With three international airports, it's easy to find discount flights to San Francisco. All three airports offer both discounted carriers and reduced airfare on certain days of the week.
To help you get started, here are five tips to help you find cheap airfare to the bay area.
1. Book in advance: One of the best ways to get the best deal on your flights to San Francisco is to book early. Flight prices move around quite a bit. As a plane gets fuller, the prices increase. So I always advise that you book your trip as soon as you know your travel dates. Airlines also provide discounts for those booking at least 14 days in advance.
2. Travel in the 'off' season: Not only can you save a little money in the off season, but you also won't have to deal with crowds as much. SF has a number of great events all year long, but traveling in the cooler, rainy months from November to March (except New Years Eve) will save you some money.
3. Travel mid-week: You can save on both hotels and airfare when traveling mid-week. You can usually find discount flights to San Francisco on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. These are the two slowest travel days and where you can find some great deals. Even if one leg of your journey falls on one of these days, you can usually get a cheaper airfare.
4. Fly during 'slow' hours: You can also sometimes find better prices on routes that are really early in the morning or later in the evening. Business travelers do not always want to book these, so you will be able to find some discount flights to San Francisco during these times.
5. Book hotels & flights together: Another trick that will save you money is to book your hotel and airfare at the same time. When booking both through the same online retailer, they will often give you a lower price on one or both of these.
Here are a few additional things to think about as you are booking your discount flights to San Francisco.
Taxes & Fees Now Included: You might notice that airline prices seem a little higher these days. Airlines are now required to give you the full amount up front - including all taxes and fees (except checked baggage fees). This means that the price will not increase once you get to the check out.
Pack Light: Saving money on your trip is also possible after booking. Many airlines charge fees for checked luggage. Fees range from $10 up to $35 (and sometimes more!) per bag, so pack light. Either pack a small carry on, or combine your group's items into one checked bag and a few carry ons. This way, you won't have to pay a lot of money once you reach the airport.
Select the Right Airport: There are three international airports that service the San Francisco bay area. By selecting the right one, you will save money on your ground transportation. Review the information on the San Francisco airports page to ensure you are flying into the right airport for your visit.
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In addition to discount flights to San Francisco, you will find a number of other ways to save. Here are a few more tips to help you save money during your trip.
Another tip I love giving visitors is to look for their tickets to tours and events on Goldstar.com. This online ticket retailer offers tickets at up to half off the full retail value.
I use them often. In the past, I bought tickets through them for walking tours, cruises and even Segway adventures. I also used them for tickets to theater performances, annual events and concerts.
On any given day, you will usually find about 200 events and/or tour tickets available on their site. This gives you a lot to choose from!
Click here for a list of their current selection. They also change their tickets frequently so check back often for the best results.
You can also save with SF's two discount attraction and activity passes. Each one offers a slightly different experience, yet all allow you to save quite a bit of money.
Click the links above for more details on each one. For both the City Pass and the Go Card, I also created some sample itineraries for you to use to plan out your time in SF.
If you aren't sure where to start, you can also check out my side by side comparison chart for both. It gives you a quick overview of what is included with each one, so you know where to start your planning.
If you are unable to book your discount flights to San Francisco along with your hotel, then this is the place to look for some great hotel deals. It includes a list of the current offers such as free parking or discounts off each night you stay.
This page also features some of the less expensive hotel options such as budget friendly hotels and motels.
& Street Fairs