Don't Pay $500+: You Can Still Find Cheap Domestic Flights

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Don’t Pay $500+: You Can Still Find Cheap Domestic Flights

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Flight prices are on the rise, and that couldn’t be clearer than with domestic flights. After getting accustomed to cheap fares throughout the pandemic, many travelers are having trouble stomaching domestic flight prices of $400 or more. It seems like many domestic flights are more expensive than at any point in the last five-plus years…

… but not if you know where to look. While eye-popping fares have become the norm, there are still great flight deals out there for $200 or less roundtrp. – we’ve found many in the last three weeks and sent them to Thrifty Traveler Premium members. And we’re not talking about ultra-low-cost carriers or fares that only include a personal item, either. These fares are on the major airlines we know and love: Alaska, American, Delta, and United.

Here’s a look at where we’re still seeing cheap domestic flights lately.

Read more: Why Are Flights So Expensive Right Now?

Cheap Flights to the Mountain West

Not only are there still great domestic flight prices out there, but these deals can get you to places where flights are typically expensive.

Just a few weeks ago, we dug up sub-$200 fares to several airports nestled in the Rocky Mountains from many airports across the country. You could get to Spokane (GEG), Boise (BOI), or Salt Lake City (SLC) starting in the late summer through early 2023 – including great fall fares and peak ski season trips! Whether you want to hike around the Payette Mountains of Idaho, go cat skiing off the peak of Schweitzer Mountain near Spokane, or spend a weekend in Park City, this deal was a perfect kickstart for your vacation.

Cheap flights to the mountains 

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Utah and Idaho are obvious mountain destinations, but some of my favorite mountains are in New Mexico. Cheap flights aren’t super common to the Land of Enchantment, but I’m always looking for easy ways to get to this part of the country. These cheap flights to Albuquerque (ABQ) make it much easier … and cheaper.

Cheap flights to New Mexico 

If you drive north of Albuquerque, the city of Santa Fe is your next major stop. It’s a vibrant, eclectic town that deserves your attention, a perfect starting point to explore Southwestern culture and a gateway to the mountains fit for any adventurer. Head north and you’ll find Taos, another phenomenal yet underrated ski town. It’s got all the big mountain terrain without the big mountain crowds.

Maybe Taos isn’t on your radar, but surely you’ve heard of Lake Tahoe. This flight deal right straight into Reno (RNO) on Delta’s brand new Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) route debuted at under $200! And this deal is still kicking if you want to book your getaway.

Cheap flights to Lake Tahoe 

Lake Tahoe is a stunning region. The Sierra Nevada mountains frame the famous alpine lake on the border of California and Nevada. Plus, the Tahoe area is only about 2 1/2 hours from Yosemite National Park if you want to tack on a trip to one of the most popular parks on the continent.

But perhaps no state screams mountains like Colorado. And, sure enough, we found flight deals there, too. This deal to Denver (DEN) puts you on the doorstep of the Rocky Mountains, next to an exploding metropolis in Denver, and near attractions like Red Rocks Amphitheater. And it was available through the summer, into fall, and stretching all the way to early 2023 from nearly three dozen U.S. cities, including:

  • Austin (AUS) to Denver for $117 nonstop
  • Des Moines (DSM) to Denver for $177 nonstop
  • Fargo (FAR) to Denver for $176
  • Minneapolis (MSP) to Denver for $157 nonstop
  • Seattle (SEA) to Denver for $127 nonstop


Cheap flights to Colorado 

This deal is gone now – get the next one with Thrifty Traveler Premium!

For the mountain adventurer looking for the wildest place in the U.S., we have your ticket to Alaska. Oddly, Alaska remains one of the best destinations across the globe where you can still find a cheap flight.

Alaska flight deals 

This long list of flights from the U.S. to Alaska could setup your late summer, fall, or winter getaway to one of the most raw, natural places on earth. The vastness of Alaska must be experienced to be believed. Whether you’re looking to spend time in Anchorage (like we did last year), or head to the wild expanses of Denali or Kenai Fjords National Parks, Alaska beckons.


Cheap Flights to the Sun

This section is for you travelers who weren’t psyched about the “wild expanses”, “alpine lakes,” and “cat skiing” from earlier. Or it’s for the traveler whose feet are tired from their trip to one of those destinations above, and just need a warm, sandy week in the sun.

We’ve got you there, too. Let’s start in Florida, where airlines are operating more flights than ever. That’s a recipe for some cheap fares even as flight prices explode elsewhere. For example…


Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to some pleasant, stunning beaches, but they’re not a secret anymore. To help you get there and avoid crowds, we recommend flying into Sarasota (SRQ). It’s a smaller airport without all the hustle and bustle. And this flight deal dropped you straight into Sarasota, including nonstop from Minneapolis for less than $200.

