Deal Alert: Fly Across the Country For Just $99 Each Way

Jul 21, 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 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.

Transcontinental routes have become one of the fiercest and most lucrative battlegrounds for US carriers. Even while airlines try to feature some of their better premium cabins between the country’s top cities, the competition has also driven them to improve coach by reintroducing free meals and significantly lowering fares. Today we’re seeing that competition in action, with nonstop flights between East Coast cities like Boston (BOS), New York (JFK) and Miami (MIA) and West Coast cities such as Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas (LAS) and San Francisco (SFO) starting at just $99 each way.

You don’t need any tricks to book these fares, so head to Google Flights and plug in your desired departure and destination cities. After finding the dates that work best for you, book with directly or with an OTA such as Expedia or Priceline. Most of these options are available on one-way tickets, so you can mix and match airlines in order to complete your round-trip at the best possible prices.

If you have a choice in carrier on the route you want, your top picks should probably be Alaska or JetBlue because they don’t offer stripped-down basic economy options — at least not yet. But if you do get stuck with a basic economy fare, you can defeat many of the downsides by having airline elite status or a co-branded airline credit card.

Airline: Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, United
Routes: BOS/EWR/FLL/JFK/MIA to/from BUR/LAS/LAX/SEA/SFO
Cost: $99+ one-way in economy
Dates: August – November 2018
Booking Link: OrbitzExpedia or directly with the airline
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve,  Citi Prestige (5x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

Boston (BOS) to Las Vegas (LAS) in September for $99 one-way on JetBlue:

Las Vegas (LAS) to Newark (EWR) in September for $101 one-way on United in Basic Economy:

Burbank (BUR) to Boston (BOS) in November for $108 one-way on JetBlue:

Boston (BOS) to Los Angeles (LAX) in November for $113 one-way on Alaska:

Los Angeles (LAX) to Boston (BOS) in November for $113 one-way on Delta in Basic Economy:

San Francisco (SFO) to Miami (MIA) in August for $114 one-way on American in Basic Economy:

Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) in October for $118 one-way on JetBlue:

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), 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.

Featured image by Sasha • Stories on Unsplash.

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