United Airlines has scheduled new non-stop flights between San Francisco and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area this winter. The daily flight service allows Bay Area residents to hop to the ski area in a little more than one hour and forego heading to San Jose for a direct flight or battling the 320-mile drive over snowy passes.

Mammoth fans can catch the new non-stop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) starting Dec. 16. The daily flights depart SFO at 3:50 p.m. and arrive in Mammoth Lakes at 4:56 p.m. Those who book flights and lodging through Mammoth Mountain get airport transfers included free.

Return flights leave Mammoth Yosemite Airport at 5:27 p.m. daily to arrive at SFO by 6:40 p.m. The late-in-the-day departure allows skiers and riders to get the most of their lift ticket, by packing in runs through most of the day.

The new air service is operated by SkyWest carrier for United. Reservations can be made through the airlines or by phone or online through Mammoth Mountain.

"The easiest way to arrange a vacation is to book flights, accommodations, and activities through one service," said Jef Rahmeyer from Mammoth's fully accredited travel center. Travelers can book air, rooms, lift tickets, rentals, and other activities through Mammoth's center.

Rahmeyer recommends booking the new San Francisco flight early; especially for holidays. "As planes fill up, rates go up," he said. "Booking earlier gives you a better price and a better selection."

More information. Or call 800-MAMMOTH.