The flight time from Chicago to San Francisco is 4 hours, 36 minutes. See Data as Tables
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Average Timeline

Leaves ORD Chicago, IL on time.
20 minutes taxiing out
4 hours, 6 minutes in the air
6 minutes taxiing in
Arrives SFO San Francisco, CA on time.

Flight Reliability By Airline ?

Alaska
77%
United
71%
American
70%
Cancelled
Delayed*
Normal

Flight Summary

The flight time from Chicago to San Francisco is 4 hours, 36 minutes. The time spent in the air is 4 hours, 6 minutes.

The flight distance from Chicago to San Francisco is 1846 Miles.

Reverse Journey

San Francisco to Chicago
4 hours, 8 minutes

Flight Time By Airline ?

United
4h 35m
American
4h 37m
Alaska
4h 41m
Taxiing Out
Air Time
Taxiing In

Flight Time by Time of Day ?

12AM06AM12PM06PM1h2h3h4h
Taxiing Out
Air Time
Taxiing In

Flights By Time of Day ?
(Average)

12AM06AM12PM06PM0.00.51.01.52.0

Flights Per Week

124

Distance

1846 Miles

Flights By Month ?

JFMAMJJASOND0200400600

Flights By Day of Week ?
(Average)

MonTueWedThuFriSatSun051015

Flights By Airline ?
(Per Week)

United
78
American
34
Alaska
11

Frequently Asked Questions

How far is Chicago from San Francisco by plane?

The distance from Chicago to San Francisco by plane is 1846 Miles. This is the air distance on the most direct route taken by the vast majority of flights.

How long is the flight from Chicago to San Francisco?

The flight time from Chicago to San Francisco is 4 hours, 36 minutes. The time spent in the air is 4 hours, 6 minutes. These numbers are averages. In reality, it varies by airline with United being the fastest taking 4 hours, 35 minutes, and Alaska the slowest taking 4 hours, 41 minutes.

What airlines fly from Chicago to San Francisco?

Alaska, American, and United are the airlines with direct flights from Chicago to San Francisco.

Does Southwest fly from Chicago to San Francisco?

Southwest does not fly from Chicago (ORD) to San Francisco (SFO). Keep in mind that Southwest may fly to other nearby airports, as they will often fly into smaller airpors instead of larger ones. This is because the costs are often lower to fly into smaller airports, and they pass the savings on to you.

Tables and Explanations

Data Source

Our information is computed from the latest available data from the US Department of Transportation.

Average Timeline Timeline Chart

The average timeline contains the median time a flight spends in 3 stages. The first of these three stages is taxiing out which includes the time from the flight leaving the gate to taking off. The second stage is in the air, which includes the time spent from the flight leaving the ground to touching back down at the end of it's journey. The last stage is taxiing in, which is from when the flight touches down to the flight arriving at it's gate.

The average timeline also estimates on average of when the flight will leave and arrive relative to it's stated departure time.

Leaves Chicago on time
Taxi Out Time 20 minutes
In the Air 246 minutes
Taxiing In 6 minutes
Arrives San Francisco on time

Flight Reliability Reliability Chart

The reliability of an airline measures how often the airline's flights on this route are cancelled or delayed more than 20 minutes. For example, from Chicago to San Francisco, American is 70% reliable, which means that American flights are on time 70% of the time, and cancelled or delayed the remaining time.

Airline Normal Flights Arrival Delayed* Flight Cancelled
Alaska 77% 21% 2%
United 71% 28% 1%
American 70% 27% 3%

Flight Time By Airline Flight Time By Airline Chart

Each airline takes a different amount of time to fly between Chicago and San Francisco, this is due to different operational factors on the ground, as well as scheduling of planes. Each airline's flight time is split into three stages which are described above in the "Average Timeline" section. There are also miscellaneous operational issues which are included in the below total but are not accounted for in one of the three stages.

Airline Taxiing Out
(minutes)
In the Air
(minutes)
Taxiing In
(minutes)
Total
(minutes)
United 21 244 7 275
American 18 250 6 277
Alaska 21 249 6 281

Flights By Time of Day Flight Time By Day Chart

This one is pretty self explanatory, it represents the number of flights that leave the gate in a given hour of the day. The tricky thing here is that this is normally not a whole number since it is an average over 52 weeks. Partial numbers may indicate that a flight may be seasonal or may take off at different times due to different operational factors.

Time Count
3pm 0.75
7pm 0.95
8am 0.73
12pm 1.16
9am 0.62
6pm 0.93
10pm 0.2
4pm 0.92
5pm 1.9
6am 1.81
8pm 0.96
7am 0.83
10am 1.81
11am 1.15
9pm 0.72
2pm 1.59
1pm 0.4

Flights By Month Flights By Month Chart

The quantity of flights from Chicago to San Francisco that take off in a given month of the year. This number changes because some flights are seasonal, and almost all flights have uneven demand througout the year.

Month Count
January 459
February 388
March 478
April 488
May 492
June 582
July 623
August 659
September 526
October 575
November 593
December 601

Flights By Day Of Week Flights By Day of Week Chart

The quantity of flights from Chicago to San Francisco that take off on a given day of the week. Some routes only have enough demand to sustain a few trips a week, while others have many flights a day. This number is also an average across the year, and hence may not be a whole number.

Day Count
Monday 18.38
Tuesday 17.46
Wednesday 18.13
Thursday 18.71
Friday 18.48
Saturday 14.98
Sunday 18.15

Flight per Airline (per Week) Flights By Airline Chart

How many times an airline flies this route in a week. Different factors play into how often a carrier chooses to fly a given route including it's need to connect disparate routes, and demand.

Airline Flights per Week
United 2
American 1
Alaska 0

Flight Time By Time of Day Flight Time by Time of Day Chart

The total flight time varies by each hour of the day due to factors such as airport traffic. More flights leaving an airport may cause higher taxi in or taxi out times. See the description of the average timeline above for a deeper discussion of each of these times.

Time Taxi Out
(minutes)
In the Air
(minutes)
Taxi In
(minutes)
Total
(minutes)
3pm 19 246 5 272
7pm 25 239 8 279
8am 20 244 10 282
12pm 21 243 6 273
9am 23 246 7 280
6pm 24 246 6 278
10pm 17 240 5 265
4pm 22 244 6 275
5pm 20 250 6 279
6am 15 246 7 273
8pm 20 245 8 279
7am 18 247 7 275
10am 27 246 6 282
11am 18 250 6 277
9pm 20 246 6 275
2pm 19 246 6 273
1pm 20 243 6 273
* Delayed more than 20 minutes.
All data above is a median or mean as appropriate.