Deal Alert: Transcontinental Flights From $177 Round-Trip
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
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 11:00pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using the American Express Platinum Card, 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.
American and United are currently offering great deals on transcontinental flights with fares starting at $177 round-trip. The cheap flights to the Las Vegas (LAS), San Diego (SAN) and Sacramento (SMF) are available out of Newark (EWR) and Washington DC (IAD), but you'll find the most availability out of DC. Do note that some of these fares are for basic economy, which means that you won’t have the usual carry-on allowance, be able to select your seat, get an upgrade or earn PQMs/PQSs/PQDs as per usual. However, it’s possible to defeat many of basic economy’s negative aspects by having airline elite status or a co-branded airline credit card.
To book, head to Google Flights and plug in your desired departure city. After finding dates that work best for you, book with the airline directly or with an OTA such as Expedia or Priceline.
Airline: American, United
Routes: EWR/IAD to LAS/SAN/SMF
Cost: $177+ round-trip in economy
Dates: July 2018 – February 2019
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia, or directly with the airline.
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Newark (EWR) to Sacramento (SMF) for $177 round-trip in February 2019 on American:
Washington DC (IAD) to Las Vegas (LAS) for $186 round-trip in July on United:
Washington DC (IAD) to San Diego (SAN) for $195 round-trip in September on American:
Washington DC (IAD) to Sacramento (SMF) for $195 round-trip in January 2019 on American:
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, American Express Premier Rewards Gold 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.