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April 15, 2009


Filed under: SFO,Southwest,Virgin America — Chris @ 11:41 pm

Yes, you can. If you are tired of that long traffic-clogged haul in from JFK to Manhattan and would prefer to fly into La Guardia instead, time to consider Southwest. Starting June 28, you can jump on a SW flight at SFO at 12:15 pm, buzz over to Chicago Midway where you’ll cool your heels for 40 minutes, then jet on to La Guardia arriving at 10:35 pm. Compare that to **United’s nonstop flight departing SFO at 12:40 am and arriving Kennedy at 9:26 pm. That means the SW flight is about 90 minutes longer in total travel time, but your cab or carfare from LGA to the city is significantly cheaper. And SW won’t charge to check your bags. As we go to press here, competitive nonstop flights  to JFK (mid-July) are running $279 roundtrip and Southwest’s into LGA are $340. Let’s see how long that discrepancy lasts… Thoughts?

**We updated and corrected this info based on the feedback received below. Apologies.



  1. The comparison provided is with a through flight on Virgin America that stops in LAS. In addition to Virgin America, United, American, Delta, and Jet Blue all offer non stop service to JFK that are approximately two hours shorter in travel time and less expensive than the Southwest option even if you add baggage fees. Add to the time element, without advance seat assignment, if you want to get a good seat on Southwest you have to show up at the airport very early. Southwest is good at a lot of things, but I don’t view this SFO to NYC connecting service as one of them.

    Comment by William Tom — April 16, 2009 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

  2. @ William – Read up on Southwest’s new boarding policies. You no longer need to show up early at the airport, but make sure to use online check-in as soon as the 24-hr window opens up. Still not as good as having an assigned seat, but much better than having to wait hours at the airport. (I still agree that flying non-stop on Virgin is much, much better than anything Southwest has to offer.)

    Comment by Chris B. — April 19, 2009 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  3. Chris – I checked with our pricing folks and it looks like it was all a matter of availability. In mid August, for example, you can book SFO-LGA on Southwest for $258.40 round-trip, with a stop in Chicago Midway. In mid July, the lowest on Southwest I was able to price was $304.40 (mainly due to limited eastbound availability from SFO to MDW). Sorry for the delayed response, but thanks for the post.

    Comment by Marilee — May 6, 2009 @ 8:36 pm | Reply

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