Most San Diego flights will land at the main international airport, which is virtually in the city limits and is bordered by Little Italy, Mission Hills, and Loma Heights. When you fly to San Diego and land at this facility, see about getting a window seat. The flight path under most weather conditions is from the west, passing scenically right over the ocean, Coronado Island and its long curving bridge, and Balboa Park. It is only under conditions such as the Santa Ana winds that landings occur from east to west.
Some people obtain the best cheap flights to San Diego by having them booked as part of their vacation packages. Getting your airfare to San Diego in this manner means that not only is the journey covered, but other features are included such as an airport shuttle or transfer, accommodation in hotels, and often some meals and sightseeing tours. Occasionally, car rentals will be included so you can explore the area independently and at your own pace. The kinds of vacations that include airfare to San Diego are most often family vacations and motorcoach tours that might even include other cities. Deep sea and sport fishing and scuba diving are both popular things to do here, and some vacation packages cater especially to these vacationers. They are often promoted by nationally known operators, although some local yacht charter companies also offer them, and airfare is often included.
Cheap flights to San Diego are also available during the off season, even though the city is a prime tourist destination throughout most of the year due to its warm and sunny weather. The official off season is from November through January. However, the Christmas holiday season is very popular, and you may find fewer cheap flights to San Diego during this time. There are numerous festivals and special events held in and around the city over the Christmas and New Year holidays, especially in Balboa Park, Little Italy, and along the marinas and beaches. These draw thousands of visitors, so air space is at a premium. Nonetheless, with some research you can still find good deals on airfare to San Diego during the peak season, especially on some of the discount "no frills" airlines.
Almost all San Diego flights are east/west lights. A fewer number fly north/south, and these gateway cities include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. Some San Diego flights do not actually land in the city at all. John Wayne Airport that services Orange County and Los Angeles is only about 45 miles from Carlsbad and Escondido—and the route misses the worst of the traffic congestion around both of the two major cities. Additionally, Tijuana International Airport in Mexico is less than 20 miles from downtown San Diego. This airport is often used by the many tourists from Japan and other Asian countries who visit the region, and there are direct flights from the Tokyo airport at Narita. There are also a number of general aviation airports in the region servicing private aircraft and several companies that offer scenic helicopter and bi-plane flights. These are quite popular during the whale watching season.