Deal Alert: Transcon Flights From $173 Round-Trip

Jul 8, 2019

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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 Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11 p.m. Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.

Time to settle the debate of which coast is better by booking a trip to the opposite coast this fall. With flights as low as $173 round-trip, this is the perfect opportunity to travel coast-to-coast and see for yourself.

You could travel from New York to Portland and take in the crisp Pacific Northwest fall or maybe you want to escape the PNW and change it up with a New England autumn. It’s hard to go wrong either way.

Note that all of these fares are available in basic economy, which means you’ll have to pay to check your bags and select a seat. However, JetBlue still allows complimentary seat selection.

The Batteries to Bluffs hike in The Presidio San Francisco takes you right down to the sand.
The Batteries to Bluffs hike in The Presidio San Francisco takes you right down to the sand.

To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin, destination and stopover cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or through an OTA like Priceline or Expedia.

Airline: American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue
Routes: JFK/EWR/BOS/BWI/DCA/IAD/CLT to SMF/LAX/SFO/LGB/PDX/SEA/SJC/PSP (availability on the reverse route as well)
Cost: $173+ round-trip in basic economy 
Travel Dates: 
September-December 2019
Pay With: 
The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

New York (LGA) to Sacramento (SMF) for $174 round-trip on American:

New York (EWR/LGA) to Reno (RNO) for $174 round-trip on American:

Baltimore (BWI) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $227 round-trip on Alaska:

New York (JFK) to Portland (PDX) for $237 round-trip on Alaska:

New York (JFK) to Long Beach (LGB) for $237 round-trip on Jet Blue:

Seattle (SEA) to Boston (BOS) for $237 round-trip on Alaska:

Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) for $237 round-trip on Jet Blue:

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card,  Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

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