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Round-trip flights from the East Coast to Panama for under $300

Sept. 06, 2022
5 min read
Aerial view of Panama city
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Ever wanted a vacation that combines the bustle of a cosmopolitan city and historic neighborhoods with easy access to the beach and verdant rainforests?

Well, you’re in luck — right now nonstop, round-trip fares to Panama City are as low as $272 from select cities.

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The streets of Panama City. JOHN PIEKOS/GETTY IMAGES

For the remainder of 2022 and for the first several months of 2023, New York City’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), along with Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), have discounted fares to Panama City.

This deal isn’t common, either. Fares to Panama City are typically upward of $600.

Deal basics

Airlines: American Airlines and Copa Airlines.
Routes: From New York City and Fort Lauderdale to Panama City.
How to book: Find your best availability through Google Flights, then book directly with the airline.
Travel dates: October 2022 through mid-November 2022; January 2023 to July 2023.
Book by: ASAP.

Major thanks to Scott’s Cheap Flights for flagging this deal. Sign up for the site’s Premium membership, which costs $49 a year, offers discounts of up to 90% and includes a 14-day free trial. Or, upgrade to Elite membership for $199 a year to receive Premium deals and premium economy, business-class and first-class deals.

Sample flights

This deal’s travel dates are relatively sporadic, so we recommend booking your trip to Panama City as soon as possible and using Google Flights to determine your best availability.

However, we found that flights departing from JFK from March through April had the most available discounted dates.

Discounted fares from JFK to Panama City during March and April. GOOGLE.COM/FLIGHTS

Here are a few discounted flight options:

  • Copa: Departing from JFK, starting at $272.
  • American: Departing from LGA, starting at $286.
  • Copa: Departing from FLL, starting at $286.

We also suggest booking your flight to Panama City directly with the airline — airlines are more reliable in the event of a flight cancellation, a delay or a booking change.

For an April 14-April 21 flight from JFK to Tocumen International Airport Panama (PTY), Google Flights shows a range of price points, with the fare from Copa Airlines being the cheapest. Fares on Google Flights tend to vary due to third-party booking options.

GOOGLE.COM/FLIGHTS

A $272 round-trip flight to Panama City from JFK is a rare price point. Flights to Panama City can cost anywhere between $375 and $1,600, according to Google Flights.

GOOGLE.COM/FLIGHTS

This deal only applies to economy fares. When booking with Copa, the total comes to $271.07 with the airline’s economy basic option.

Copa’s economy basic has a checked baggage fee and an additional fee for seat selection. The fares are also nonrefundable and members of Copa’s ConnectMiles program can only earn 50% in miles for the trip.

COPAAIR.COM

Seat selection fees for an economy basic round-trip flight vary from $6.70 for a regular seat to $40 for a premium seat closer to the front of the aircraft. At the time of publication, all the seats for flights to Panama City and flights back to New York City were available.

COPAAIR.COM
COPAAIR.COM

You can upgrade to Copa’s economy classic option for an extra $35. Economy classic has free seat selection and no checked baggage fees. You can also earn up to 100% in miles with the airline’s ConnectMiles program.

Maximize your purchase

Make sure to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, like The Platinum Card® from American Express (5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Prestige® Card (5 points per dollar on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3 points per dollar on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3 points per dollar on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 points per dollar on travel). See this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

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.

Bottom line

With fares discounted by 55%, this deal to Panama City is a major steal.

For as low as $272, you can jet off to Panama City and sail the Panama Canal or stroll through the colorful buildings that dot the city’s Casco Viejo neighborhood.

Be sure to act fast on this deal because it isn’t guaranteed to last.

Featured image by ANDREA COMI/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Intro offer

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For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

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Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases