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Turkish Airline 1 hour transfer in SFO

I am about to commit to flight to IST this October from Seattle, via United Air to SFO (terminal 3 arrival), transfer to Turkish Airline in international terminal G to IST, with about 1 hour time. Anyone who are familiar with SFO airport or this particular route, can you please confirm 1 hour is enough time to transfer assuming no delays? I understand terminal 3 is huge, what is the realist time of travel from the furthest point of terminal 3 to terminal G? Thank you and happy travel.

Posted by
7046 posts

For a direct flight via Turkish Air to IST, they start boarding the large plane an hour before takeoff. What if you're even a half hour late getting into SFO? Seems way too tight for me, I would not "assume no delays" especially with SFO and potential fog involved. I would pick another flight that has more time for you to transfer to Turkish Air, I would not risk missing the flight.

Posted by
10506 posts

I would check the flight arrival/departure times for each flight and which gates they use to see how close to 'on time' they operate and which gates they tend to use so you can get an idea of just how much ground you have to cover.

The 68 minutes is not a 'warm and fuzzy' situation, but the airline obviously thinks it works.

If your 1st flight has fog delays you can hope it delayed the inbound Turkish flight as well.

I see the pricing makes the SFO connection attractive from the cost perspective

Good luck

Posted by
1527 posts

I am not familiar with SFO, however connecting from a domestic flight to and overseas flight I would think this would be just like arriving by car at the airport. You would have to do the whole international checking in, go through security, etc. If you were going to the airport from town the recommended time would be there 3 hours before the flight. This would be my desired transfer time even if your incoming flight is on time.

Posted by
842 posts

Who is issuing your ticket, United or Turkish since they do code share? Given United and other domestic airlines inability to handle the influx of passengers, I would look at taking a much earlier flight out of Seattle. Say the first one of the day.

Posted by
7636 posts

1 hour to connect to the more important international flight? Nope, I would not commit to that.

Posted by
3526 posts

SFO is my home airport and I use it a lot. Obviously, I don't usually connect there but I can tell you the airport is not that big of an airport (as compared to Denver or DFW) so unless you have mobility issues you have a good amount of time to get from Terminal 3 to the International Terminal. The official website suggests that you walk to make that connection. It should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes and that is if you are walking at a normal, non-rushed pace. Odds are your arrival will come into an E of F gate and your departure will leave from a G gate and so you walk will be on the shorter end of the range. I've parked at the International Terminal and walked/jogged to a flight leaving from the far end of Terminal 3 in about 10 very hectic minutes. All of that being said, the flight being on time is IMO your real challenge. In 15 years of flying into SFO, I can count on one hand the number of times, my short-haul flight has arrived on time. So, I would check, if you have flexibility in your travel dates, to confirm that if you miss the flight, you will be put on the next Turkish Air flight, which will probably be at least one day later. SFO is known for fog- and rain-related delays and a gate agent once told me as I waited for four hours for my flight from LAX to SFO to depart that because they can't delay departures of flights that took off before the weather turned, and runway availability becomes severely limited, they allow long haul flights to land but delay short-haul flights. Last time I flew home from Seattle which was in April 2016, the departure was delayed but I do not recall now for how long. If I needed to take that 6:20 PM flight to Istanbul, I'd take an early morning flight to SFO.

Posted by
48 posts

Thank you for the input, I decided to go with longer connection flights.