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Cheap flights to
New Orleans (MSY)

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Flights to New Orleans (MSY) overview

Going searches for the best fares and sends members deals bookable 1-12 months in advance. Going members save approximately 35% compared to normal flight prices to New Orleans (MSY).

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Best month to fly

Going found the most deals with travel dates in August.


Worst month to fly

Going found the least deals with travel dates in February.


Top tips for finding a cheap flight to New Orleans (MSY)

The just-right time to book a flight

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some known formula for finding the cheapest flight for your travel dates? While that doesn’t exist, we do know the Goldilocks Window gets us pretty close. That’s the term we use for the time period that’s not too far away from your departure date, not too close, but just right. It’s about 1-3 months before a domestic trip, 2-8 months before an international flight.

If you’re booking over a peak travel time (think Christmas holidays, Labor Day weekend, or summer vacation), you’ll want to plan even further ahead. If you’re planning a trip over Christmas, it’s best to start looking for flights in July. Similarly, if you’re planning a mid-summer vacation, start searching in December or January. During peak travel periods, last-minute deals are virtually non-existent, so don’t hold off thinking you might get lucky.

Whenever and wherever you’re traveling, make sure you book before 21 days out. We’ve seen that fares consistently jump 21, 14, and 7 days before departures.

Think outside the map

If you’re hoping to visit New Orleans during a peak season, like during February for Mardi Gras, flights can be very expensive. But before you give up your dreams of reveling on Bourbon Street, consider the Greek Islands Trick.

This is where we search for flights within the vicinity of your desired destination, then figure out the rest from there. For the Greek Islands you can look for flights to London, for example. For New Orleans, search for flights to Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Biloxi, or Houston. From there, you can rent a car to get to New Orleans. It involves more logistics and a bit more work, but it could be worth it if you're then able to splurge on that French Quarter room with a balcony overlooking the festivities.

Consider departing farther from home

If you live in Philadelphia, you’ve probably considered flying out of PIttsburgh. But what about Boston, or New York? We see flight deals from all over the country to New Orleans, sometimes at shockingly low prices. If you see a great deal from New York to New Orleans, it could be worth driving, taking the train, or taking a short flight to New York.

Avoid peak travel periods

It’s no secret that summer is a busy travel period. School’s out, and warm weather makes for happy al fresco dining and begs for beach trips. Of course, this also means that it’s one of the most expensive times to travel. If lots of people want to travel at the same time, airlines can charge more for fares.

If you can be flexible with your travel dates and travel during shoulder season, you’ll likely find cheaper flights. The first two weeks of June and the last two weeks of August are the least expensive times to fly during summer, but you can find even cheaper flights if you can travel in the spring or fall. Go to traditionally “warm weather” destinations in the winter and winter destinations in the summer to really get away from the crowds and find deals.

Of course, people like traveling or have to travel during peak periods for a reason. If you can’t avoid it, try to find flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays, which are the cheapest days to fly. Fridays and Sundays are the most expensive.

Set alerts for your travel dates

Set a flight alert to track prices to New Orleans. Tracking airfare on your own is time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating. But if you set an alert for your itinerary, you’ll get an email when the fare dips to your target price range. We recommend doing this far in advance, before the Goldilocks Window. If your dates are flexible, set up several alerts for different dates, or join Going, and we’ll monitor prices for you.

New Orleans is not a very busy airport. It’s the 37th busiest in the US and serves about 6 million passengers per year. Yet it’s well connected to the rest of the US. Most major airlines offer direct flights to New Orleans, and you can find nonstop flights from nearly 100 US cities.

Frequently asked questions about flying to New Orleans (MSY)

What is the airport code for New Orleans International Airport?

The airport code for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is MSY.

When is high season in New Orleans?

The most popular time to visit New Orleans is, unsurprisingly, during Mardi Gras. Celebrations last the entire month of February, though the weekend before Fat Tuesday is generally the busiest. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a major two-weekend music festival, is also a very busy time to visit. The dates vary each year but are usually in late April or early May. In general, October through May, when it’s cooler, is a popular time to visit.

When is the best time to visit New Orleans?

The best time to visit New Orleans is from October through May when sweltering temperatures have cooled, and the humidity has backed off a bit. If you’re hoping for warm weather, early fall or late spring are best. But New Orleans never really gets that cold, with daytime temperatures in the mid-60s even in January.

