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Round-trip flights to Tampa starting at $118 for the fall

Aug. 24, 2022
7 min read
Tampa Florida
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If you're looking for an affordable fall Florida getaway, multiple airlines are offering discounted tickets to Tampa International Airport (TPA).

Frontier, JetBlue and Southwest have discounted tickets to Tampa from LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Midway International Airport (MDW) and Denver International Airport (DEN).

Spurred perhaps by the JetBlue fall sale, Southwest Airlines is matching JetBlue's Newark-to-Tampa pricing with its own $118 round-trip fares from LaGuardia.

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For those people feeling the fall chill in Chicago and Denver, sub-$200 round-trip flights to Tampa on Southwest and Frontier Airlines should bring a touch of warmth.

Note that bag fees for these tickets — except for those on Southwest — can add significant surcharges to fares on those airlines.

Travel dates and ticket supplies for these deals are limited, so read on to find out how you can book these fares soon.

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Deal basics

Clearwater Beach in Florida. (Photo by Ixefra/Getty Images)

Airlines: Frontier, JetBlue and Southwest.
Routes: Multiple airports in Chicago, Denver and New York to Tampa.
How to book: Through Google Flights or directly with Southwest Airlines.
Travel dates: Select dates in September through November.
Book by: While discounted tickets are available.

Related: 13 of the best beaches in Florida

Sample flights

Below are sample itineraries to Tampa offered on different dates in September through November. You can select a variety of combinations of flight times and dates, but some show a very limited number of tickets still available.

Be very careful to double-check the baggage allowance for flights — both for carry-on and checked bags — as additional fees for non-Southwest tickets may double or even triple those ticket prices.

JetBlue from Newark

(Screenshot from JetBlue.com)

JetBlue is offering $118 round-trip fares between Newark and Tampa on selected flights from mid-September to mid-November. While this seems like a good discount from flights typically priced above $200, note that no carry-bags are allowed for this fare, and the fee for the first checked bag is $60.

So if you want to bring any bag along on your Tampa trip (even a rollaboard that would typically fit in an overhead compartment), the price of this ticket would double to nearly $240 for this flight.

United is also offering $118 fares on round-trip tickets between Newark and Tampa (in what I am sure is a total coincidence and not price fixing). These flights have similar additional charges for baggage. With a checked bag and seat assignment, the United fare balloons to $249 per ticket on this route.

Southwest from LaGuardia

(Screenshot from Southwest.com)

Southwest's fare matches JetBlue and United's $118 flight deals from Newark; an important distinction is that Southwest does not charge for baggage on flights, including carry-on bags, and it allows up to two checked bags.

If you wanted to bring a carry-on bag with you to Tampa, Southwest's option would be $120 to $140 cheaper for the round-trip journey. Add two checked bags to your trip and the comparison is $118 for Southwest and $358 for JetBlue — and even at that price, you still can't bring a carry-on.

So, if you're considering bringing anything to Tampa beyond a small personal item, Southwest is the clear choice here.

Southwest from Chicago

If you're already thinking of escaping the chilly fall weather in the Midwest, look into Southwest's discounted fares between Chicago and Tampa beginning at about $138. These fares are available from both O'Hare and Midway.

These discount fares work on selected dates (mostly Tuesday-through-Tuesday travel) between mid-September and mid-November.

If you're comparing these prices against other advertised fares from Chicago, be sure to note the luggage allowances for each, as Southwest does not add surcharges for carry-on and checked bags.

(Screenshot from Southwest.com)

Southwest's round-trip ticket cost of about $138 is less than half the cost of regular Southwest fares on this route; you should check it out if you can make the Tuesday-to-Tuesday timing work.

Spirit Airlines is offering some $88 round-trip fares on this route over the same time period, but with its baggage fees (carry-ons cost $76 each way), the price would nearly triple for the trip.

Frontier from Denver

Frontier Airlines is getting into the discounted Tampa flight parade with $78 round-trip fares from Denver on a select few dates in October and November. Like the Spirit Airlines and United basic economy deals, this ticket adds a surcharge for carry-on and checked bags which can drastically raise the round-trip price for the flight.

Still, if you're able to travel with just a personal item, you're not going to find a cheaper way to travel between Denver and Florida, even if you took a bus.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

Southwest is offering some round-trip tickets on the Denver-to-Tampa route for about $200, including free baggage allowance, which would make it cheaper than Frontier's flight if you have any luggage. The discounted Southwest tickets are currently available only for very early morning flights (around 5 a.m.), so consider how much you value sleep versus ticket savings before purchasing.

Related: TPG’s best (and worst) airlines for 2022

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases. Airline cards can always be a good call for earning status and rewards specific to those airlines, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, which earns 3 points per dollar on Southwest purchases and a host of other status benefits and credits.

For more flexibility on how you can use the points, The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5 points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year. The Citi Premier® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve earn 3 points per dollar spent on airfare, while the American Express® Gold Card earns 3 points per dollar spent on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel. Read this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Bottom line

New airfare deals available from multiple airlines to Tampa provide a good excuse for a quick fall getaway.

Round-trip fares for less than $150 are good deals from Chicago and Denver, while $118 fares from the New York City area also offer some nice savings.

Still, the clear choice for these flight deals is Southwest Airlines, thanks to its "bags fly free" policy for both carry-on and checked bags. Added bag costs of $70 each way for JetBlue and about $80 for Frontier on these fares can triple the price of their tickets.

If you're just traveling with a small personal bag that fits under the seat in front of you, then you can make the JetBlue and Frontier fares work for you. Otherwise, if you're looking for an inexpensive fall getaway to Florida, snap up the Southwest tickets while you can.

Featured image by 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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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases