This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate/commemorate summer coming to an end, how about taking a last-minute trip somewhere fun? Typically, we try to stay away from low-cost carriers, but we wanted to have some fun with this one, and you might too — if you’re willing to take a spontaneous vacation. If you’re a business-class-only flyer, these fares probably aren’t for you. But if you’re an adventurous reader aching to go on a trip and willing to pack light, check out these last-minute deals.
We’re seeing low fares to fun cities such as Denver, New Orleans and Las Vegas, among others. Be aware of extra fees and restrictions. Low-cost airlines such as Frontier and Spirit all charge extra to choose your seat and to bring a large carry-on bag.
Although these low-fare carriers tend to get a bad rap, you may end up pleasantly surprised, like TPG himself when he flew Spirit (and he wasn’t even in the Big Front Seat)! The same goes for Frontier. Bottom line: if you’re in the market for cheap tickets and want to get away as soon as this weekend, this is the way to go.
If our example dates and times don’t fit your schedule, play around with the dates on Google Flights as there are often other times available for a little more or sometimes less depending on your dates. All of the routes listed have flights available under $150 between August 15-19. Also note that most of our example routes are also available in reverse.
As a reader pointed out last week, you can often buy Spirit flights cheaper at the counter. However, it’s not always guaranteed and sometimes the limited savings may not be worth the hassle— it really just depends on how flexible you are.
To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin, destination and stopover cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or through an OTA like Priceline or Expedia.
Airline Spirit, Frontier, United
Routes: COS, LAS, DTW, AUS, ATL, DEN, MSY, MCO, IND, ORD, JAX and more (many available on the reverse route)
Cost: $49+ round-trip
Travel Dates: August 15-19, 2019
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:
Colorado Springs (COS) to Las Vegas (LAS) for $49 round-trip on Frontier:
Detroit (DTW) to Austin (AUS) for $59 round-trip on Spirit:
Atlanta (ATL) to Denver (DEN) for $67 round-trip on Spirit:
Denver (DEN) to New Orleans (MSY) for $67 round-trip on Spirit:
Orlando (MCO) to Indianapolis (IND) for $67 round-trip on Spirit: Orlando (MCO) to New Orleans (MSY) for $67 round-trip on Spirit:
Denver (DEN) to Dallas (DFW) for $69 round-trip on Spirit:
Nashville (BNA) to Philadelphia (PHL) for $87 round-trip on Frontier:
Baltimore (BWI) to Raleigh (RDU) for $94 round-trip on Spirit:
Austin (AUS) to Atlanta (ATL) for $105 round-trip on Spirit:
Saint Louis (STL) to Denver (DEN) for $112 round-trip on Spirit:
Raleigh (RDU) to Cleveland (CLE) for $112 round-trip on Frontier:
Jacksonville (JAX) to Detroit (DTW) for $113 round-trip on Spirit:
Houston (IAH) to Denver (DEN) for $116 round-trip on United:
Kansas City (MCI) to Detroit (DTW) for $128 round-trip on Spirit:
Atlanta (ATL) to Colorado Springs (COS) for $132 round-trip on Frontier:
Chicago (ORD) to Jacksonville (JAX) for $139 round-trip on Spirit:
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.
Featured image by Creative-Family/Getty Images
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel