Cheap Flights From Chicago To San Francisco
Cheap Flights From Chicago To San Francisco – A 52-hour photo diary on Amtrak from the Mississippi River to San Francisco Bay. $500 round trip US: SJC to LAX to DTW to BOS to PHL to MDW to San Francisco. Some tips for finding cheap flights.
Three weeks ago, for the first time, I saw the power of the Mississippi River, looked out over the endless cornfields of Iowa, marveled at the giant cliffs that passed me by the Colorado River. , and he was always amazing on the margins. of the Milky Way. The hand of the sky represented the night of the Nevadan desert.
Cheap Flights From Chicago To San Francisco
Three weeks and a day ago, I was at home, near Philadelphia, with my job in San Francisco starting in three days.
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I usually pay less than $150 for a six and a half hour flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco, but this time, I didn’t just have six and a half hours—I had three days, and a strange thing. deal with Amtrak For the California Zephyr, their fifty-two-hour route from Chicago to San Francisco: $113 a ticket. With a $78 flight from Philadelphia to Chicago, the total cost of my trip would be less than $200.
I flew from Philadelphia to Chicago Midway on Saturday morning and took the L to Union Station, where the route begins.
We started getting into the train line around 1:30. It seems that Amtrak is very popular with the Amish.
After checking my ticket, the conductor wrote my destination code on my seat. I was on my way to my last stop in Emeryville, a small town across the bay from San Francisco. A classmate of mine was going to Sacramento.
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The first half of the trip was on the same tracks as Metra, Chicago’s commuter rail system, and we traveled through various urban and rural areas of the Northeast. As we headed west, the suburbs turned into cornfields until we crossed the Mississippi River and entered Iowa.
There were still a few people in the observation car, even though Iowa was completely cornfields.
Because there is so much space in the dining car, passengers have to talk to each other—the staff fills each booth with four, so I sat down with my roommate and two other passengers.
We have all introduced ourselves. My roommate had fallen on hard times and was planning to move to Sacramento and take another train to Eugene, Oregon, to return to family. The man sitting across from me was on his way to Denver for a public history conference, and the guy in front of me was on his way to Sacramento to go skiing.
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I ordered the fried chicken. For a train meal, the food was very good, although it was heavy on the potato portion. My seatmate ordered a glass of Chardonnay served with chicken.
I usually spent the night in Nebraska, and we arrived in Denver the next morning. There were a lot of people riding in Denver, so the train waited for a long time and I decided to walk a few blocks around the station and get off.
When I left Philadelphia in the 80s, the weather was hot, hot, and persistent, and it was like Chicago. It was cold here in Denver – in the forties, the coldest I’ve felt since last winter in Michigan – so I got back on the train early in the morning.
We took a quick break at Green River. The train was delayed by an hour as my classmate was thrown out and had to be arrested by the local authorities. I had no problem with him, but from what I heard from other passengers, he was said to be selling some controlled substances.
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Sacramento was the end of the journey of the many friends I made in my train car. Unfortunately, my classmate was not there to tell the story.
I took the bus across the Bay Bridge and then onto the Muni to my new home.
Besides my cross-country Amtrak trip, I’ve been traveling a lot these past few weeks. It’s been a great experience so far, and I wanted to share some of my tips for traveling on a budget (specifically, flying) – it can be cheaper than you think, and I’m very happy about that. I had to go back:
For a round trip “San Francisco – Philadelphia” in four cities, five legs, my total cost was $518.56. The SFO – PHL round trip would probably have saved me about $220, but it would have been a missed opportunity to spend time with my boys in Los Angeles, the University of Michigan, and a small college in Boston : important.
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A big part of keeping my costs down was flexibility (flying on weekdays, checking multiple airlines) but here is my general strategy for finding cheap flights below, from the direct (see at the beginning) to the subtle (see below) . Analyzing competitors and considering other markets):
I would try to start viewing at least a month in advance to avoid paying a late booking fee.
Airlines used to have a weird pricing model where one way would cost more than a round trip, but these days, prices are so competitive that the trip is which cost less round trip (as they should), and now I prefer one way tickets over everything.
Looking at one way makes the prices more understandable – I usually change the length of the trip based on the cheapest return date, and on most flight search engines, I find the date and cheaper than flying Easy, one-way, and cheap. one way to go back is to play with different start dates and travel times. Once I’ve found the cheapest dates, I can always try to find round-trip tickets on those dates to make sure I’m getting the best price.
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For multi-city trips, booking one stop keeps my plans flexible. If I book a multi-city ticket and decide not to take a leg, it is within the rights of most airlines (ie, in the contract of carriage) to cancel the remainder of my trip.
Of the five flights I took, my biggest expense (twice the next most expensive flight) was my LAX – DTW leg for $157. Unfortunately, DTW belongs to Delta, and other airlines don’t offer as many options from destinations as far away as LAX. I ended up flying Southwest from LAX to DTW and had to connect through DAL, but Delta charged me twice if I wanted to fly nonstop.
On the other hand, San Francisco – Los Angeles is a heavily traveled route served by almost every passenger on this side of the Mississippi; JetBlue is based in Boston, and competes with Delta on the DTW – BOS route; And American (formerly US Airways) has a heavy presence in Philadelphia, and competes on the BOS – PHL route from Philadelphia to Chicago with JetBlue on Southwest. So for those parts, I can fly for $60 per flight.
Although my longest leg was LAX – DTW and should probably (by common logic) be the most expensive, it’s usually PHL – SFO (about 500 more air miles) for less than $150 – and JFK – SFO can get as little as $98. one way (I think there are more capitalists traveling in New York than in Philadelphia).
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In the special case of LAX – DTW, I can fly to Chicago, a very competitive city with many flights coming out of LAX, for $60 less (under $100 for a Chicago flight vs $100 for a Detroit 157 ) ) then four hours to Ann Arbor, $40 Amtrak. I thought I wanted to extend my time at Michigan, but this was an option I was strongly considering.
I use Google Flights and Kayak (both, to make sure I get the full picture of the availability of a certain route) in time (ie, more or less a few days) and near there Make sure that you choose the airport of arrival and destination if available. (eg SFO, SJC, and OAK for the Bay Area or ORD and MDW for Chicago) as well as distant but potentially competitive airports (eg EWR instead of PHL when you arrive in Philly), to search for flights.
However, one thing you should be aware of is that Southwest Airlines does not allow other websites to discount their fares – only Southwest allows direct bookings from the airport. their website – so I also recommend checking Southwest’s website to see if they can beat the common carriers before planning to book Cheapest Google Flights or Kayak alternatives.
Although I tend to start searching for flights ahead of time, Google Flights has a great calendar that gives a good overview of how much time you can book to get the best deals before the late fee. of packing begins. In general, it seems that three weeks (when the numbers start to look red) I will post
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