Deal Alert: US Transcon Flights From $128 Round-Trip

Dec 11, 2017

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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency, such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.

UPDATE: American Airlines is jumping in the mix and has incredibly cheap tickets from Newark (EWR) to San Francisco (SFO) for just $128 round-trip. Unfortunately tickets are in basic economy and require a stop, but they’re still a great deal. And if you’re an American co-brand credit card holder you can defeat many of basic economy’s negative aspects.


Transcon flights are on sale right now, with fares starting at just $198 round-trip. Flyers can go from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Los Angeles (LAX), or vice versa, for this low price. And if you’re willing to pay a little more, you can fly between Boston (BOS), New York (JFK) to Los Angeles, Portland (PDX), Seattle (SEA) and San Francisco (SFO). Flights are operated by Alaska, JetBlue and Virgin America — all of which are great carriers and don’t charge for carry-ons unlike the legacy carriers with their basic economy fares. Alaska still awards miles for the actual number of miles flown, so this can make a good mileage run for those who are looking for status with the airline (plus its miles are quite valuable).

To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Then, scroll through Google Flights’ calendar function to find dates that work best for you. Finally, click through to book with the airline itself or Expedia.

Airline: Alaska, American, JetBlue and Virgin America
Routes: BOS/JFK/EWR/FLL/SFO to LAX/PDX/SEA/SFO
Cost: $128+ round-trip in economy
Dates: January-March 2018
Booking Link: OrbitzExpedia
Pay With: The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (5x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

New York (EWR) to San Francisco (SFO) in January for $128 round-trip on American in basic economy via Expedia:

San Francisco (SFO) to Newark (EWR) in April for $134 round-trip on American in basic economy via Expedia:

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Los Angeles (LAX) in February for $198 round-trip on Virgin America:

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Los Angeles (LAX) in February for $198 round-trip on JetBlue:

New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) in February for $236 round-trip on JetBlue:

New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) in March for $236 round-trip on Virgin America:

New York (JFK) to Portland (PDX) in February for $236 round-trip on Alaska:

Boston (BOS) to Los Angeles (PDX) in February for $246 round-trip on JetBlue:

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Platinum Card (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Citi Prestige (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

If you’re able to score one of these tickets, please share the good news in the comments below.

Featured image of Los Angeles by Maciej Bledowski / Getty Images 

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