Deal Alert: Cross-Country Flights Just Dropped to $174 Round-Trip
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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 the 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.
We’re currently seeing some great fares for travel across the country. Transcon flights from major cities like Boston (BOS), Baltimore (BWI), New York (EWR/LGA/JFK) and Orlando (MCO) to Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Sacramento (SMF) and San Jose (SJC) are on sale from just $174 round-trip. The low fares are available both ways and are being offered by American, Alaska, Delta and United for travel from August 2019 through May 2020.
Most flights book into basic economy, meaning added fees and more restrictions in return for the attractive price. Fortunately, all of the major carriers, except for United, still allow you to bring a carry on bag with a basic economy ticket. A co-branded credit card or airline elite status can help get around some of basic economy’s restrictions, including better boarding groups and a free checked bag. Based on our searches, if you’d rather upgrade to standard economy, you’ll need to pay at least $20 extra each way.
To search for these fares, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline, through an OTA like Priceline or plug those dates into the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Airlines: American, Alaska, Delta, United
Routes: BOS/BWI/EWR/LGA/JFK/MCO to/from LAS/LAX/SMF/SJC
Cost: $174+ round-trip in basic economy
Travel Dates: August 2019 to May 2020
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
New York (LGA) to Sacramento (SMF) for $174 round-trip in American basic economy:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Orlando (MCO) for $187 round-trip nonstop in Delta basic economy:
San Jose (SJC) to Newark (EWR) for $217 round-trip nonstop in Alaska saver economy:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Baltimore (BWI) for $217 round-trip nonstop in Alaska saver economy:
New York (JFK) to Las Vegas (LAS) for $219 round-trip nonstop in American basic economy:
Boston (BOS) to Sacramento (SMF) for $221 round-trip in American basic economy:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
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