Where can I fly from San Francisco (SFO)?
Over the last 2 years, we've sent Going members from San Francisco (SFO) to 329 destinations. These are the cheapest flights we've found to each of those destinations.
Flights from San Francisco (SFO) overview
Going searches for the best fares and sends members deals bookable 1-12 months in advance. Going members near San Francisco (SFO) save approximately 39% compared to normal flight prices.
Cheapest Going deal
Average price roundtrip
Average Going deal price roundtrip
Best month to fly
Going found the most deals with travel dates in October.
Worst month to fly
Going found the least deals with travel dates in July.
Top tips for finding a cheap flight out of San Francisco (SFO)
Book in the Goldilocks Window
Over the years, we’ve found that 1-3 months before a domestic flight and 2-8 months before an international flight is when we find the best deals. We call this the Goldilocks WIndow because it’s not too early before a flight and not too late. Prices can be high when flights are first released (the airlines know anyone booking almost a full year in advance probably has set dates and is willing to pay a premium for them), and then prices tend to rise as flights get close, especially at the 21-day, 14-day, and 7-day points.
This Goldilocks Window isn’t a hard and fast rule, though. If you plan to travel during the summer, over Christmas, or other popular travel times, start looking even earlier. We recommend looking in July for a December trip and in December and January for summer vacations.
Use the Greek Islands Trick
Want to fly from San Francisco to the Greek Islands but see flights for upwards of $1,000? Try this trick. Instead, look at flights to London, Paris, or anywhere that gets you close to your final destination. Then, book a cheap flight within Europe for the last leg.
Of course, the Greek Islands Trickworks for all sorts of destinations, not only the Greek Islands. And depending on where you’re going, that last leg could be taken by ferry, train, or rental car. Budget airlines in Europe and Asia, for example, can have some incredibly cheap rates.
Cast a wider net for departure airports
If you live in San Francisco, you probably regularly search for flights out of Oakland or Sacramento. But what about LA? Or, hear us out, New York? It might sound unreasonable to look for flights out of faraway cities like Phoenix, Chicago, or Miami, but sometimes airlines offer too good-to-be-true deals from airports nationwide. Keep an eye out, and in those cases, consider whether taking a domestic flight to that airport is worth it.
We’ve seen deals like $63 from Atlanta to Chile roundtrip. Or $202 from Los Angeles to Japan. For those kinds of deals, even if you add a $100 flight from San Francisco to LA, you still save.
Fly when fares are lower
San Francisco follows most of the world with its travel trends. Summer and December are two of the most expensive times to travel into and out of SFO because that’s when everybody else is traveling, too. If you can, try to fly during shoulder season—the time between peak and low travel times. If you’re going to the Greek Islands, for example, the water is still warm in September, but many of the tourists are gone. Better yet, travel in the low season and see places in a new light, with few crowds.
If you have to travel during peak season, at least try to fly on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. These are the cheapest days to fly. No surprise, Friday and Sunday are usually the most expensive days.
Sign up for fare alerts
Set flight alerts to get price changes sent directly to your inbox. You can do this for a specific flight on Google Flights or for any destination with Going. This way, you can track prices without doing much work at all and pounce when a flight drops into a range you’re willing to pay. We recommend setting these up at least a few months before you plan to travel to score the best deals.
San Francisco is a major hub for United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, plus offers flights from 47 other airlines. There are hundreds of nonstop flights per day to 70 destinations around the US, plus dozens of international routes. If flying from SFO, you can reach much of the world with just one stop or less.
Frequently asked questions about flying from San Francisco (SFO)
What is the airport code for San Francisco International Airport?
The airport code for San Francisco International Airport is SFO.
Does San Francisco International Airport (SFO) have its own on-site hotel?
There is one on-site hotel at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The Grand Hyatt at SFO is located at the entrance to the airport and connected to the AirTrain line. The hotel has soundproofed rooms, 24-hour room service, two bars and a restaurant, a yoga room, a massage treatment room, and meeting space. Rooms start at around $250.
What lounges are available at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)?
Harvey Milk Terminal 1: In Terminal 1, there is an American Airlines Admirals Club. It has showers, a kids' room, food and a full bar, one conference room, and WiFi.
Terminal 2: Terminal 2 is home to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, an Alaska Airlines lounge, and Delta Sky Club. The Air Canada lounge features a designated cell phone-free quiet zone, snacks, a full-service bar, business centers with printers, and showers. The Alaska Airlines lounge has a cold and hot buffet, Starbucks coffee, a full bar including craft cocktails, lounge chairs, and TVs.
Terminal 3: Terminal 3 has an American Express Centurion Lounge and a United Club. The Centurion Lounge has unique amenities like a Napa Valley wine-tasting area, a menu from James Beard Award-winning chef Ravi Kupar, shower suites, work areas, and a family room. The United Club has a full-service bar, snacks, and WiFi.
International Terminal A: The first international terminal has an AirFrance-KLM Lounge, British Airways Lounge, China Airlines Lounge, and Emirates Lounge, another AirFrance Golden Gate Lounge, and a Virgin Atlantic Club House Lounge. The AirFrance-KLM Lounge has a buffet, snacks, a full-service bar, showers, flight monitors, and TVs. The Air France Golden Gate Lounge is newer (opened in summer 2023) and features a hot and cold buffet, a bar with French wine and Champagne, a separate space for first-class passengers with its own restaurant, shower suites, and another separate space for Flying Blue Ultimate customers. The British Airways Lounge and China Airlines Lounge also have a buffet, full-service bar, reading materials, flight monitors, free WiFi, and runway views. Emirates Lounge at SFO has a large buffet with global food options, a bar, showers, internet terminals, and lounge chairs. The Virgin Atlantic Club House has California-inspired food, signature cocktails, showers, and luggage storage. International Terminal G: The second international terminal has a United Club and a United Polaris Lounge. The United Club has drinks, light snacks, WiFi, and charging ports, while the United Polaris Lounge has a full buffet and menu options, a full-service bar, quiet suites, and showers.
