3 of us are flying in from Philly for a week. What is best idea?
Fly in to which airport,? Rent a car? Do a transport service?
Then 2 will fly back to PHL and 1 to Ft Lauderdale.
Definitely rent a car. Public transportation isn't great in the area and really limits where you can go.
Fresno is the closest airport, but it is also a smaller airport, so might or might not be the best choice. Consider San Jose and Sacramento as well - the flight options may be better. Oakland and SFO are also reasonable choices, although the drive from each of those would be more prone to traffic. Depending on flights, they might be worth it.
Open the full TripAdvisor website, not the app. Look to the right at the Top Questions. Read about airports; I use FAT and find it to be very convenient. But SMF or OAK would work okay, just a longer drive.
Where have you reserved your lodging?
Have you reserved lodging yet? If a summer visit, the park can be busy and lodging limited. If you are staying outside Yosemite and the trip is this summer then also read up on the day-use permit reservation system.
At Fresno, most airlines are adding more new flights this summer and Southwest starts service here the end of April. Fares are dropping and choices improving so look to see if it works for your group. If not the trade-off is several more hours of driving time from other airports.
There are no in-park shuttle buses running this year. Renting a car will be the best.
I have found that Fresno more likely involves a connecting flight. so by the time you land at a connecting airport and wait for the flight to Fresno then fly to Fresno, you could have just flown straight to SMF or SJC and arrived at Yosemite at the same time or earlier. Flights to Fresno also tend to cost more.
I assume you already have lodging nailed down, because that tends to book up as much as a year in advance.
What time of year is your trip?
JR, it is not boosterism when I say fares at Fresno have been declining. For many destinations FAT is currently similar (or sometimes now lower) than SJC, SMF, etc. Southwest is starting service in two weeks, both AA and UA are starting flights this summer to Chicago, DL is starting flights to SEA to compete with Alaska, etc, There is more competition and the resulting lower fares showing up to many destinations to fill those new seats.
In the past it often was a higher fare to use Fresno for flights (my expense account used to show that). But that fare situation is changing. It depends upon cities, dates, and preferences. But travelers should not assume that Fresno will be more expensive now.
Good to know. I was aware pricing from originations on the West Coast were more competitive because of airlines like Alaska that focus on Western routes. If they are also lower now coming from the East that's only good for everyone =)
>>If they are also lower now coming from the East that's only good for everyone =)<<
The larger airports will still have more schedule choices but the difference in fares has been disappearing.
The OP will likely have a connection from PHL to most of the airport choices. I think the only PHL non-stops to the common airports would be to SFO.