Brocker.Org: United’s new shortest flight: SFO to Santa Rosa, for around $400...

Brocker.Org: United’s new shortest flight: SFO to Santa Rosa, for around $400 – SFGate

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Published 3:16 pm, Monday, February 27, 2017


United Airlines announced Monday it’s introducing new service between San Francisco International Airport and Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa. A 50-seat jet will make the 40-minute flight.

When the service begins on June 8, it will become the airline’s shortest flight. The 50-minute Chicago-Milwaukee route currently holds that honor.

Will this flight be a way for SF locals to escape to the wine country for a weekend and avoid the nightmare traffic on Highway 101?

Likely not. Even when traffic is bad, the drive takes at most two hours—likely less than the time you’d spend if you flew since you’d need to deal with the hassles of the airports. 



And then there’s the price. While United media relations couldn’t comment on pricing, SFGATE looked up flights in June and found most round-trip fares to cost around $400 to $500. You could fly to Seattle—even to Europe on one of those crazy low-cost airlines—for that price. 

The service will mainly be used by “a mix of local passengers to connect with flights out of SFO, and visitors connecting through SFO to Santa Rosa,” said Jon Stout, manager of the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport. “We do not really see this as a great option for residents from SF for the weekend getaways.”

When you book a longer flight that originates in Santa Rosa and connects through San Francisco, the price drops. For example, a June round-trip flight between Santa Rosa and New York with a stop in San Francisco is $600. By comparison, you can find a round-trip flight between SF and NYC on the same days for as little as $660, meaning that you’re paying only an extra $60 to fly out of Santa Rosa. 

United previously offered service between Sonoma County and San Francisco and discontinued the flights in 2001. The airport currently has service provided by Alaska Airlines to Seattle, Portland, Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego; Allegiant with service to Las Vegas twice per week and American Airlines to Phoenix Sky Harbor.

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