Mardi Gras, which, contrary to belief outside of Louisiana, is a month-long celebration, not a weekend celebration, is an extremely popular time to visit. It’s extremely fun but also crowded, so whether that’s a good time to visit is up to your personal preference and chaos tolerance. Jazz Fest, in late spring, is less chaotic but still crowded. If you like jazz or soul music (in 2022 headliners included not only famous jazz bands but artists like Ed Sheeran), it’s an amazing time to visit.

Summer, particularly July and August, are the least busy and cheapest months to visit. If you visit during those months, you’ll find plenty of hotel rooms and few crowds, but it will likely be extremely hot. If your plans include lots of walking or time outdoors, this is not the time to visit. In summer 2023, the city hit record temperature highs and Louisiana was in a state of emergency for much of August.

Does New Orleans International Airport have its own on-site hotel?

There is no on-site hotel at New Orleans International Airport. However, there are hotels from most major chains within a few miles. Most airport hotels offer shuttle service to and from the airport.

Hilton New Orleans Airport: Amenities include a fitness center and buffet breakfast. Rooms start at around $140 per night.

La Quinta Inn & Suites: Amenities include a fitness center, free breakfast and an outdoor pool. Rooms start at around $60 per night.

Best Western Plus New Orleans Airport Hotel: Amenities include breakfast, a pool and a fitness center. Rooms start at around $90 per night.

Holiday Inn New Orleans Airport: Amenities include a pool and onsite restaurant. Rooms start at around $120 per night.

What lounges are available at New Orleans International Airport?

There are three lounges available at New Orleans International Airport.

Concourse B: The Club MSY is located adjacent to the entrance of Concourse B. Concourse C: Delta Sky Club is located adjacent to the entrance of Concourse C. Concourse C: The United Lounge is in Concourse C near gate C5.

The Club MSY has Wifi, workstations, televisions, and screens with flight info. It has a small buffet as well as digital food ordering, and a full-service bar. Access is available on Priority Pass or can be booked up to six hours ahead of time on the lounge’s website for $50.

Delta Sky Club features local artwork and food inspired by New Orleans, including gumbo, muffulettas, and oysters. There is also a full-service bar. Every seat has a power outlet, and there are TVs and free WiFi. The lounge is available for Delta Sky Club members, as well as those with Delta Elite status and Delta credit card holders.

The United Club offers a full-service bar, light snack options, and free WiFi. Access is free for United Club members, travelers flying first or business class on United or its Star Alliance partners, United Club Infinite cardholders, and some elite-status United or Star Alliance frequent flyers. Day Passes are also available for $59.

What are the rules for traveling with pets to New Orleans International Airport?

Pets traveling through TSA at New Orleans International Airport must be kept in carriers. There are two pet relief areas at the airport, one before security and one after. If you are sending your pet to or from the airport but not traveling with it, take it to the cargo facility at 5 W Access Rd. in Kenner, Louisiana.

If you are traveling to New Orleans from another country, you must follow the rules set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Those rules vary depending on the type of animal you have. In general, though, pets are required to have certain vaccinations and other documentation. Note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a temporary suspension for dogs entering the US from high-risk countries for dog rabies, effective through July 31, 2024.

How far is New Orleans International Airport to New Orleans?

MSY is about 15 miles from downtown New Orleans or about a 25-minute drive.

What are the transportation options for getting from New Orleans International Airport to New Orleans?

Taxi or rideshare is by far the most popular way to reach the French Quarter or downtown New Orleans from the airport. The drive will take 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic, and will cost about $35.

There are two bus service options from the airport to downtown. The Jefferson Transit Authority bus departs from Level 1 Baggage Claim outside Door 2 of the airport. It costs $2 (cash only) and takes about 50 minutes to reach downtown New Orleans. The Regional Transit Authority Airport Express costs $1.25 and drops off at two different downtown locations: Elk Place at Cleveland and the Union Passenger Bus Terminal. This option takes about 45 minutes.

How long is the flight to New Orleans?

The flight to New Orleans depends on where in the US you’re coming from. From New York City, it takes three hours and 15 minutes, whereas elsewhere on the East Coast, it could take anywhere from 1.5–4 hours. If you’re coming from the Midwest, it will also take around 2-3 hours, depending on your departure city.

The quickest flights are from other major cities in the South, like Miami, Atlanta, Houston, or Dallas. Flights from those cities take about 1-1.5 hours or in some cases, less than an hour. Flying from California or the Northwest takes the longest, from 4-5 hours, depending on the city.

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* Prices are per person and include all taxes & fees in USD. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing, however, prices are not guaranteed, as airline pricing can change by the minute. Average Going fares are based on average prices of deals found by Going.

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