The cheapest times to fly from DSM to SFO are

  • January 1st to February 25th
  • August 6th to December 23rd (except the weeks of November 19th, November 26th, and December 10th)

based on data collected exclusively by Champion Traveler across tens of millions of flights. Among all the dates above, the very cheapest time to fly from DSM to SFO is early November. Prices can be as high as $1039 for Sunday flights during early to mid March, or as low as $317 for Tuesday flights around early November.


When to Fly to San Francisco

Flying from Des Moines, IA (DSM) to San Francisco, CA (SFO) will usually cost between $338 to $571 per person if booking more than four weeks in advance. On average the very cheapest time to fly is early November with an average ticket price of $362. Due to high demand the most expensive time to fly is early to mid March, with an average price of $598. Planning your trip to low-cost times can easily save you $236 on economy flights and even more on first-class flights. Generally, any price below $439 can be considered a good price for a round-trip DSM to SFO flight.

See below for a graph of average weekly prices for the DSM to SFO route. All prices are for round-trip tickets in USD.

DSM to SFO Flight Prices

Compared to other flights, the DSM to SFO flight is much cheaper than the average and costs less than the average flight leaving from Des Moines. The average price per mile (for a direct flight) is $0.18, which is below average.


Flight Prices by Day of the Week

Tuesday is usually the cheapest day to depart and return on this flight. Sundays are the most expensive days to fly out or take a return trip. Selecting flights on the least expensive days could save you up to $105 (21%) on this flight.

Departing prices are for round-trip flights returning on the day of departure. For example, a flight departing on Tuesday and returning a week later will cost an average of $397. Return trip prices are from the SFO to DSM flight, and often highlight the quality of our data in showing the same trend.

Departing Prices by Day

Departure Day Prices

Return Trip Prices by Day

Return Day Prices


Nonstop Flights and Layovers

Travelers looking to fly from DSM to SFO can generally find a 1-layover flight. Because there is not usually a direct flight option the real-world direct flight time of 3 hour 46 minutes may not be realistic.


Alternative Nearby Airports

Champion Traveler tells you which airports are nearby and whether tickets might be cheaper alternative airports nearby. Sometimes it’s worth it to fly into a closer airport and then commute to your destination. Remember that there is not usually a nonstop flight from DSM to SFO while comparing.

Destination alternative #1: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) in San Jose, CA

  • 30 miles (48 km) away from SFO
  • Usually 9.11% less expensive than SFO
  • 1-layover flights available

See DSM to SJC flights

Destination alternative #2: Sacramento International Airport (SMF) in Sacramento, CA

  • 86 miles (138 km) away from SFO
  • Usually 5.47% less expensive than SFO
  • 1-layover flights available

See DSM to SMF flights


Flight Hacking DSM to SFO

Flight hacking is when you book two tickets instead of a layover, sometimes with different airlines. You will need to either bring only a carry-on bag (highly recommended) or leave yourself plenty of time to go through security again. Flight hacking is completely allowed, but airlines don’t always tell you the cheapest way to get from DSM to SFO — but Champion Traveler does!

Hack #1: Las Vegas, NV (DSM > LAS > SFO)

  • Price for both tickets: $419
  • Average savings: $20 (4.56%)

See DSM to LAS flights


Flight Questions Answered

Still have questions about flying from DSM to SFO? We’ve got answers.

Which airlines fly this route?

You can find 7 major airlines flying this route most often: Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Qantas, Southwest, United, and potentially more during busy seasons.

How far away is it from San Francisco International Airport to Des Moines International Airport?

The distance between the two airports is roughly 1545 miles or 2486 kilometers.

How long does it take to fly from DSM to SFO?

The real-world flight time for a nonstop DSM to SFO flight is about 3 hour 46 minutes.

How many flights go between Des Moines, IA and San Francisco, CA?

It depends on the day of the week and the date, but a typical day might have around 61 available flights from DSM to SFO.


Airport Location Info


Departing Airport

Origination codeDSM
Origination airport nameDes Moines International Airport
CityDes Moines, IA
Countrythe United States

Return Airport

Destination codeSFO
Destination airport nameSan Francisco International Airport
CitySan Francisco, CA
Countrythe United States


Other Resources

Please note that while we’ve worked hard to analyzed tens of millions of flights to get you this data, we do not calculate current live prices or guarantee pricing. Please see our partners using the links above for current offers.