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Cheap flights to
North Carolina

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Flights to North Carolina overview

Going searches for the best fares and sends members deals bookable 1-12 months in advance. Going members save approximately 34% compared to normal flight prices to North Carolina.

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Best month to fly

Going found the most deals with travel dates in April.


Worst month to fly

Going found the least deals with travel dates in June.


Top tips for finding a cheap flight to North Carolina

Aim for the Goldilocks Window to buy tickets

There isn’t a single day of the week or hour in the day when airline tickets are inexplicably cheaper, but over years of tracking airfare all over the world, we’ve found there is something of a sweet spot before every flight when you’re most apt to get the best deal on a ticket. It’s about 1-3 months before a domestic flight and 2-8 months before an international one, a period we call the Goldilocks Window.

While this is the best time for deals for most trips, it’s not true for all trips. If you’re planning to fly during the high tourist season, for instance, or you don’t have flexibility with your actual travel dates, you should plan to add a few months to the equation. Hoping to fly home for Thanksgiving this year? Start looking at fares in June or July. And, no matter when you’re flying, be sure to book before the airlines raise prices as the departure date gets closer—this usually happens 21, 14, and 7 days before takeoff.

Try the Greek Islands Trick

In a perfect world, we’d all love to find that the best deal on airfare is also the one with a direct flight from the airport near you to one that’s right where you want to end up. We all know this doesn’t always happen, though, so you may need to get creative. One of our favorite creative hacks is what we call the Greek Islands Trick, which isn’t limited to just Greece or even just islands. The gist is that you’d find the cheapest flight you can that gets close to where you want to be and then find another mode of transportation to make up the difference—which might be another flight, but it also might be a train trip or a scenic drive.

If you’re looking at flights to Charlotte, North Carolina’s biggest airport, you might think a connecting flight from Los Angeles that costs around $350 roundtrip is a pretty good deal. But the daily flight schedule at Charlotte pales in comparison to that of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL), which is less than four hours from Charlotte by car. You may find a nonstop flight from LAX to Atlanta for around $200 roundtrip, so it’s always a good idea to look around at other airports in the area before you click the buy button. And yes, this kind of multi-step itinerary may take a bit more planning on your part, but sometimes the savings are worth it.

Check the fares from multiple departure airports

Travelers who live near more than one big airport are likely already used to checking the fares from multiple departure airports whenever they’re planning a trip. But this is a habit everyone should get into, regardless of how close an airport is to where you live. We see amazing deals on flights from airports all over the place, big and small, and sometimes the fares are so cheap that you’ll save money even if you add a second roundtrip flight to get from your home airport.

Take, for example, North Carolina’s busiest airport in Charlotte. You might find a roundtrip fare from Minneapolis for a little under $300, but if you zoom out on the map a bit, you might notice a $150 roundtrip fare from Chicago. Cutting the cost of your ticket in half may make the road trip from the Twin Cities to Chicago an easy choice.

Try to be as flexible as possible with travel plans

Flexibility is one of the best ways to save money on a trip. By avoiding the high season, you can often save hundreds on airfare alone. The high season is popular for many reasons, not least that it’s when kids are out of school, but there are a few other ways to be flexible with your planning that may save you a little bit of money.

If your trip has to be in the summer, try to plan it for the first two weeks of June or the last two weeks of August, which are sometimes the cheapest times to fly in this peak season. You should also try to schedule your flights on the days that are usually the cheapest: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The most expensive days to fly are usually Fridays and Sundays, so avoid those if possible.

Sign up for alerts for specific flights

Put the power of technology to work for you so you don’t need to spend countless hours scouring the internet for deals on airfare. Sign up for fare alerts for whatever itinerary you’re looking at, and you’ll get an email when the cost of the ticket has dropped. You’ll need to set up a separate alert for each itinerary, so keep that in mind if you’re considering multiple dates or destinations. Alternatively, you can sign up with Going and let us do all the searching for you.

North Carolina’s biggest and busiest airport is Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). It’s a hub for American Airlines, which operates the most daily flights in and out of Charlotte by a wide margin. There are 12 other airlines that also have direct service to Charlotte, which has nonstop flights from 144 airports in the US and 25 airports in other countries.

Frequently asked questions about flying to North Carolina

When is high season in North Carolina?

North Carolina’s peak season is the same as most of the United States. The summer months of June-August, especially at the state’s beaches, are the busiest tourism of the year. This is also the most popular season for many of North Carolina’s other outdoor activities, like hiking or camping in the mountains. There’s another little spike in tourism in the fall (which usually starts around the end of September or early October) when the leaves are changing color—the Blue Ridge Parkway during the “leaf-peeping” season can be pretty crowded.

Outdoor pursuits aside, summer is also when some favorite North Carolina events and festivals take place—including the North Carolina Bluegrass Festival in Marion, Ocean City Jazz Festival in Topsail Beach, and the Mountain Artisans Summertime Arts and Crafts Show in Cullowhee.

When is the best time to visit North Carolina?

In many cases, the best time to be in North Carolina is also peak tourist season: summer. The temperature in June-August along the shore and in the mountains is pleasantly warm but not usually as hot as it can get inland.

If your itinerary isn’t entirely about beaches and mountains, the weather in spring (March-April) and fall (September-October) are a bit more moderate than the peak heat of summer. Most of the fall isn’t considered high season, but when the leaves are at the height of their autumn color, both crowds and prices increase.

How many airports are there in North Carolina?

There are 11 commercial airports in North Carolina. The biggest is Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), which serves more than 22 million passengers each year. Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is a distant second, followed by Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro. We routinely find deals to each of these three airports, as well as to Asheville (AVL) and Wilmington (ILM), to a lesser degree.

Which city in North Carolina is the easiest to get to?

With the airport with the most passenger traffic in the state, Charlotte is by far the easiest city to get to in North Carolina. There are more than 140 nonstop flights to Charlotte from elsewhere in the US Raleigh-Durham has about 60 nonstop domestic flights, and Greensboro has about 15.

What are the rules for traveling with pets to North Carolina?

The regulations about bringing an animal to North Carolina from another state vary a bit depending on the kind of animal it is. Dogs, cats, and ferrets don’t have to come with an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, but you do need to be able to show the animal is current on its rabies vaccinations. You can find out more specific information on this page of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.

If you’re bringing an animal to North Carolina from outside the US, you also need to look at the rules set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Again, the rules vary somewhat by animal but also by country of origin.

How long is the flight to North Carolina?

Since North Carolina is a coastal state, nonstop flight times from different parts of the country can be vastly different. From New York or Chicago, for instance, a flight to Charlotte may take about two hours. From the West Coast, it’s more likely to be 4-5.5 hours. And from nearby Atlanta, a flight is around one hour.

A busy airport like Charlotte has a great deal of direct incoming flights each day, but keep in mind that if your itinerary is for a connecting flight, layovers can dramatically increase the length of a travel day. The same may be true if you’re flying into one of the state’s smaller airports, too, where the options for direct flights aren’t as plentiful.

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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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