Florida has tons of great destinations, though, including this one that might intrigue the youngest members of your family hoping to head Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, or all the other reasons you might be looking for a flight into Orlando (MCO).

Cheap flights to Florida 

Orlando is always a cheap flight hotspot, and this year has been no different despite rising airfare across the country. This flight deal from New York City was part of a much bigger deal that could bring you to Disney’s doorstep in no time, and we keep finding fairly low fares to Orlando.

The sun doesn’t just shine in the Sunshine State, though. Our flight deals extended to the sunniest locales of the West Coast, and way further out into the Pacific Ocean, too. This Hawaii deal was sublime! Southwest Airlines runs a number of routes to and amongst the Hawaiian Islands and this sale was a breath of fresh air for our subscribers pining to make it back to Hawaii for less.

Cheap flights to Hawaii 

Want to stay on the mainland? San Diego is a perfect, low-key getaway in the sun for many U.S. travelers. People looking to get to San Diego could do so easily from any of these U.S. airports. This included some long, transcontinental flights from the Northeast, too.

Cheap flights to San Diego


Cheap Flights to the City

Depending on where you live, sometimes a visit to the big city can make for the perfect vacation. If you’re craving a little more action than you’ll find at the beach or a little more culture than you’ll find in the mountains, exploring some of our great American cities might be for you. Plus, cheap flights to big cities aren’t hard to find.

The Midwest might be a tough sell for about half the year, but have you ever experienced Chicago in the summer? Chicago remains a magnet for cheap fares throughout 2022 and into 2023.

Cheap flights to Chicago 

Walk the shores of Lake Michigan, catch a baseball game on either the north side (Cubs) or the south side (White Sox), or go soak in the skyline with a drink at the Signature Room on the 96th floor of the Hancock tower. Or time your visit around Lollapalooza (July 28-31) and see downtown come alive for the four-day music festival.

New York City has too many reasons to visit. Broadway shows, world-class dining, and every other piece of the endless urban jungle combine to make it the center of the universe. Oh, and it has three airports, making it the perfect place to find a cheap flight.

And by cheap, we mean almost free! This Delta SkyMiles flash sale could take you to NYC starting at just 9,000 SkyMiles roundtrip! Take the money you’d spend on airfare and treat yourself to a drink at the famed speakeasy Death & Co.

Cheap flights to NYC 

On the other side of the country, San Francisco is also a big city masterpiece. Within the city, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, have a picnic at Mission Dolores Park, or peruse the Ferry Building. But San Francisco is also the perfect jumping off point for the Sonoma and Napa Valley wine regions or one of the cutest towns in the country of Carmel-by-the-Sea. And it all starts with a cheap flight into San Francisco (SFO).

While you might see sky-high fares into northern California, we’ve found great deals to get there recently from around the country, like these…

Cheap flights to San Francisco 

This was one of our most popular flight deals of the year, connecting travelers from all over the country to the coastal haven for under $200 roundtrip!


Cheap Flights to the South

Especially as travelers start looking into booking cheap fares for this coming fall, these flight deals to destinations in the southeast really couldn’t have come at a better time.

Let’s start in historic Charleston, South Carolina, where southern hospitality reigns and where the fall weather is picture perfect. This flight deal we sent Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers featured both fall and summer availability so you can take your pick of when Charleston best suits you.

Cheap flights to CHarleston 

Savannah, Georgia is another perfect option for your fall getaway. The quieter city has so much to offer foodies and its Savannah riverfront area has something to offer almost everyone else. Plus, this flight deal connected all kinds of U.S. cities to Savannah (SAV) from as far west as Minneapolis and as far north as Portland, Maine (PWM).

Cheap flights to Savannah 

One southern city that needs no introduction is New Orleans (MSY). The Big Easy is a musical mecca, dripping with charm, but with all of the trappings of a major city. And we’re still finding cheap flights to get there.

Cheap flights to New Orleans 

This fare from Boston (BOS) down to Louisiana was part of a much larger deal connecting Americans to MSY this year and next. It’s just one of so many cities where cheap flights still exist!


Bottom Line

It’s not too expensive to fly domestically if you know where to look. Yes, flights are more expensive right now than they were a few months ago, but savvy travelers know that the deals are still out there.

Whether it’s a summer weekend in Chicago, a wild adventure in Alaska, a hiking trip in the Mountain West, or a week of southern hospitality, there are still plenty of cheap fares to plan a trip around this year.


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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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