the scene.
Other details weren’t immediately available.