Travel

Nonstop flights are almost always preferable. Here are the best options out of Anchorage.

Is it best to take a nonstop flight when you’re traveling?

In almost every case, the answer is a resounding yes.

Aside from cutting down on travel time, taking a nonstop flight decreases the chances of lost or delayed luggage and of trip interruption because of delayed or canceled connecting flights.

Given the problems with airline cancellations, delays and customer service meltdowns, securing a nonstop flight is one of the best things travelers can do to improve their odds of a successful trip.

More interstate nonstop flights operate during the peak summer travel season, that’s for sure. Some of them are stopping next month. But more of them are remaining throughout the fall or winter — and that means more options for travelers.

Let’s take a look at the nonstops from Anchorage and how long they’ll operate this season. Nonstops are not always the cheapest, though.

Anchorage-Seattle: Both Delta and Alaska operate year-round, nonstop schedules. Plan ahead and get flights for as low as $117 one-way.

Anchorage-Vancouver, British Columbia: Air Canada offers a daily nonstop between Anchorage and Vancouver between now and Sept. 17.

Anchorage-Portland: Alaska Air offers a single nonstop flight each day. Prices are super-charged, between $230-$318 one-way in August. Prices cool down starting in late October, for $157 one-way.

If you’re looking for a bargain, fly via Seattle on Delta for $105 one-way, starting Sept. 24.

Anchorage-San Francisco: Both United and Alaska offer a daily nonstop through Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5. The remaining nonstop dates are spendy — between $280 and $370 one-way.

Flying to San Francisco via Seattle costs less, starting around Sept. 21. The fare to San Francisco drops to $180 one-way on Delta. Or, fly Delta to nearby San Jose for $140 one-way, starting Sept. 24.

Anchorage-Los Angeles/LAX: Alaska Air offers a daily red-eye nonstop from Anchorage, departing at 11:45 p.m., arriving the next morning at 6 a.m. The cost is between $368 and $499 one-way through Sept. 6. After that, Alaska drops back to three to five flights a week. Prices drop, too, to around $288 one-way.

But it’s still cheaper to stop along the way. Starting Sept. 24, fly Delta from Anchorage to L.A. for $178 one-way via Seattle.

[Airfares are creeping down slowly, but late-season cruises for Alaska residents are still a great value]

Anchorage-Las Vegas: Alaska Air flies twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays. Prices range from $228-$518 one-way.

Even if you take a connecting flight, prices from Anchorage to Las Vegas are high until late September. Starting on Sept. 24 you can fly on Delta for $147 one-way.

Anchorage-Phoenix: Alaska Air is flying four times each week, nonstop. Prices range from $248-$468 one-way through Sept. 23. Then, prices go up and down until Thanksgiving, when Alaska starts flying the route every day. Prices still vary each day, but they’re as low as $181 one-way.

More Anchorage-Phoenix seats are available from Sept. 25 on Delta for $180 one-way, via Seattle.

Anchorage-Salt Lake City: Delta flies a nonstop each day through Sept. 11. Alaska Air flies nonstop on Saturdays through Sept. 3. The nonstops are very expensive, between $307 and $507 one-way.

Delta returns on Nov. 6, offering four nonstops a week, priced from $267 one-way.

Travelers can save a little, but not a lot, by changing planes in Seattle. Fares start to drop a little bit in late September, to $230 one-way on Delta.

Remember: all fares are subject to change without notice.

Anchorage-Denver: United flies nonstop year-round to its hub in Denver from Anchorage. Alaska Air flies through Sept. 5. Fares are high, between $268 and $398 one-way.

It’s cheaper to stop and change planes in Seattle. Delta charges $185 one-way, starting on Sept. 24.

Anchorage-Houston: There’s nothing cheap about the United Air Anchorage-Houston nonstop. It only operates through Sept. 5 and runs about $417 one-way.

Anchorage-Dallas: American Air is flying nonstop each day — and it also costs a fortune, between $420-$548 one-way through Sept. 24. But American has scheduled the daily nonstop flight all the way through to Jan. 2, 2023. There are quite a few dates between Oct. 7 and Dec. 13 when seats are available for $188 one-way.

Anchorage-Chicago: Three airlines are flying nonstop Anchorage-Chicago — American, United and Alaska. And they’re all expensive, between $250 and $798 one-way. It’s not until late October when fares come down to around $160 one-way. But it’s just for a few days.

More dates are available on either Delta or United for around $168 one-way when travelers change planes along the way.

Anchorage-Minneapolis: This is another route where three airlines fly nonstop: Delta, Alaska and Sun Country. Fares are high, though, typically around $300 one-way. Sun Country ends on Sept. 3 and Alaska’s last flight is Sept. 17.

Changing planes to Minneapolis saves you a little, but not a lot. It wasn’t until Oct. 29 that I could find a $175 one-way fare on Alaska Air. On that date, Delta’s nonstop costs $297 one-way.

Anchorage-Newark: United flies this nonstop in the summer, through Sept. 5. Prices range from $520 to $954 one-way.

Changing planes will save you a lot of money on this route. Fly Delta to New York’s JFK airport for $230 one-way, starting Sept. 24.

Anchorage-Atlanta: Usually this is a summer-only route route with Delta. But this year the airline has scheduled five flights per week through the fall and winter. It’s not cheap, though. In late August, the cheapest tickets are $547 one-way. On Oct. 6, the rate goes down to $497 one-way.

Delta flies a Boeing 767 between Anchorage and Atlanta. It’s the only domestic route from Anchorage featuring lie-flat seats in First Class, or “Delta One.” The cost? $1,270 one-way.

It’s definitely cheaper to change planes flying to Atlanta. Fares start at $291 one-way on Delta, starting Aug. 26.

There are two routes where nonstops are a real plus: to Hawaii and to Europe.

Alaska Air will bring back Anchorage-Honolulu flights mid-November. Flights to Maui and Kona will start mid-December. Around Jan. 4, 2023, the prices to all three airport will start at $198 one-way.

Condor’s last flight to Frankfurt is Sept. 24. Eurowings’ service ends on Sept. 1. The least-expensive flight on Condor in September cost more than $800 roundtrip.

Will your nonstop flight be the cheapest option? Maybe not. But if you’ve got the money, it might be the best choice.

Scott McMurren

Scott McMurren is an Anchorage-based marketing consultant, serving clients in the transportation, hospitality, media and specialty destination sectors, among others. Contact him by email at zoom907@me.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@alaskatravelGRM) and alaskatravelgram.com. For more information, visit alaskatravelgram.com/about.

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