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How much cheaper does a fare need to be for you to choose SJC over SFO?

How much cheaper does a fare need to be for you to choose SJC over SFO?

Old Jul 30, 18, 11:00 pm
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How much cheaper does a fare need to be for you to choose SJC over SFO?

Assuming you live in the city of San Francisco, and lounges or elite status benefits are not meaningful in either case.
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Old Jul 30, 18, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Assuming you live in the city of San Francisco, and lounges or elite status benefits are not meaningful in either case.
We lived in The Marina until a few years ago, and there was a period of time SJC flights were 35-50% cheaper and I routinely used SJC. SJC parking was cheaper and it was only 30 minutes longer drive each way, especially if you could avoid rush hour. Complimentary AA EXP upgrades were also much easier to/from SJC.

Last edited by SFO777; Jul 30, 18 at 11:39 pm
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Old Jul 31, 18, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Assuming you live in the city of San Francisco, and lounges or elite status benefits are not meaningful in either case.
Family living in SF. Have only used OAK or SJC a couple of times, each time our savings was $500-$1500 in total (twice to Hawaii, and once on Norwegian to LGW). Prefer OAK to SJC.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
We lived in The Marina until a few years ago...
I have only anecdotal experiences, but it seems to me that South Bay traffic has gotten substantially worse in the last few years. I would dread having to cover that extra distance between SFO and SJC these days.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 10:00 pm
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I've lived in SF forever and have never flown with sjc; I flew out of Oakland once because a friend bought the ticket. Even if I was single or traveling solo, I wouldn't spend the extra hour to SF.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 2:04 am
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I would have to say the saving must be in hundred to justify.

The good news is because of I-280, it is usually an easy ride from SF to SJC. The problems with SJC are:

1. Public transportation - It is difficult to get to SJC with public transportation, even it is possible. At the minimum, it is the least convenient airport in the Bay Area to be accessed by public transportation.

2. Parking - SJC's parking is cheap, but not that cheap. At the minimum, SJC does not have the BART Parking option.

3. Connection - While it is not always the case, usually the SJC option means connecting flights at some points during the journey.

With all these in mind, yes - I would have chosen SJC only if it is cheap enough to justify.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 5:26 pm
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I guess it depends where you live for this question to make sense. I live about the same distance from SFO and SJC; OAK is closer than either, but only slightly. So I will fly out of any of the three airports with only a slight preference for OAK. Even a slightly better flight (cheaper, more convenient, etc.) will have me switching airports.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
I have only anecdotal experiences, but it seems to me that South Bay traffic has gotten substantially worse in the last few years. I would dread having to cover that extra distance between SFO and SJC these days.
Yeah, probably worse 5 years later.

My recollection was that I bought SJC-DFW-PIT/DTW roundtrips for under $300 vs. $600 from SFO. And as an AA EXP, my upgrade rate was 100% from/to SJC... a lot higher than SFO.
Also, tended to take the first SJC-DFW flight of the morning and arrived back late at night, avoiding a lot of traffic. My personal best drive time from SJC to our home in the Marina was 52 minutes.
If I flew on OPM, I probably wouldn't consider SJC. But since it was my dime and I was and am still cheap, SJC frequently won.

Of course, the Mrs. would never put up with that, so it was always SFO traveling with her.
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Old Aug 2, 18, 8:26 am
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This.

Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
We lived in The Marina until a few years ago, and there was a period of time SJC flights were 35-50% cheaper and I routinely used SJC. SJC parking was cheaper and it was only 30 minutes longer drive each way, especially if you could avoid rush hour. Complimentary AA EXP upgrades were also much easier to/from SJC.
we live in the Haight and for some years SJC flights were significantly cheaper especially for TATL. Once that ended we have never used SJC.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 8:17 am
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I read somewhere (I think on Cranky Flier) that Southwest considers OAK/ SFO the same market and SJC is a completly separate market. This was from a marketing and shoping stand point. That is 90% of all customers cross shop OAK and SFO, but SJC customers only shop SJC.

Ill see if I can find thr interview.

And to answer the question? About $500. SJC fare needs to be about $500 cheaper than SFO or OAK for me to consider. Its a hour long drive, I cant take BART
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Old Aug 9, 18, 2:29 pm
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Depends on many factors, including time/day of week, how many tickets I'm buying, length of trip, nature of the flight, etc. But it's pretty rare I end up at SJC. I don't care for OAK either, but I prefer it over SJC since it's closer to the City.

We did take BA on award tickets back to SJC a month ago when SFO awards were unavailable. I have to say the CBP experience at SJC was unfortunate.
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Old Aug 9, 18, 11:48 pm
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Originally Posted by nnn View Post
I have to say the CBP experience at SJC was unfortunate.
Oh--can you elaborate? My experiences with CBP has been that smaller airports are more pleasant.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Oh--can you elaborate? My experiences with CBP has been that smaller airports are more pleasant.
Nothing too crazy, and of course we were plenty cranky after an 11 hour flight (even in J). But the security guard (not CBP, not a cop) -- basically a glorified maroon coat -- manning the immigration lines was overly rude / power tripping IMO. And one of the CBP agents was just being rude to travelers IMO. I didn't feel like I ever saw that at SFO.
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Old Aug 11, 18, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by nnn View Post
Nothing too crazy, and of course we were plenty cranky after an 11 hour flight (even in J). But the security guard (not CBP, not a cop) -- basically a glorified maroon coat -- manning the immigration lines was overly rude / power tripping IMO. And one of the CBP agents was just being rude to travelers IMO. I didn't feel like I ever saw that at SFO.
I once got stopped by the agriculture inspector at SFO. After about 20 hours of travel. Such gem of questions including, “did you bring any airplane food off with you” And “where are you heading” to which I replied that I was going to pick up my car, and his thoughtful reply to that was “you live in San Francisco, why did you drive to the airport”.
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Old Aug 11, 18, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post


I once got stopped by the agriculture inspector at SFO. After about 20 hours of travel. Such gem of questions including, “did you bring any airplane food off with you” And “where are you heading” to which I replied that I was going to pick up my car, and his thoughtful reply to that was “you live in San Francisco, why did you drive to the airport”.
I would have been very tempted to ask, right out of the gate: "Sir, are you detaining me? Am I free to go?"
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