What airports does JFK fly too?
February 23, 2014 4:25 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to fly to the Palo Alto area sometime next month. I don't necessarily want to fly to SFO, especially if there is a smaller airport nearby. Im flying from JFK, which is not negotiable. 'time of week, cost, etc. are all negotiable. Thanks for any insight.
posted by dfriedman to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Try Kayak's direct flight tool. It's pretty accurate, for the most part.
posted by raztaj at 4:38 AM on February 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Jet Blue into SJC?

posted by jeanmari at 4:41 AM on February 23, 2014

SFO and SJC are roughly equidistant from Palo Alto, to the extent that your destination in town will effect which is closer. There is a small airport in Palo Alto (and likewise San Carlos), but far too tiny to accommodate a jet from JFK.
posted by exogenous at 4:42 AM on February 23, 2014

If you're taking a regular passenger jet and you're flying non-stop, SFO and San Jose are going to be your choices, and yeah, they're about equidistant from Palo Alto.

I suppose you could engineer a mutli-leg trip that has you going through Burbank to Bakersfield to...Somewhere in the Bay Area via small commuter plane, but even those land at SFO from what I've seen.
posted by rtha at 7:12 AM on February 23, 2014

You can use the ita Matrix Airfare search tool (now owned by Google) for this sort of information. Enter JFK in "departing from", SFO in the "destination", and then click the "Nearby" link next to the "destination" line. That will let you define up to how many miles away from SFO you're willing to go, and show you the resulting airports on a map. Then you can select which ones you want to include in the search.

Since you say time of week is negotiable, you can also use the radio button for "see calendar of lowest fares" rather than specific dates, to see when would be less expensive.

It isn't clear from your question if you only want nonstop flights, or are willing to consider a layover, but this tool will let you see how the options for both stack up.

You can't book through this tool, but it is great for seeing all different kinds of options and parameters. Once you find the best option, go directly to that airline's site to book.
posted by msbubbaclees at 7:56 AM on February 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

The only airports in the San Francisco Bay Area that you are at all likely to fly into on a commercial flight from the East Coast are San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC) and Oakland (OAK). All have service from JFK. Of these:

- Oakland is by far the last practical, requiring you to either cross the Bay or to go the long way south around it, at which point you might have well just flown into SJC or SFO.

- SFO and SJC are, as mentioned above, about equidistant from Palo Alto. If you are taking transit to Palo Alto I think both are roughly equally good/bad (BART from SFO to Millbrae, then Caltrain; bus shuttle from SJC to Santa Clara, then Caltrain).

If I were you I would just pick whichever flight into SFO or SJC is cheaper.
posted by andrewesque at 8:43 AM on February 23, 2014

I've flown through SFO several times and generally find it to be pretty painless. I wouldn't go out of my way to avoid it - I actually think it's one of the easier big airports in the US, if that's the sort of thing you're concerned about. Just a data point.
posted by breakin' the law at 6:56 PM on February 23, 2014

Nthing SJC. I'd recommend flying on Virgin America whether you go to SFO or SJC (and flying back, the terminal Virgin is in at SFO is a particularly nice place to wait).
posted by three_red_balloons at 7:24 PM on February 23, 2014

When I went to college in Palo Alto my flights went into SJC nine out of ten times. Easier to get in and out than SFO and less traffic to deal with as well. Not a tiny airport, but if you're concerned about SFO's size that is the way to go.
posted by shinynewnick at 10:50 PM on February 23, 2014

For ease at SFO, Jet Blue trumps Virgin in that you don't need to take the AirTrain to connect to BART. It's also usually slightly cheaper.
posted by dame at 11:42 PM on February 23, 2014

On using public transit from these airports to Palo Alto:
take the Caltrain south from Millbrae to the centrally-located, very convenient Palo Alto station. The trouble is getting to the Millbrae station, because for whatever reason BART seems a lttle hostile to airport travelers in that depending on the time of day, and day of the week, it's either a straight, no-hassle single ride to the next station, or a more complicated two-line journey up and back involving a transfer (and wait) in San Bruno.
find the free VTA #10 Airporter shuttle. This goes either to Metro station (which you don't want) or the Santa Clara Transit Center. You could just stay on this bus if it's headed the wrong way, it'll get to Santa Clara eventually. At that point taking the CalTrain north is your best bet but you could also take the frequent, $2 #22 VTA bus north (or the $4 #522 Rapid) -- these will both get you to that same Palo Alto station, eventually.

posted by Rash at 2:11 PM on February 24, 2014

Thanks for all these answers.
posted by dfriedman at 10:40 AM on February 25, 2014

Compared to the New York airports, all the Bay Area airports are a breeze to get to and get out of. I wouldn't really go out of my way to avoid SFO unless there's some other reason, but Nthing that SJC is the best alternative. OAK isn't terrible, though, especially if you'll have a car and you're arriving or leaving at off hours.
posted by odin53 at 10:27 PM on February 25, 2014

« Older Syndroms or Effects named after TV Shows?   |   Red circles are destroying my iPad listening... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.