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Travel time from San Francisco to Los Angeles


San Francisco to Los Angeles airports and flights

How long does it really take to fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach Los Angeles, you need to include time at the airports. Eventually, you'll be able to customize this itinerary to select other nearby airports and choose your preferred airline.


Thursday, 4:37 pm:  start in San Francisco
drive for about 33 minutes
most airlines recommend you get to the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight, so arrive by 6:05 pm at the latest

5:10 pm:  San Francisco International (SFO)
if you need to check luggage, make sure you do it at least 30-60 minutes before departure, or in this case, by 6:35 pm

5:40 pm:  get your boarding pass and go through TSA security
allow enough time for long security lines during busy travel seasons or holidays, and prepare for the wait time

6:40 pm:  arrive at the gate
once you're ready to board, you can get something to eat in the airport or just relax near the gate

7:10 pm:  prepare for boarding
check your boarding pass for your group number or listen to the gate agent as they announce boarding, some airlines require you to be in the boarding area 10-15 minutes before departure or risk losing your seat

7:25 pm:  board United Air Lines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

7:35 pm:  this is your scheduled departure time
but remember flights can be delayed, so take that into account
it takes the plane an average of 19 minutes to taxi to the runway

7:54 pm:  wheels up! take-off from SFO
fly for about 54 minutes in the air

8:48 pm (local time):  Los Angeles International (LAX)
Los Angeles is the same time as San Francisco
taxi on the runway for an average of 17 minutes to the gate

9:05 pm (local time):  arrive at the gate at LAX
deboard the plane, and claim any baggage
if you're renting a car, check if you need to take a shuttle to car rental agency, otherwise you can ride in a cab, limo, or Uber for about 36 minutes to your destination

9:41 pm (local time):  arrive in Los Angeles

Total travel time: 5 hours

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Flying non-stop from San Francisco to Los Angeles

How far is Los Angeles from San Francisco? Here's the quick answer if you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line.

Flight distance: 347 miles or 559 km

Flight time: 57 minutes

Compare this to a whole day of commercial travel with the airports and waiting in line for security, which ends up taking a total of 5 hours, 4 minutes.

Flying private is roughly 3.5x faster, and saves you about 3.5 hours in your total travel time.

Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.

This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. The flight itinerary at the top of the page takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.


Los Angeles Airports
  1. Bob Hope Airport
  2. Los Angeles International Airport
  3. Long Beach Airport
  4. LA/Ontario International Airport
  5. John Wayne Airport


Best day of the week to fly to Los Angeles

Looking at flights on United Air Lines Inc. from SFO to LAX, here's a breakdown of the number of flights available each day:

  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday

Based on these statistical results, we chose Thursday for the flight itinerary above.



Alternate flights from San Francisco to Los Angeles


Airlines that fly to Los Angeles

We picked United Air Lines Inc. for your main flight, but there are other airlines that you should check if you're looking for the cheapest flight, or you need a different schedule. Check the websites of these airlines:

  1. United Air Lines Inc. (UA)
  2. Virgin America (VX)
  3. SkyWest Airlines Inc. (OO)
  4. Southwest Airlines Co. (WN)
  5. Delta Air Lines Inc. (DL)
  6. American Airlines Inc. (AA)


Plan a trip to Los Angeles

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Los Angeles, California. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Los Angeles. Trippy has an entire Q&A community where you can post questions and get answers from expert travelers or locals who know the area. For instance, you might be interested in the answers to this question: Where to stay half way between S.F. and L.A.?. If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out Shutters On the Beach. A great place to eat might be Gjelina. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Los Angeles like Santa Monica Pier. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Los Angeles like Where are the top 5 places to see a celebrity in L.A.? Click the button below to explore Los Angeles in detail.





What about the return flight?

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line. But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse flight itinerary to fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco, or go to the main page to calculate other flight times.

You can also compare the travel time if you were to drive instead. Get the full itinerary for a San Francisco to Los Angeles road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from San Francisco to Los Angeles?

If you happen to know San Francisco, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about San Francisco!






At a Glance
without making any stops
flight distance is 347 miles
flight time of 57 minutes
630 San Francisco travel answers
612 Los Angeles travel answers










   
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