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Travel time from San Francisco to New York City



San Francisco to New York City airports and flights

How long does it really take to fly from San Francisco to New York City? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach New York City, 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, 10:02 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 11:30 am at the latest

10:35 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 12:00 pm

11:05 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

12:05 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

12:35 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

12:50 pm:  board Delta Air Lines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

1:00 pm:  this is your scheduled departure time
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 38 minutes

1:38 pm:  so this is your actual departure time
it takes the plane an average of 19 minutes to taxi to the runway

1:57 pm:  wheels up! take-off from SFO
fly for about 4.5 hours in the air

9:37 pm (local time):  John F. Kennedy International (JFK)
New York City is 3 hours ahead of San Francisco
so the time in San Francisco is actually 6:37 pm
taxi on the runway for an average of 8 minutes to the gate

9:45 pm (local time):  arrive at the gate at JFK
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 39 minutes to your destination

10:24 pm (local time):  arrive in New York City

Total travel time: 9 hours




Flying non-stop from San Francisco to New York City

How far is New York City 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: 2,572 miles or 4139 km

Flight time: 4 hours, 54 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 9 hours, 22 minutes.

Flying private is roughly 2.3x faster, and saves you about 5.5 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 fairly long flight, so unless you have a Gulfstream G650 or your own Boeing or Airbus, 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.



Best day of the week to fly to New York City

Looking at flights on Delta Air Lines Inc. from SFO to JFK, 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 New York City

The most common route is SFO to JFK, so that's what we used in the sample itinerary. However, you may want to explore travel alternatives, you could try one of these routes:

  1. SFO to JFK
    San Francisco International to John F. Kennedy International
  2. SFO to EWR
    San Francisco International to Newark Liberty International
  3. SJC to JFK
    Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International to John F. Kennedy International
  4. OAK to JFK
    Metropolitan Oakland International to John F. Kennedy International
  5. SJC to EWR
    Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International to Newark Liberty International




Airlines that fly to New York City

We picked Delta 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. Delta Air Lines Inc. (DL)
  2. JetBlue Airways (B6)
  3. American Airlines Inc. (AA)
  4. Virgin America (VX)




Plan a trip to New York City

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to New York, New York. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in New York City. 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: New York/San Fran adventure for two 25y/o friends. If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out The Standard New York. A great place to eat might be Katz's Delicatessen. Trippy members can suggest things to do in New York City like Central Park. Check out some of the questions people have asked about New York City like Where do the cool kids stay in NYC these days? Click the button below to explore New York City 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 York City 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 York City road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from San Francisco to New York City?

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






Return to top of page

At a Glance
without making any stops
flight distance is 2,572 miles
flight time of 4 hours, 54 minutes
New York City is 3 hours ahead of San Francisco
608 San Francisco travel answers
589 New York City travel answers

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New York City Airports
  1. LaGuardia Airport
  2. Newark Liberty International Airport
  3. Teterboro Airport
  4. John F. Kennedy International Airport
  5. Morristown Municipal Airport
  6. Westchester County Airport
  7. Long Island MacArthur Airport



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