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Boston cross-country flight deals from $258 on American and United

Sept. 02, 2022
6 min read
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Looking for a cheap flight to or from Boston? This fall, multiple airlines are offering highly discounted flights between Boston and popular destinations, including Chicago and San Francisco.

Both American Airlines and United Airlines are running fare sales from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) for as low as $138 round trip to Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and from $258 round trip to San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

These fares are hundreds of dollars cheaper than typical prices, so if you're considering a Boston flight in the next few months, now is the time to make a reservation.

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These discounted fares begin in September and currently run on selected dates through March 2023. Certain terms, conditions and limitations may apply to tickets. Read on for details on booking and ticket classes.

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Deal basics

Acorn Street in Boston. JOE DANIEL PRICE/GETTY IMAGES

Airlines: American (co-marketed with JetBlue) and United.
Routes: Boston to Chicago and San Francisco.
How to book: Search on Google Flights then book directly through American, JetBlue or United.
Travel dates: September through March 2023.
Book by: While discounted tickets are available.

Related: An insider's guide to 16 Boston attractions

Sample flights

All routes included with these discounted fares are nonstop flights to and from Boston. Flight times and date availability, as well as the fares themselves, are subject to change.

Boston to Chicago on United

The discounted United fares between Boston and Chicago are for its bare-bones basic economy class tickets. This fare class charges extra for carry-on bags, seat assignments and checked bags. The basic economy tickets also do not allow flight changes or upgrades.

But if you are a MileagePlus Premier member, have Star Alliance Gold status or booked the fare with an applicable MileagePlus credit card, you can bring a free carry-on bag on board and check a free bag even on basic economy. Otherwise, expect to pay an extra $60 for the trip, or you'll have to travel carrying just a personal item.

GOOGLE.COM/FLIGHTS

The sample flight listed here is between Boston and Chicago in the first week of November. Many of the discounted fares are for Tuesday-to-Tuesday itineraries like this one, but other date choices are also currently possible.

According to Google Flights, the $158 fare listed here is an amazing $258 cheaper than usual flights on the route. That's a savings of more than 60%. Peak fares and holiday travel on this route can top $850.

Currently, you can still find reasonable flight times with these fares without resorting to red-eye or early-morning flights.

Tickets for this fare begin on selected dates in September and run through March 2023.

This fare is for United's basic economy class, so again, unless you have mileage status or book the fare with a United credit card, you'll have to travel only with a personal item or pay approximately $60 extra for the ticket.

Even if you have to pay the additional fare, this pricing is still a good deal — and a great one if you can take advantage of your status for the baggage allowance.

Related: How to survive basic economy on United Airlines

Boston to San Francisco on American Airlines

American Airlines, with codeshare partner JetBlue, is also offering some highly discounted flights from Boston. One of its best fares is $258 for a nonstop cross-country flight between Boston and San Francisco.

Like the United fare above, these prices are for a basic seat class that does not include carry-on bags.

GOOGLE.COM/FLIGHTS

As shown in the Google Flights search results above, you can currently find round-trip tickets between Boston and San Francisco for just $258. This fare represents more than $200 per ticket savings versus typical fares.

The shared flight between JetBlue and American Airlines offers two booking and price options. The JetBlue fare is for its Basic Blue economy seat class, which does not allow carry-on bags on board. You'll have to make do with just a personal item that can fit under the seat in front of you. If you want to bring a bag, surcharges of at least $60 for the round trip will apply to your ticket.

The American Airlines fare for this route is $318, which is still close to $150 cheaper than average. The American fare is for regular economy seating, allowing carry-on bags. The price is equivalent to booking the ticket via JetBlue with its baggage surcharge. If you have American or JetBlue status or book with one of their credit cards, you may be able to benefit from a free luggage allowance.

If you can travel luggage-free or can score a free luggage allowance, this is a great fare to fly cross-country.

Related: JetBlue basic economy surcharges

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases. Airline cards can always be a good call for earning status and rewards specific to those airlines, like for these flights by using the Chase United℠ Explorer Card or the Citi® AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

For more flexibility with earned points, The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5 points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year.

The Citi Premier® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve earn 3 points per dollar spent on airfare, while the American Express® Gold Card earns 3 points per dollar spent on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel.

Related: Maximize your airfare: The best credit cards for booking flights.

Bottom line

Multiple airlines, including United and American, are offering discounted flights from Boston from this fall through the early spring of 2023.

Round-trip tickets between Boston and Chicago for $158 and between Boston and San Francisco for $258 represent great savings on regularly priced flights. But when booking these fares, be careful to note your luggage allowance, as most basic economy seats do not allow for carry-on bags without paying a surcharge.

If you can make the luggage allowance work for you (perhaps by leveraging airline status), these fares become great deals. If you find an itinerary that works for you, book the tickets quickly, as prices may change at any time.

Featured image by NOELIA HN/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases