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Travel time from San Francisco to Santa Cruz



San Francisco to Santa Cruz airports and flights

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


Wednesday, 7:12 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 8:40 am at the latest

7:45 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 9:10 am

8:15 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

9:15 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

9:45 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

10:00 am:  board SkyWest Airlines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

10:10 am:  this is your scheduled departure time
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 3 minutes

10:13 am:  so this is your actual departure time
it takes the plane an average of 23 minutes to taxi to the runway

10:36 am:  wheels up! take-off from SFO
fly for about 21 minutes in the air

10:57 am (local time):  Monterey Regional (MRY)
Santa Cruz is the same time as San Francisco
taxi on the runway for an average of 4 minutes to the gate

11:01 am (local time):  arrive at the gate at MRY
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 1.5 hours to your destination

12:28 pm (local time):  arrive in Santa Cruz

Total travel time: 5 hours




Flying non-stop from San Francisco to Santa Cruz

How far is Santa Cruz 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: 59 miles or 95 km

Flight time: 19 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, 16 minutes.

Flying private is roughly 9.2x 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.

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.



Best day of the week to fly to Santa Cruz

Looking at flights on SkyWest Airlines Inc. from SFO to MRY, 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 Wednesday for the flight itinerary above.




Airlines that fly to Santa Cruz

We picked SkyWest Airlines 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. SkyWest Airlines Inc. (OO)




Plan a trip to Santa Cruz

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Santa Cruz, California. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Santa Cruz. 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: Terribly Romantic Ocean View near SF?. A great place to eat might be Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Santa Cruz like Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Santa Cruz like Activities during reunion in santa cruz. Click the button below to explore Santa Cruz 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 Santa Cruz 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 Santa Cruz road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from San Francisco to Santa Cruz?

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






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At a Glance
without making any stops
flight distance is 59 miles
flight time of 19 minutes
604 San Francisco travel answers
83 Santa Cruz travel answers

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Santa Cruz Airports
  1. Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
  2. Monterey Regional Airport
  3. San Francisco International Airport



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