Does San Francisco International Airport (SFO) have facilities for those traveling with pets?
Service animals must be leashed at all times. Non-service animals must be in a kennel, except when in relief areas. There are several pet relief areas throughout the airport, both outside and inside security, all with drinking bowls and garbage cans. They are indicated by printed paw prints on the arrivals level and by overhead signage in the departures level.
Pet relief areas:
- Terminal 1, Courtyard 2, near arrivals/baggage claim (outside security)
- Terminal 3, Courtyard 4, near arrivals/baggage claim (outside security)
- Terminal 1, B gates (inside security)
- Terminal 1, near gate C5 (inside security)
- TTerminal 2, D gates (inside security)
- Terminal 3, F gates near gates F11-F22 (inside security)
How many terminals are there in San Francisco International Airport (SFO)?
San Francisco International Airport has four terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3, and an International Terminal Building with A and G sections.
Harvey Milk Terminal 1: Domestic terminal with flights from American Airlines, JetBlue, and Southwest. The American Airlines Admirals Club is located in this terminal. Terminal 1 has several coffee options, a chocolate store, restaurants like Bistrot Bay Area, Bun Me, and Amy’s Drive-Thru, as well as a L’Occitane, electronics store, gift store, and sunglasses store.
Terminal 2: Domestic terminal with flights from Alaska Airlines, Air Canada, and Delta Air Lines, as well as an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, an Alaska Airlines lounge, and Delta Sky Club. Dining options include Vino Volo, Farmerbrown, Wakaba, Napa Farms Market, Lark Creek Grill, and more. There are several magazine and gift stands, a Sunglass Hut, a bookstore, a Brookstone, Kiehl’s, and other shops.
Terminal 3: Terminal 3 is United’s domestic flight terminal and home to a United Club and a Centurion Lounge. There are 26 dining and drinking options in Terminal 3, including Mission Bar & Grill, Green Beans Coffee, SF Uncork’d, Urban Tortilla, Starbucks, and a San Francisco Giants Clubhouse. Shopping options include a bookstore, luggage store, electronics store, See’s Candies, and more.
International Terminal: All international flights depart from SFO’s international terminal, and this is also where you can find all international lounges. The BART, San Francisco’s public transit line, departs for downtown San Francisco and elsewhere from the International Terminal. The terminal is divided into A and G sections, with a central main hall. There are dining options near both A and G gates, as well as in the main hall, including coffee shops, a 24th & Mission Taco House, Koi Palace Express, Wendy’s, and more. This terminal also has several Duty Free locations, luxury shops like Burberry, Coach, Hermes, and Gucci, and other options.
Does SFO have CLEAR?
CLEAR is available in Terminal 1 at Checkpoint B, in Terminal 2 at Checkpoint D, Terminal 3 at Checkpoint F, and in the International Terminal for both A and G gates.
Does SFO have TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck is available at all SFO security checkpoints except for Checkpoint F3.
Does SFO have Global Entry?
Global Entry is available for international arrivals at San Francisco International Airport. Enrollment is available by appointment at the Global Entry Office on the arrivals level of the International Terminal.
How early should I arrive to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) before my flight?
SFO suggests checking with your airline for how early you should arrive, but notes that most airlines suggest arriving two hours early for a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Whether you need to follow those guidelines depends on several things.
How big is the airport, and where is your gate? SFO is fairly large, and if you need to take the AirTrain to your terminal, you’ll want a few extra minutes. Similarly, if you’re arriving via the BART, add a few extra minutes to walk from the station to your terminal.
Are you checked in? Most airlines cut off check-in 30-60 minutes before the flight is scheduled to depart. Check in online to save time, but if you can’t, make sure you arrive before the cutoff.
Are you checking luggage? Similarly, airlines institute cutoff times where you can no longer check luggage. That’s usually 45-60 minutes before departure. Make sure you arrive before this time if you plan to check a bag, otherwise, you’ll be forced to find a different flight or leave your luggage behind.
How busy is the airport? On an average day, the security wait at San Francisco International Airport is about 16 minutes. That’s not bad for a busy airport, but if you’re traveling during peak times like winter holidays or summer, it can be longer. The same goes for weekend travel.
We recommend arriving at SFO at least one hour before your flight, but 1.5-2 hours gives you more leeway and a more relaxed travel day.
How far is San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from downtown San Francisco?
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is about 15 miles from downtown San Francisco, depending on where in the city you’re departing from.
What are the different transportation options for going from the city center to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)?
There are several options for traveling from San Francisco to SFO.
By taxi or ride share: Downtown San Francisco is less than 20 miles from the airport, and you can get there by car in about 30 minutes with light traffic. That said, San Francisco traffic can be bad, and we suggest allowing at least 45 minutes to be safe. Costs range from about $40-60, depending on demand.
By public transportation: The BART trains connect downtown San Francisco with SFO’s International Terminal in about 35 minutes. From there, you can take the SFO AirTrain to other terminals. The cost varies depending on exactly where you’re coming from but should be around $10.
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Airline slip-ups we've caught from San Francisco (SFO)
Near San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK)11 miles away
- Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)30 miles away
- Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS)66 miles away
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF)86 miles away
- Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)158 miles away
- Reno Tahoe International Airport (RNO)192 miles away
* Prices are per person and include all taxes & fees in USD. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing, however, prices are not guaranteed, as airline pricing can change by the minute. Average Going fares are based on average prices of deals found by Going.
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