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Travel time from San Francisco to New Orleans

San Francisco to New Orleans airports and flights

How long does it really take to fly from San Francisco to New Orleans? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach New Orleans, 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.

Sunday, 7:47 am:  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 9:15 am at the latest

8:20 am:  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 9:45 am

8:50 am:  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

9:50 am:  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

10:20 am:  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

10:35 am:  board United Air Lines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

10:45 am:  this is your scheduled departure time
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 4 minutes

10:49 am:  so this is your actual departure time
it takes the plane an average of 23 minutes to taxi to the runway

11:12 am:  wheels up! take-off from SFO
fly for about 3.5 hours in the air

4:48 pm (local time):  Louis Armstrong New Orleans International (MSY)
New Orleans is 2 hours ahead of San Francisco
so the time in San Francisco is actually 2:48 pm
taxi on the runway for an average of 5 minutes to the gate

4:53 pm (local time):  arrive at the gate at MSY
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 34 minutes to your destination

5:26 pm (local time):  arrive in New Orleans

Total travel time: 8 hours

  Change your route

Flying non-stop from San Francisco to New Orleans

How far is New Orleans 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: 1,925 miles or 3099 km

Flight time: 3 hours, 43 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 7 hours, 40 minutes.

Flying private is roughly 2.6x faster, and saves you about 4.5 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. For a long distance, this appears as a curve on the map, and this is often the route that commercial airlines will take so it's a good estimate of the frequent flyer miles you'll accumulate as well.

This is a medium length flight, so unless you have a nice private jet, you might be booking 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.

New Orleans Airports
  1. Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Best day of the week to fly to New Orleans

Looking at flights on United Air Lines Inc. from SFO to MSY, 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 Sunday for the flight itinerary above.

Airlines that fly to New Orleans

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)

Plan a trip to New Orleans

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in New Orleans. If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out Hotel Monteleone. A great place to eat might be Café du Monde. Trippy members can suggest things to do in New Orleans like Frenchmen Street. Check out some of the questions people have asked about New Orleans like Breakfast in New Orleans? Click the button below to explore New Orleans 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 New Orleans 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 New Orleans road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from San Francisco to New Orleans?

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 1,925 miles
flight time of 3 hours, 43 minutes
New Orleans is 2 hours ahead of San Francisco
619 San Francisco travel answers
213 New Orleans travel answers

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