Deal Alert: Visit Chicago for as little as $79 nonstop

Oct 9, 2021

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We’ve got a sweet deal alert today if you’re thinking of visiting Chicago this winter. Our friends at Thrifty Traveler Premium uncovered a slew of low-priced nonstop fares to the midwest metropolis. How low? How about $78 nonstop for a roundtrip ticket that typically costs around $350? These are excellent deals, especially for winter travel.

Oh, and it works in reverse — if you live in Chicago and are looking for a cheap getaway, these fares apply for travel from the Windy City.

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(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

This fare deal is good for travel booked between November all the way through August of 2022, so you have a large time frame to plan your trip.

Airline: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta and United.
Cost: Lowest fares start at $79 round-trip for some routes.
Dates: November 2021-August 2022.
Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express for 5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), the Citi Prestige® Card for 5x on airfare, the Citi Premier® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve for 3x on air travel, the American Express® Gold Card for 3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for 2x on travel — which you could redeem for as little as 13,000 points.

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: 11 things you must do when visiting Chicago

This is a wide-ranging fare deal, in that you have four major airlines involved, with departing flights from more than 60 American cities. Some of the best nonstop deals we found to Chicago include:

  • Miami (MIA) to Chicago (ORD) for as low as $79 nonstop
  • Minneapolis (MSP) to Chicago (ORD) for as low as $117 nonstop
  • Denver (DEN) to Chicago (ORD) for as low as $117 nonstop
  • Tampa (TPA) to Chicago (ORD) for as low as $117 nonstop
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Chicago (ORD) for as low as $117 nonstop
  • Memphis (MEM) to Chicago (ORD) for as low as $117 nonstop
  • New Orleans (MSY) to Chicago (ORD) for as low as $127 nonstop

The fares offered by American and United are Main Cabin, which come with a free carry-on bag and seat assignment. The other flights in this offer are for Basic Economy seats. Many of the best prices we found were departure flights out of Florida, like this dirt-cheap price for a flight out of Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Chicago for just $79 for a Main Cabin seat.

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)


Another rock-bottom Florida fare that we found departed from Miami International Airport (MIA) to O’Hare, also from American for a Main Cabin seat and also costing just $79 roundtrip.

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)


As we said above, the deal applies to flights from Chicago to 60+ cities, so if you want to escape the Chicago winters for sunny South Florida, the price is definitely right.

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)


Travelers out west will also want to consider a long weekend to Chicago when they see some of the available prices. Denver (DEN) to Illinois is another example of a great price, just $117! The best availability we found at that price was for early December flights, again through American.

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)


LA to Chicago is also available for $117 nonstop.

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Phoenix to Chicago for $117 roundtrip? Sign us up!

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

I feel compelled to point out to Arizona Cardinals fans that the screen grab above shows the great fare price available for the weekend of Dec. 5. That’s the Sunday where the Cardinals visit Chicago to play the Bears at Soldier Field so if you’re thinking your team will be in the playoff race and you want to take a road trip to see them play, this is a good weekend to do it.

New Orleans to Chicago is yet another steal, just $127 nonstop for a February weekend jaunt.

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)


We found a number of low-priced flights from Las Vegas to Chicago in November and December on American.

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Interestingly, Vegas and New Orleans were the only routes we saw where departing from Chicago led to a substantial increase in price. Going from Chicago to the Big Easy or to Las Vegas on the same dates led to a price hike of at least $100 per ticket.

Almost all the best prices and availability in this deal we found were with American, but we found a Delta deal from Minneapolis to Chicago for just $97 nonstop.

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

The same price can also score you a nonstop ticket from Atlanta to Chicago.

(screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

The Delta fares are for Basic Economy, which means you get a free carry-on but no seat selection.

Maximize your purchase
Don’t forget to use a card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on air travel), American Express Gold Card (3x on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel), Citi Premier Card (3x on air travel) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Related: 5 drives from Chicago every traveler will love

Featured image by Joe Daniel Price for Getty Images

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