One of America's busiest, San Francisco International Airport is 14 miles south of downtown off Hwy 101 and accessible by BART.
BART Direct 30-minute ride to/from downtown San Francisco. The SFO BART station is connected to the International Terminal; buy tickets from machines inside stations
SamTrans Express bus KX takes 30 to 45 minutes to reach Temporary Transbay Terminal, in the South of Market (SoMa) area.
Airport shuttles (one way $15 to $17) depart from upper-level ticketing areas (not lower-level baggage claim); anticipate 45 minutes to most SF locations. For service to the airport, call at least 4 hours before departure to reserve pickups from any San Francisco location. Companies include SuperShuttle, Quake City, Lorrie's and American Airporter Shuttle.
Taxis to downtown San Francisco cost $40 to $50, and depart from the lower-level baggage claim area of SFO.
The drive between the airport and the city can take as little as 20 minutes with no traffic, but give yourself an hour during morning and evening rush hours. If you're headed to the airport via Hwy 101, take the San Francisco International Airport exit. Don't be misled by the Airport Rd exit, which leads to parking lots and warehouses.
Travelers arriving at Oakland International Airport, 15 miles east of Downtown, have a longer trip to reach San Francisco, but OAK has fewer weather-related flight delays than SFO.
The cheapest way to reach San Francisco from the Oakland Airport. BART people-mover shuttles run every 10 to 20 minutes from Terminal 1 to the Coliseum station, where you connect with BART trains to downtown SF ($10.05, 25 minutes). Service operates 5am to midnight Monday to Friday, 6am to midnight Saturday, and 8am to midnight Sunday.
SuperShuttle Offers shared van rides from SFO to downtown SF for $17 per person (no reservation required); however, from OAK it costs $57 for up to four people (reservation required).
Airport Express Runs a scheduled shuttle every two hours (from 5:30am to 9:30pm) between Oakland Airport and Sonoma ($34) and Marin ($26) counties.
Leave curbside from Oakland airport and average $35 to $50 to Oakland, and $60 to $90 to SF.
Fifty miles south of downtown San Francisco, Mineta San Jose International Airport is the least convenient, but by car it's a straight shot to the city via Hwy 101. The VTA Airport Flyer (bus 10; free; from 5am to 11:30pm) makes a continuous run every 15 to 30 minutes between the Santa Clara Caltrain station (Railroad Ave and Franklin St) and the airport terminals. From Santa Clara station, Caltrain (one way $9.25; 90 minutes) runs northbound trains to the SF terminus at 4th and King Sts, weekdays from 5am to 10:30pm, Sat 7am to 10:30pm, and Sun 8am to 9pm.