Significantly less expensive on some routes.
If you are looking for low fares at the last minute out of San Francisco International Airport to locations around the country, consider San Jose International Airport. You might be pleasantly surprised by the fares out of San Jose.
I live in San Francisco. For many years, I never considered San Jose even though there were lower fares out of San Jose to some locations because I was not sure how I would get back to San Francisco. Sometimes, the price difference was as much as $150-200. San Jose Airport is very pleasant, generally not crowded except during rush hours. Everything has a sense of newness to it. It has at least the amenities of a medium-sized city airport, and generally more. More recently, you can get free wifi at San Jose Airport.
After many years, I recently gave San Jose a try and discovered the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to Caltrain and BART, and it has been a great option. The VTA shuttle is the key. The VTA shuttle is timed so that you can catch either system to San Francisco. http://www.vta.org/schedules/SC_10.html You can catch the VTA outside of Terminal B. Without the VTA shuttle, I could not get to Caltrain and BART inexpensively. You will want to do some research and make sure that Caltrain and BART fit your schedule. BART generally runs more often than Caltrain, but takes a couple of transfers. http://www.vta.org/schedules/SC_10.html and http://www.vta.org/schedules/SC_180.html during the weekends, Caltrain generally runs only once an hour, which may or may not work for you. BART runs more often.
Make sure that the total time costs is worth the all in cost savings to you because you will have to take the VTA Shuttle, then either Caltrain http://www.caltrain.com/schedules/PDF_Schedules.html or BART (light rail here also) and maybe even MUNI if you do not live directly on the line. If you have something to read, or in the technology crazed Bay Area, if you have a gadget to play with, San Jose may be worth your time. If you are driving yourself, the calculation are different. Make sure that you account for both your own time and the extra transportation cost. If you are driving it may not be worth your time because driving from San Francisco to San Jose might make you tired.
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