Here we are in the middle of summer. I can’t think of a better time for a fare war between Anchorage and the Lower 48. Let’s take a look at the best deals.
Anchorage-Seattle: Delta and JetBlue have increased the number of $77 one-way fares starting July 10. The return flights cost $78 starting July 28. Oh, you can come back before then — it just costs a little more. But then on Aug. 20, Delta drops the fare to $73 one-way, through Nov. 20. Purchase by June 25.
If you just can’t wait to get to Seattle from Anchorage, the one-way, last-minute fares range from $194 to $236 (on Delta, Alaska or JetBlue). That’s a great deal for peak-season travel.
Anchorage-Bellingham: Allegiant’s base fare of $68 one-way is cheap. It’s even cheaper if you fly round trip on the twice-weekly flights ($117 round trip). It’s cheaper still if you go out to the airport and have the clerk write the ticket. This trick will trim $36 off the cost of your ticket, bringing the total to $81 round trip. Then, you can add on your fee for cabin baggage, for pre-assigned seats or extra legroom. Allegiant flies nonstop to Bellingham through Sept. 2.
Anchorage-Portland: JetBlue’s nonstop flights start at $88 one-way, starting July 10. The airline only offers one flight per day, arriving at 4:33 a.m. But it’s about $100 less than any of Alaska Air’s four daily nonstops. The $88 seats are available on a few days, but more seats are available at $108 one way. JetBlue has more legroom in coach than Alaska Air (an inch or two).
Anchorage-San Francisco: Alaska Air is fussing over all things California lately. The airline absorbed a gob of planes and routes from Virgin America, including plenty of trans-continental flights from San Francisco. So, they’re building a bigger lounge there and retrofitting Virgin’s Airbus planes with spiffy new interiors.
Delta offers the cheaper fares from Anchorage, though. Starting Aug. 16, you can fly Delta to San Francisco for $157 one way. Return flights cost $159 one way through Sept. 15. On average, Alaska’s flights are just $9-$10 more each way, though. Important: These fares on Alaska and Delta are “Basic Economy” and it’s $45 each way to get better seats and “upgrade” to regular economy. That includes a chance at an upgrade for elite travelers.
Anchorage-Los Angeles: Even though both Alaska Air and American offer nonstop flights from Anchorage, it’s United that floats to the top on the low-fare graph. The one-way fares start at $156, with a stop in San Francisco. It’s extra to bring your wheeled carry-on aboard. And there’s less legroom. The cheap flights start on July 10 and continue through Sept. 15. After Sept. 2, United’s nonstops to San Francisco stop — and the airline will route you through Denver.
Anchorage-Chicago: Both Alaska and United fly nonstop between Anchorage and Chicago during the summer. It’s a little sporadic during the rest of the year. Fly Alaska Air between Sept. 21-Nov. 2 for $198 one-way. United flies through Oct. 3 — and they offer the fare on select dates for the same rate (but it’s extra to drag your roll-on suitcase with you).
Anchorage-Boston: Alaska Air offers one-stop flights from Anchorage to Boston for $200 one-way between Sept. 23 and Nov. 2. You can hunt around on Alaska, Delta, United and American and find one-way tickets for as little as $175. But watch out for lousy connections.
Anchorage-Minneapolis/St. Paul: Sun Country Air has the low-fare leader crown for flights to the Twin Cities from Anchorage. If you want to get on a flight right away, you can score a ticket for $199 one way. Checked bags and seat selection are extra. Between June 26 and June 30, you can get a one way ticket for as little as $149 one way. From July 10 to July 29, it’s $159 one way. The return flight is $20 more, $179 one way. The flights are a little cheaper toward the end of August. Delta costs more, but narrows the gap around Sept. 21, with Anchorage-Minneapolis fares starting at $201 one-way.
Anchorage-Denver: I’m always in the hunt for a good deal to Denver. Fly on Delta between Aug. 16 and Sept 14 for $145-$147 each way. This is a great deal with excellent connections via Seattle.
Anchorage-Las Vegas: Sun Country Air has the only nonstops from Anchorage to Las Vegas. And they are cheap. You can fly right away for $149 one way. Bags and seat selection cost extra, of course. If you can hold on until July 10, the fare drops to $128 one way. The cheap return flights start on July 25, for $129 one way Las Vegas-Anchorage. Sun Country flies the route through Sept. 2.
For this article, I researched fares and rules using Google’s IFA Matrix website (matrix.itasoftware.com).
Additionally, I compared fares and schedules using the “Google Flights” website (google.com/flights). Also, I checked the airline websites to confirm schedules, fares and availability.
When I say “fares are subject to change without notice,” it means that fares change all the time. Happy hunting, travelers!