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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 American Express Platinum Card, 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.
Whether you’re on the east coast or the west coast, right now you can find some great airfares to the opposite side of the country, and to more than just the largest cities. A slew of major carriers — including JetBlue, Virgin America, American, Delta and United — are offering low transcontinental fares from cities in the east such as New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL) and Buffalo (BUF) to destinations in the west, including Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas (LAS) and Salt Lake City (SLC) starting as low as $66 in each direction.
Most of these airfares are available in January and the first half of February, though some of them appear as late as March, April and early May. There are many destinations being offered at great prices and we couldn’t list them all, but you don’t need any tricks to find them, so just use Google Flights to pick the dates you want, then book on Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline itself.
Note that while JetBlue and Virgin America still offer their lowest prices as normal economy fares, the legacy carriers are mostly showing these as Basic Economy airfares, and some of the buy-ups to main cabin seats are absurd. Therefore, we’ve listed JetBlue or Virgin America options wherever possible. But if you do book a Basic Economy ticket, make sure you know how to overcome the restrictions with the appropriate credit card.
Airline: JetBlue, Virgin America, American, Delta, United
Routes: NYC/BOS/PHL/BWI/BUF to LAX/SFO/LAS/BUR/LGB/PDX/PSP/SLC
Cost: $66+ one way in economy
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia or with the airline directly
Pay With: The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Philadelphia (PHL) to Las Vegas (LAS) for $66 one way in AA Basic Economy via Orbitz:
Las Vegas (LAS) to Philadelphia (PHL) for $74 one way in AA Basic Economy via Orbitz:
New York/Newark (EWR) to Las Vegas (LAS) for $83 one way in United Basic Economy via Orbitz:
Las Vegas (LAS) to New York/Newark (EWR) for $83 one way in United Basic Economy via Orbitz:
Buffalo (BUF) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $99 one way on JetBlue via Orbitz:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Buffalo (BUF) for $99 one way on JetBlue via Orbitz:
New York/Newark (EWR) to Salt Lake City (SLC) for $101 one way in Delta Basic Economy:
Salt Lake City (SLC) to New York/Newark (EWR) for $101 one way in Delta Basic Economy:
Boston (BOS) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $108 one way on JetBlue via Orbitz:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Boston (BOS) for $108 one way on Virgin America via Orbitz:
New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $118 one way on JetBlue via Orbitz:
Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) for $118 one way on Virgin America via Orbitz:
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 (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
H/T: Dan’s Deals
Featured images by Katarina Farelius/EyeEm and Barry Winiker via Getty Images.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees