9pm JFK-SFO departures - too late?

Old Apr 23, 2023, 2:33 am
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9pm JFK-SFO departures - too late?

Just wondering if there's a reason why AA fly from JFK to SFO at 9pm (other than coinciding with the arrival time)?

Flight, if on time, arrive just before 1am.
Hotel shuttles have pretty much stopped by then (00:30 for the Crowne Plaza for example).

The BART has stopped etc.

You're pretty much reliant on your own car cabs or Ubers to get anywhere, and whether I would want to drive at that time of night after a 6hr flight, or pay $30 to go a couple of miles to a hotel...not sure.

Yes there's the Hyatt option, but thats not cheap.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by xenole
Just wondering if there's a reason why AA fly from JFK to SFO at 9pm (other than coinciding with the arrival time)?
Have taken this flight a bunch of times. Works out for me just fine. Allows for a full day in NYC without having to rush to the airport. Some hotel shuttles are still running around arrival time (e.g. HR/Marriott) but at reduced frequency.

And Id rather be driving at that time over most other times since theres little traffic, although Caltrans likes to do construction/maintenance work in the middle of the night sometimes, but even then its still not as bad as commute time.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 4:10 am
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Lookimg at the week's schedule, there seems to be a 20:30 rather than a 21:00 and ir arrives just before midnight at 23:59, so would be in time for shuttles that run until 00:30 if no luggage to collect

There is a 21:30 flight that arrives at 00:56, but this is just a codeshare on B6
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 4:54 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
Lookimg at the week's schedule, there seems to be a 20:30 rather than a 21:00 and ir arrives just before midnight at 23:59, so would be in time for shuttles that run until 00:30 if no luggage to collect

There is a 21:30 flight that arrives at 00:56, but this is just a codeshare on B6
The JetBlue timings do seem better.

If the 9pm left at 8pm, it would still give you a full day in NY and connect better (I suppose you could argue that you would leave Manhattan around 5pm, so rush hour, whereas leaving at 6pm or so, you may miss a bit of it?).
(I assume the 9pm departure is the 11:02am departure from SFO, which seems a weird time to be honest. Looked at one Friday and 6am then 11:02am)

I'm sure my last transcon from JFK got me into SFO before 00:30am as I caught the last shuttle of the night to the Crowne Plaza (possibly booked the 5pm one and that was late - can't remember). Time before that, I booked a 6am connection from SFO, so just sat on a bench playing on my phone for 4-5hrs as pointless going to a hotel.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 6:36 am
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You can’t assume the same plane does the return leg.

IIRC in March my JFK-SFO was operated by the inbound from LAX

and whilst an 8pm departure may be nicer than a 9pm one it may just not work for plane utilisation as the inbound would have to operate earlier and that may cause other problems.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 6:36 am
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I think at some point (11pm) SFO stops the Red Line Shuttle train leaving the Blue train running through the night. This makes the Hyatt @ SFO a problem to get to unless you walk from T1 or catch the blue line towards Car Rental and changing.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 7:09 am
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Originally Posted by xenole
The JetBlue timings do seem better.
Then youll really like the post-10 pm departure that B6 occasionally has that has a scheduled arrival almost at 2 am.

Originally Posted by UKtravelbear
You cant assume the same plane does the return leg.

IIRC in March my JFK-SFO was operated by the inbound from LAX

and whilst an 8pm departure may be nicer than a 9pm one it may just not work for plane utilisation as the inbound would have to operate earlier and that may cause other problems.
That has been my observation as well. The inbound arrived from LAX. Then after flying to SFO, its used on the first SFO-JFK flight around 6 am.

Originally Posted by Markie
I think at some point (11pm) SFO stops the Red Line Shuttle train leaving the Blue train running through the night. This makes the Hyatt @ SFO a problem to get to unless you walk from T1 or catch the blue line towards Car Rental and changing.
Correct, the AirTrain operates abnormally overnight. In fact the last time I took this flight, the pilots, who were headed to the GH SFO, ended up on the same AirTrain as I did and they went all the way out to Long Term Parking before taking the same train back.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by xenole
Just wondering if there's a reason why AA fly from JFK to SFO at 9pm (other than coinciding with the arrival time)?

Flight, if on time, arrive just before 1am.
Hotel shuttles have pretty much stopped by then (00:30 for the Crowne Plaza for example).

The BART has stopped etc.

You're pretty much reliant on your own car cabs or Ubers to get anywhere, and whether I would want to drive at that time of night after a 6hr flight, or pay $30 to go a couple of miles to a hotel...not sure.

Yes there's the Hyatt option, but thats not cheap.
I agree. I can't stand rolling into the west coast after midnight their time, which is after 3:00 AM eastern body and brain time. Never going into SFO in particular that late again as the stupid airtrain is all messed up, there's no BART, and it's just a major PITA all around. PDX is just as bad when the last Max train leaves the airport at like 11:30 pm. West coast cities just completely shut down at that time. And lord help you if you want to BART back to the airports before like 9 am on weekends.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 10:11 am
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Originally Posted by xenole
Just wondering if there's a reason why AA fly from JFK to SFO at 9pm (other than coinciding with the arrival time)?
Isn't the question really if it is more profitable and more operationally useful for AA to leave that A321T sitting on the ground at JFK from 9 PM until the morning or fly it back to the west coast? Especially considering that they have three redeye A321Ts coming in in the morning plus three after 9 PM arrivals between LAX and SFO to JFK, so they have lots of planes positioned to do the morning transcons. I'm sure there is less demand for a 1 AM arrival than a 10 PM arrival, but I'm sure there is some demand, and it sure makes more sense to sell tickets than ferry the plane empty.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 10:22 am
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I think the late night JFK departure works well for a west coast based business traveler:
1. Allow a full day in NYC
2. 9PM EST is like midnight PST, so sleep for the whole flight.
3. Early arrival into Bay Area and beat any traffic on 101, ready to start the full day at office.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by mediator
I think the late night JFK departure works well for a west coast based business traveler:
1. Allow a full day in NYC
2. 9PM EST is like midnight PST, so sleep for the whole flight.
3. Early arrival into Bay Area and beat any traffic on 101, ready to start the full day at office.
I'm pretty sure that 9pm EST is more like 6pm PST, but I could be wrong.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by mediator
I think the late night JFK departure works well for a west coast based business traveler:
1. Allow a full day in NYC
2. 9PM EST is like midnight PST, so sleep for the whole flight.
3. Early arrival into Bay Area and beat any traffic on 101, ready to start the full day at office.
you have that backwards .
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by nachosdelux
I'm pretty sure that 9pm EST is more like 6pm PST, but I could be wrong.


I've taken this flight many times. You do the exact opposite - do not sleep. Then you're properly wiped on landing and have a good night sleep then.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by xenole
Just wondering if there's a reason why AA fly from JFK to SFO at 9pm (other than coinciding with the arrival time)?

Flight, if on time, arrive just before 1am.
Hotel shuttles have pretty much stopped by then (00:30 for the Crowne Plaza for example).

The BART has stopped etc.

You're pretty much reliant on your own car cabs or Ubers to get anywhere, and whether I would want to drive at that time of night after a 6hr flight, or pay $30 to go a couple of miles to a hotel...not sure.

Yes there's the Hyatt option, but thats not cheap.
Car services still operate to the city or South Bay. The rental car center is still open.

Most business travelers arent going to hop on BART after dark, much less in the wee hours even if that was an option.
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Old Apr 23, 2023, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by HiAperture
you have that backwards .
oops , forgot my morning coffee.
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