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Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

Pt. Coq., BC Canada
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600 posts
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Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

My husband and I will be flying with Alaska Airlines from Vancouver, BC to Puerto Vallarta at the end of Nov. and we have the option as to having connecting flights in either San Francisco or Portland. We have never travelled thru San Francisco or Portland and wondered if anyone knows which airport would be easier for making the connection. Also which airport is more reliable for not loosing luggage during the connection? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Lin5054

Burnaby, Canada
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1. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

(Alaska Airlines from YVR) I might bet that Portland could be easier going down ... but have not tried it (have considered it though).

We did Seattle on the way down, and San Francisco on the way back last year (Nov-Dec) .. and both connections were easy, and worked well for us. We have not done San Francisco going down ... I figured it might be too big and busy .. but it was sure good for coming back ... the connection from US Immigration and Customs, was super easy.

We wondered about using Portland for our next trip, but then just decided to just book the same flights as we did last year (go with what we knew!!), for our trip this Nov-Dec.

All willing ... we'll be down in Vallarta then as well!! Good luck in the planning.

Rocklin
8 posts
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2. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

Hands down Portland, OR. I lived in Portland for 9 years and now live in Sacramento. I've done a lot of traveling out of both. Portland has one of the best airports in the nation. If you have a layover at all make sure you head over to Gustavs for some great German food! It is a local favorite and they have one in the airport. If you aren't into German food they have a local restaurant in there called Stanfords which is excellent as well.

Seattle
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3. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

I always fly Alaska and have never seen a non-stop from Portland to Mexico. Maybe they have a new non-stop,but I would verify that the plane doesn't stop again after leaving Portland! We just got back and had a stop in San Fran - it was WAY better than LAX, which where the stop usually has been!

Seattle
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4. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

Good point above!

I used to fly Alaska every year Seattle to PV. Only on rare occasion could you find a non-stop on certain days of the week. I always had to change at San Francisco (which is OK imo) or LAX.

oregon
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5. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

Hi Lin5054,

We are flying from Portland in Sept. on Alaska. There are no direct flights, you have to go through either SFO or LAX. I hate LAX, so it is San Francisco for us. If you do use PDX, you will still have to go through one of those. If you want an extra stop, our airport is very nice...

Pt. Coq., BC Canada
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6. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

Thanks everyone, lots of great info here.

Lin5054

Seattle
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46,647 posts
15 reviews
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7. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

I would not want to go from BC & transfer Portland & transfer SF/LAX. Three flights is a big hassle, takes too much time, and every stop is just a chance for something to go wrong imo (late flights, missing flights, lost luggage, whatever).

So I think really this is not about which airport is better, as in your original question, but about how many stop you'll have to make to get to PV!

Astoria,OR
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8. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

Portland has non stop fligths to Puerto Vallarta beginning the last week in Oct through April (Alaksa Air, Sun-Tuesday & Thursday) Have done it and it is great. Returning from PV through Portalnd is a dream come true compared to LAX or San Fran. Have direct flights booked for Nov and Dec working on Feb! Knock on wood, but we have never had luggage problems, the direct flights IMO lessen the chance.

Seattle
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308 posts
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9. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

Another thought on this, atleast coming from Seattle, if there truly is a nonstop from Portland, it would be worth it for us coming from Seattle to drive to P-land rather than fly there with a stop. You can get to Portland driving in about 3.5 hours, which is less than it takes to check in, fly, land, and take off again if at the right time of day.

The drive isn't bad, and even if you're coming from BC and have the luxury of an extra day off, Seattle or Portland is a great place to spend a few hours while driving South, rather than sitting in an airport.

Seattle
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10. Re: Which is better for connecting flights San Fran or Porland?

I have not checked but am guessing Alaska Air may offer Seattle nonstop similar to the ones mentioned from Portland? Just that they are only certain times of the year and on certain days? That's how it used to be SEA/PVR anyways. Alaska Air's gotten so expensive I've been flying U.S. Air thu Phoenix instead the last couple trips.