Summer travel season is heating up and that can lead to fluctuating airfare prices

The summer travel season is heating up, but airfares to select destinations from Anchorage are cooling off.

There are several reasons why fares could go down in the middle of peak season, but there’s one overriding consideration: competition. Fares are going down only in those markets where there is more than one airline serving the market.

Airfares change all the time. For example: last week there was great fare between Anchorage and Seattle for $128 one-way for travel through mid-September. The fare was due to expire on Friday, June 7. Will the sale be extended? Maybe ... maybe not. It’s worth checking at

Fares to specific parts of the U.S. and Hawaii are dropping, but they can change at any time. Here are some favorites:

Anchorage-San Francisco. Both Alaska Air and United fly nonstop through the summer, but Alaska Air has better prices: $167 one-way between Aug. 20 and Sept. 30. The nonstop flights to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are much less than tickets to other airports in the Bay Area such as San Jose and Oakland.

Anchorage-Los Angeles (LAX). Again, the nonstop flights are the cheapest. Alaska Air flies each day and the best prices are for travel between Aug. 20 and Nov. 18: $177 each way. Flights to suburban airports like Ontario, Burbank or Long Beach cost more than $200 each way.

Anchorage-Denver. Both Alaska Air and United fly nonstop from Anchorage to the Mile High City. But Alaska’s nonstop only operates through Sept. 15. The best prices ($187 one-way) are available from Aug. 20 to Nov. 19. So if you want to fly nonstop this fall, United is the way to go.


Anchorage-Dallas. American Airlines has the only nonstop from Anchorage to Dallas. They charge a little bit more for it. If you don’t mind stopping along the way, both United and Delta offer rates as low as $418 roundtrip, starting July 22. American charges more: $480 roundtrip, between Aug. 19 and Aug. 29. After that, the fares go up. Then, they come down again to $480 roundtrip starting Oct. 2, through Dec. 18.

American charges much more for a one-way Anchorage-Dallas flight: $350.

Anchorage-Minneapolis. Alaska, Delta and Sun Country all fly nonstop between Anchorage and Minneapolis. But Sun Country is cheaper every day. That’s because they charge a cheap fare and make sure you pay extra for everything, including a regular-size carry-on rolling suitcase. One-way fares from Anchorage start at $177, between June 16 and Sept. 7. Return flights on Sun Country are cheaper in the fall: $121 one-way between Aug. 15 and Sept. 7. Before that, one-way rates are $179. Delta and Alaska are at least $50 more roundtrip.

Anchorage-Chicago. United and Alaska fly nonstop from Anchorage to O’Hare International Airport. American Air also flies the route in the summer, but their rates are not competitive (translated: more expensive). Both Alaska and United offer one-way tickets for as little as $195, between June 27 and Oct. 26.

Anchorage-Detroit. Delta just dropped the price of tickets from Anchorage to Detroit to $199 one-way. Unfortunately, it does not apply to its seasonal nonstop, which ends on Sept. 8. The next day, on Sept. 9, is the first date available at the lower rate (via Seattle).

Anchorage-New York. Two airlines fly nonstop from Anchorage to New York. United flies to Newark and Alaska Air flies to JFK. There does not appear to be a particular pricing advantage to hopping aboard a nonstop flight versus connecting service. But I prefer a nonstop.

Alaska Air charges between $275 and $289 one-way between June 20 and July 18. The nonstop flight is the longest in Alaska’s system.

United charges $285 one-way nonstop from Anchorage to Newark between June 27 and Aug. 29.

Anchorage-Copenhagen. Prices for travel to Europe in the fall are starting to come down. Fly Delta between Anchorage and Copenhagen for $491-531 roundtrip between Aug. 14 and Oct. 15.

Anchorage-Dublin. Fly United from Anchorage to Dublin for $490-$516 roundtrip between Oct. 16 and Dec. 18.

Anchorage-Frankfurt. Condor is flying three times a week from Anchorage to Frankfurt. Prices in economy have slipped to $610-$670 roundtrip between now and July 2. Later in the summer, between July 30 and Sept. 12, fly from $600-$660 roundtrip. Check the Premium Economy prices, too. Between Aug. 20-27, premium seats are priced $429-$479 each way.

Anchorage-Honolulu. Sometimes you have to break a fare at an intermediate gateway like Honolulu to get a good rate. Fly on Alaska Air’s nonstop for $187 one-way between July 7 and Nov. 18.

Combine the Honolulu ticket with another ticket to save money to Australia.

Honolulu-Sydney/Melbourne. Outbound tickets from Honolulu to either Melbourne or Sydney on Jetstar cost between $109-$150 one-way for travel July 26-Sept. 23. That doesn’t include Jetstar’s multitude of extra fees for luggage, meals and pre-assigned seats. Return seats back to Hawaii start at $205 one-way.

The advantage of traveling via Hawaii is that you get to visit the islands on your way across the Pacific. But the disadvantage is you must pay for accommodations for your overnight layover. That may wipe out any cost savings, unless you really want to visit Hawaii on the way ... and on the way back.

Remember: Almost all the fares listed here are Basic Economy or Saver tickets. That means you’ll probably get a middle seat on the plane and fewer frequent flyer miles (if any at all). But when Saver tickets go down, the prices for premium seats on the same flight also are reduced.

Sources:,,‚ Google’s ITA Matrix site, Google Flights.

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 Subscribe to his e-newsletter at For more information, visit