Airfares go up and down all the time. Over the years, I’ve spent less than $200 to fly across continents and more than $500 to fly less than 50 miles. Timing is everything.
There are few written-in-stone rules on how far ahead you have to plan to get the best fare. It’s safe to say, though, that if you plan earlier, you’ll have more options. Still, between now and mid-June, there are some great airfare deals to many parts of the country. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites:
Anchorage-Seattle: Fly one-way to Seattle for $77. This is a great deal, available on Alaska Air, JetBlue and Delta. Fly between June 5 and Aug. 27. You won’t find the deal on every flight on every day, though. On the Seattle-Anchorage return flights, only JetBlue offers a $78 one-way flight in June. More dates open up in July and August.
Anchorage-Bellingham: This deal is so cheap, I drove out to the airport yesterday just to confirm it in person. Allegiant offers a one-way fare of $68, starting May 22. The airline flies nonstop Anchorage-Bellingham twice a week this summer. Here’s the trick: if you go to the airport on Tuesdays or Thursdays between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and have the agent write your ticket, you can trim an additional $18 off the cost. That brings it down to $50 one-way. Allegiant loves to charge you for everything else, of course.
If you want to fly roundtrip, fares are available for as little as $117, through July 20. If you have the airport agent write your ticket, you can get the roundtrip ticket for $36 less, or $81 roundtrip. The seats are tiny. But this is a cheap ticket, that’s for sure.
Anchorage-Las Vegas: Fly nonstop on Sun Country Airlines for $99 one-way. Seats are available on May 18, then June 6-30. Like Allegiant, Sun Country likes to charge you for every little thing, including roller-bags that you would normally store in the overhead bin.
There are a couple of dates later in June that are available for $100 for the return flight, Las Vegas-Anchorage. There are more dates available for $129 one-way all summer long.
Anchorage-Minneapolis: This summer, Sun Country will fly three flights per day between Anchorage and Minneapolis. Right now, the airline is offering one-way flights for as little as $129, for travel June 1-14. The return flights are priced a little higher, from $189 one-way. Delta also flies nonstop, but charges more: about $530-$600 roundtrip.
Anchorage-Long Beach, California: This airport is 19 miles from Disneyland. Fly JetBlue June 5-12 for $116 one-way. Later in the month, the fare creeps up to $153 one-way, which still is a great deal. By the way, flying into Long Beach is very nice, compared to the hustle and bustle of LAX. For the return flight in June, you can find a few dates where JetBlue offers a one-way fare of $155 one-way.
Even though JetBlue only has two flights per day, the airline offers the most legroom in coach of any airline service Anchorage. Both flights are red-eyes: one to Portland and one to Seattle.
Anchorage-Portland: There are just a few dates left for JetBlue’s $88 one-way tickets (June 18, 19, 25 and July 2). This is a great deal on a nonstop flight, even though it arrives in Portland bright and early at 4:33 a.m. There are more dates available for $108 one-way through July 4. Return flights cost a bit more: $109-$164 one-way.
Anchorage-San Francisco: Alaska Airlines is beefing up its San Francisco hub following its takeover of Virgin America. Fly June 6-19 for as little as $146 one-way. Later in the summer, the fare increases to $167 one-way on either Alaska Air or Delta. For your return flight, you may find Delta has a better price, around $209 one-way.
Anchorage-Los Angeles/LAX: Alaska Air is offering good prices for travel June 10-19, from $148 one-way. If you want to fly on Alaska’s nonstop, it will cost you at least $50 more. For the trip back, prices start at $199 one way on Alaska Air.
Anchorage-Boston: United offers great connections through either Denver or Chicago. Prices start at $175 one-way for travel June 6-20. The return flight? Be prepared to shell out some extra coin: $262-$459 one-way on Delta. United’s prices are even more.
Anchorage-Denver: Delta has the best flights and prices for travel in June: $180-$185 one-way for travel June 6-July 3. Return flights start at about $227 one-way on Delta. But on many days, the best option is United’s daily nonstop, which costs $285 one-way.
Anchorage-Chicago: Both United and Alaska offer nonstop flights. If you want to fly right away, it’s about $598 one-way. If you can wait until June 9, the price drops to $218 one-way. The northbound return flights start out a little higher: $279 one-way.
Anchorage-Detroit: Fly between June 6 and July 4 for $200 one-way. Depending on the day, you may find the best fare on Delta, United, American or Alaska Air. The return flight? It’s gonna cost more: $367-$466 one-way on Alaska, United or Delta.
I double-checked these fares on Wed., May 15 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Fares change all the time and are subject to change without notice. I used the Google Flights search engine, in addition to the airline sites at Allegiant.com, AlaskaAir.com, Delta.com, United.com, SunCountry.com and JetBlue.com.