Deal Alert: Transcon Flights From $197 Round-Trip

Jan 16, 2018

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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 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 Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.

We’re seeing low fares for transcontinental flights from many East Coast cities, with prices starting from just $197 round-trip. What’s great about this sale is that you can largely have your pick of airline — Alaska/Virgin America, American, Delta, JetBlue and United are all offering cheap tickets.

You can fly from Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK) and Newark (EWR) to West Coast cities like Los Angeles (LAX), Portland (PDX), San Francisco (SFO) and Seattle (SEA). Most fares are available from January through March, although we’re seeing availability on certain routes through June.

Note that American, Delta and United’s fares are in basic economy so you won’t be able to bring a carry on or choose your seat without paying extra fees. Fortunately Alaska/Virgin America and JetBlue still allow for free carry-ons and seat selection. If you’re an airline co-brand cardholder, you can get around some of basic economy’s restrictions that way.

To book, head to Google Flights and plug in your desired departure and destination, then book with the airline of your choice.

Airline: Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, United and Virgin America
Routes: BOS/BWI/EWR/JFK/MIA to LAX/PDX/SFO/SEA
Cost: $197+ round-trip in economy
Dates: January to June 2018
Booking Link: Expedia, Priceline 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 Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

Boston (BOS) to Seattle (SEA) for $197 round-trip on JetBlue:

New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) for $214 round-trip on American in basic economy:

Boston (BOS) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $217 round-trip on Alaska/Virgin America:

New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) for $227 round-trip on Alaska/Virgin America:

New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) for $227 round-trip on United in basic economy:

New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) for $227 round-trip on Delta in basic economy:

Miami (MIA) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $229 round-trip on American in basic economy:

New York (JFK) to Portland (PDX) for $237 round-trip on Alaska:

Baltimore (BWI) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $237 round-trip on Alaska:

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.

Featured image by Chris McGrath / Getty Images.

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