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Flights toCalifornia

Get ready to explore California

Avg flight time from London

10 hrs 45 mins

Distance from London

3,672 miles

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Flight Flight + hotel Plan a multi-city trip

It’s a massive state, but don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. British Airways flies to four different cities in California – providing the perfect choice of launch pads for your next great adventure. Flying with British Airways to California is a dream. It’s time to head west.

You’ll be itching to get your holiday started, so choose our direct flights to California. We operate services from London to Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose. With our great service on board, a choice of exciting destinations and convenient flight times, travel with us for a fuss-free flight, and get in the California holiday mindset before you’ve even stowed your tray table for take-off.

Flights to California

Flights to California range in length, but are, on average, just under 11 hours. With California on Pacific Standard Time, eight hours behind GMT, you can generally depart from London and find yourself on Californian soil that very same day. Arrived raring to go? Read our California travel guides for more inspiration on what to do, see and eat once you arrive.

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A flyers’ guide: California flight tips

All you need to know about flying to California with British Airways

What’s the cheapest time to fly to California?

California gets hundreds of millions of tourists annually and is popular year-round. The busiest time to visit is in the summer months, and airfares on flights to California from London can rise accordingly in June, July and August. If you’re looking for cheap flights to California, use our lowest fare finder to find our best prices.

How long is the flight time from London to California?

You can reach Los Angeles and San Diego in just over 11 hours, and San Francisco and San Jose in ten and a half hours.

Which airports does British Airways fly into in California?

We serve four gateway airports in California: Los Angeles International (LAX), San Francisco International (SFO), San Diego International (SAN) and Mineta San Jose International (SJC). All our flights depart from London Heathrow (LHR).

North Pontos beach, California. © DOUGBERRY.

How do I get from the airport into the city?

From Los Angeles International Airport it’s best to hire a car if you intend to explore, you can get a taxi to Hollywood for around $50 (but don’t forget the $4 airport surcharge on taxis). A no-reservation-required bus, the LAX FlyAway runs from the airport to various destinations including Hollywood, Union Station in Downtown and Long Beach. A one-way ticket is just under $10.

San Francisco International is situated just 20-25 minutes from the downtown area by taxi or hire car, or it’s easy to hop on a train that takes just 30 minutes into town and costs $8.65 one way – the city is easily explored on foot and on public transport.

San Diego International is just three kilometres from the city’s downtown area, and you can easily get a taxi into the city which should be less than $20, a shuttle bus is around $15 depending on your final destination in the city or hire a car if you intend to explore the coast.

Mineta San Jose International is just five kilometres northwest of San Jose city centre and a cab will cost you in the region of $14-20 and should take around 15 minutes. There are cab ranks at both terminals. Or take the airport shuttle bus to the Metro Light Rail station – tickets costs just $1.75 and it stops at various locations including the San Jose Convention Centre and Diridon Station. Or if you’re planning to explore the Bay Area, hire a car.

Why not save time and book your airport transfers with us? Simply choose your preferred option when you book your holiday or flights.

For more tips and advice on travelling in and around California, check out our travel guide.

Do I need a visa to travel to California?

If you’re travelling on a British passport, there’s no need to get a visa in advance – but you do need to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before you travel. There is a $14 fee for registration and, once approved, your ESTA is valid for multiple journeys for two years or until your passport expires.

Find out more about visa requirements

San Francisco street scene. © Phoenix Wang.

Which cabins can I book when I fly with British Airways?

Premium economyPremium economy

Which cabins can I book when I fly with British Airways?

Our World Traveller (economy) cabin offers our lowest fares and is great for budget travellers. You’ll get a meal, drinks and full use of our in-flight entertainment system.

Upgrade to World Traveller Plus (premium economy) for a quieter, smaller cabin with more space, and a travel pack including a blanket and toothbrush.

In our Club World (business class) cabin, you can convert your seat into a fully-flat bed with luxurious White Company bedding, get access to private lounges, dedicated check-in desks and priority boarding.

First cabins are the finest way to travel. You'll enjoy your own stylish private suite with loungewear, amenity bag and slippers designed by Temperley London, exclusive access to lounges, fast-track security and impeccable service.

Plan your perfect California trip

Planning to hit the beach?

There are plenty of beaches to choose from on California’s coastline. For surfing, try Black’s Beach, San Diego – it’s not for beginners, but it’s fun to watch whatever your skill level. Want to toast marshmallows on a beachside bonfire? Hit Ocean Beach, San Francisco. For a great spot for sunset, head to Shark Fin cove, Davenport – just 50 minutes’ drive from San Jose.

Discover California’s best beaches

An epic road trip in mind?

Rent a car to see California at its best. Perhaps the most classic road trip in California is hitting the Pacific Coast Highway, aka Highway 1, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, passing through Santa Barbara and Big Sur. From San Fran you can always head inland, too – to the high-altitude shores of Lake Tahoe and on to the extraordinary Yosemite National Park, to see Half Dome silhouetted against the sky.

Check out our road trip itineraries

Discover more of California

These Californian adventuresshould be topof your bucket list.

Ella Buchan,  Travel writer and California resident

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