How long does it really take to fly from San Francisco to San Jose? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach San Jose, 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, 3:02 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 4:30 pm at the latest
3:35 pm: Metropolitan Oakland International (OAK)
if you need to check luggage, make sure you do it at least 30-60 minutes before departure, or in this case, by 5:00 pm
4:05 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
5:05 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
5:35 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
5:50 pm: board Southwest Airlines Co. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route
6:00 pm: this is your scheduled departure time
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 15 minutes
6:15 pm: so this is your actual departure time
it takes the plane an average of 15 minutes to taxi to the runway
6:30 pm: wheels up! take-off from OAK
fly for about 55 minutes in the air
7:25 pm: Los Angeles International (LAX)
Los Angeles, CA is the same time as Oakland, CA
land at the connecting airport
taxi on the runway for an average of 11 minutes to the gate
7:36 pm: arrive at the connecting airport
make sure you schedule enough time for your layover
there may be a minimum connection time for your flight
8:30 pm: get to your connection gate
with the average delay, you have about 54 minutes
if your incoming flight was delayed, you may need to run
8:45 pm: board Southwest Airlines Co. connecting flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route
8:55 pm: scheduled departure time for connecting flight
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 36 minutes
9:31 pm: actual departure time for connecting flight
it takes the plane an average of 12 minutes to taxi to the runway
9:43 pm: wheels up again! take-off from
fly for about 51 minutes in the air
10:34 pm (local time): Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International (SJC)
San Jose is the same time as San Francisco
taxi on the runway for an average of 6 minutes to the gate
10:40 pm (local time): arrive at the gate at SJC
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 8 minutes to your destination
10:47 pm (local time): arrive in San Jose
Now finally, let's look at an example flight from OAK to SJC and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.
So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from San Francisco to San Jose including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.
Total travel time: 3 hours
How far is San Jose 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: 42 miles or 67 km
Flight time: 35 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, 45 minutes.
Flying private is roughly 13.3x faster, and saves you about 7 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.
Looking at flights on Southwest Airlines Co. from OAK to LAX, and connecting flights on Southwest Airlines Co. from LAX to SJC, here's a breakdown of the number of flights available each day:
Based on these statistical results, we chose Thursday for the flight itinerary above.
The most common route is OAK to LAX, then connecting to SJC, 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:
We picked Southwest Airlines Co. for your main flight, and Southwest Airlines Co. for your connecting 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:
Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to San Jose, California. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in San Jose. 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: Top things to see in San Francisco & San Jose?. A great place to eat might be Evvia Estiatorio. Trippy members can suggest things to do in San Jose like The Tech Museum of Innovation. Check out some of the questions people have asked about San Jose like Best missions to see & other good activities for kids. Click the button below to explore San Jose in detail.
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 San Jose 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 San Jose road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from San Francisco to San Jose?
If you happen to know San Francisco, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about San Francisco!