This is kind of a big deal alert: Fly to San Diego for under $150 round-trip
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To know San Diego is to love San Diego. It’s a city that has near-perfect weather, a great food scene and one of the best downtowns in the country, the Gaslamp Quarter. Most of all, it’s a place where people know the value of a day spent relaxing at the beach or the park. San Diego is a city that has perfected the laid-back California vibe.
If you haven’t been to San Diego or are looking to make a return visit, check out the fare sale happening right now. Some of the available flights are incredibly low, and there are more than a few nonstop routes offered, too. In addition, the sale includes main cabin seats on American, United and some Delta flights.
The best availability we saw was for winter travel, and who wouldn’t want to visit southern California then? Oh, and the fare deals work in reverse if you live in San Diego. As always, to get the best prices, it helps to be flexible with your travel plans.
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Thanks to our friends at Thrifty Traveler for alerting us about this deal, which they gave out first to their premium subscribers. Non-members can find sale prices by using Google Flights to search for desired routes and dates.
Related: Top 15 things to do in San Diego
Airlines: Alaska Air, American, Delta, United
Routes: AUS/BOS/DEN/EWR/FLL/JFK/MIA/MSP/MSY/ORD/PHL/SEA/SFO and other cities to San Diego, CA (SAN)
Cost: Flights available from $117
Dates: January – November 2022; availability varies by city.
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 (3x on air travel); Chase Sapphire Reserve (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.
We found nonstop fares from San Francisco (SFO) to San Diego (SAN) on Alaska in February for just $117 round-trip. That’s for a main cabin ticket, which comes with a free carry-on and a seat assignment.
We found similar bargains for flights departing out of San Francisco in January. United has nonstop economy fares for just $127 — substantially cheaper than that route typically costs. And as the screenshot below indicates, you can downgrade the ticket to basic economy and save $10, if you’re OK traveling without a full-sized carry-on bag.
Related: Planning a family trip to San Diego
You can fly cross-country nonstop from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL) to San Diego for just $169 round-trip. The lowest fares we saw were for January travel on American.
Since this fare sale supposedly includes November travel, we decided to see what bargains were available 11 months out. Turns out you can book a Fort Lauderdale-San Diego round-trip ticket for less than $200.
Newark (EWR) to San Diego in March can be booked on Alaska for $153. That’s more than 50% off the normal price of that ticket. It’s a Saver fare, which means you have no seat assignment and board the plane in the final group, but you do get a carry-on and the knowledge that you probably paid less for your seat than anyone else on board the plane.
Delta also has $153 nonstop fares out of Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York City to the west coast. Overall, we found the most availability at the lowest prices for flights out of Newark and NYC in February and March.
We also stumbled across some deep discounts on February flights out of New Orleans (MSY) to Ron Burgundy’s favorite city. American has Main Cabin seats for just $171 round-trip, a significant discount from normal prices.
Maximize your purchase
Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, like 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 (3x on air travel); Chase Sapphire Reserve (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.
San Diego is one of those rare places that can offer big-city fun while retaining a small-town atmosphere. Once you book one of these bargain fares, make sure your itinerary includes a visit to the USS Midway Museum and the San Diego Zoo, breakfast at Richard Walker’s Pancake House, and save some quality time in the evening for the bars and restaurants in the Gaslamp.
Featured Image by David Toussaint for Getty Images
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