How Danielle Steel Crosses the Bay

Danielle Steel at the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit opening at the de Young last year. Photo by Drew Altizer.

Consider this reason no. 121 for why we adore Danielle Steel — she used to regularly take flights from SFO to the Oakland airport to help rid herself of the fear of flying!

We’re not making this up. She tells the story herself, on her blog at

“I did something really crazy that worked for me. I discovered that there was a flight from San Francisco that went to either Portland or Seattle, but it made a stop in Oakland on the way, right after take off from SFO. The time in the air between SFO and Oakland was somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes, but it gave me a take-off, a landing, and a few minutes in the air, just what I needed to stay comfortable with flying in the beginning and remind myself that I could do it. I’m sure the people on those planes thought I was nuts.

For about a year, every few months, I would take a cab to the San Francisco airport (and I didn’t have a lot of money then, but it was worth it to me so I’d keep flying), board the plane at SFO, fly to Oakland, get off (it was a very cheap ticket for that short distance), and take a cab back into the city. It was nuts, but it worked, and gave me lots of practice being on the plane. Crazy, but it worked!!!”