The main gateway for air traffic to the island is the Luis Muñoz Marín
International Airport (airline code SJU), which is also the regional hub
for American Airlines and American Eagle. Together, American alone
accounts for more than a hundred flights a day between Puerto Rico, the
U.S., and the Caribbean.
SJU is about three miles southeast of San Juan. You can also fly directly to other airports around the island from many U.S. cities.
Flights from the US and Canada
Numerous daily nonstop flights connect Puerto Rico with cities all over the US, but the cheapest and most frequent depart from “gateway” cities in the south and east, most commonly Miami and New York (JFK and Newark). San Juan is the Caribbean hub for American Airlines, so it’s no surprise that this airline operates the most flights to the island and usually has the most competitively priced fares, though all the major US carriers offer services, including Continental and Spirit Airlines, and US Airways. Flying times are relatively short: around 3hr 45min from New York, 2hr 30min from Miami, 4hr 30min from Chicago, and just over 4hr from Dallas and Houston.
There are few direct flights from Canada, with Air Canada flying the only nonstop service from Toronto (4hr 35min). Your options increase (and prices fall) greatly if you fly through the US.
Flights from the UK and Ireland
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are now operating seasonal direct flights to San Juan via Antigua (10.5hr). Otherwise, coming from the UK or Ireland you’ll need to change planes at least once for cheaper flights, usually in the US. From London the cheapest option is usually to fly with American Airlines via New York, but travel websites will also come up with various combinations of British Airways and American carriers via Miami and Washington DC. Iberia offers the only nonstop flight to San Juan from Europe, a thrice-weekly service from Madrid.
From Dublin, you might save a few euros flying the same routes via London; otherwise it’s faster and cheaper to fly with US Airways or Delta via New York.
Flights from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa
Getting from Australia, New Zealand or South Africa to Puerto Rico means changing planes at least once somewhere in the US. From Sydney flights in high season will be via Delta with two layovers. The cheapest flights from other Australian cities route through Sydney too. From Auckland, Air New Zealand and Qantas fly via Los Angeles to connect with the American Airlines flight. Note that all these flights can entail long layovers in the US.
From South Africa, various combinations of airlines will get you to San Juan via layovers in the US or Spain (via Iberia).
Flights from the Caribbean
San Juan is one of the largest regional hubs in the Caribbean, making it an easy fit into a larger tour of the Antilles, or an excellent base for further exploration. The most frequent flights link San Juan with the US and British Virgin Islands, but there are also direct services from Antigua, St Vincent and Dominica on LIAT, plus several charter airlines fly from the Dominican Republic. Jet Blue also has flights direct to Santo Domingo. American Eagle uses San Juan as a hub and flies all over the Caribbean, while Copa Airlines flies from Panama City. Smaller airlines also link Vieques with St Croix.