Deal alert: Transcontinental flights from $97 round-trip

Nov 22, 2019

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How does a $100 round-trip transcontinental flight sound?

Wait, what? 

You heard me, we’re seeing deals from the East Coast to the West Coast starting at $97 round-trip. The deals are from cities like Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX). Even better: many of the routes also work in reverse.

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Note that many of the fares are in each airline’s respective basic economy class. While basic economy means different things to different airlines, generally you can’t pick your seat in advance and limited in your ability to check bags. However, there are ways to defeat aspects of basic economy by using an airline’s co-branded credit card.

To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination 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 an OTA like Orbitz or Expedia.

Airline: United, Delta, JetBlue, American
Routes: LAX/SFO/BWI/ATL/BOS/ORD and in reverse
Cost: $97+ round-trip in basic economy
Dates: January – May 2020 for ORD-LAX route, January – February 2020 for all other routes
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare),  Citi Premier® CardChase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), 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:

Atlanta (ATL) to San Francisco (SFO) for $97 round-trip nonstop in United basic economy (also works in reverse):

Chicago (ORD) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $113 round-trip nonstop in American basic economy (also works in reverse):

Los Angeles (LAX) to Baltimore (BWI) for $167 round-trip nonstop in United basic economy (also works in reverse):

New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $197 round-trip nonstop on JetBlue (also works in reverse):

San Francisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) for $197 round-trip nonstop in American basic economy (also works in reverse):

Boston (BOS) to Los Angeles (LAX) for $197 round-trip nonstop in Delta basic economy (also works in reverse):

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), Chase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express® Gold Card Citi Premier® CardCiti Prestige Card (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Featured image courtesy of Alberto Riva / The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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