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The Cheapest Places to Fly in the US



December 13, 2023

5 min read

Table of Contents

At Going, the mission we undertake every day is to help our members get amazing cheap flight deals, no matter where they want to go. 

When it comes to deals to destinations within the US, we typically save our members around $200 per ticket, and we have high standards to ensure our members only get the best deals. We don’t send out alerts about flights on airlines like Spirit or Frontier, for example, or flights with multiple layovers or super short notice. 

We send deals to destinations around the US, but the fact remains that some destinations see more deals than others thanks to a number of factors, including the number of airlines serving the area and the amount of competition on various routes to and from that city.

To determine which metro areas in the US are among the cheapest to reach right now, we looked at spots with a population of at least 300,000 people and collected data on how many economy class deals to airports in those cities we sent to Going Premium members in the previous year. 

If you’re looking to visit one of the cities on our "best" list, you’ve got an excellent chance of scoring an amazing deal. But if you want to visit a city not on this list, don’t worry. We still find deals to out-of-the-way spots across the US. We even found an average of one deal per month to small airports like Missoula, Knoxville, Key West, and Tucson. 

The places that see the most frequent deals have a few things in common: They’re major leisure destinations with large airports (or multiple airports) that are served by many airlines and have a lot of competition, which helps keep prices low. 

Even the 10th best airport on our list saw deals to the destination about once per week, on average in the last year. Eagle-eyed readers may also notice that the lowest price sent is the same among a few destinations. That’s because some of our lowest prices were found in large nationwide deals with the same fare to multiple destinations. 

Here are the cities we sent the most deals to in the previous 12 months. 

10. Denver, Colorado

The second-largest airport in the world by land area, Denver is also one of the busiest airports in the US. It has 25 airlines serving 215 destinations, including more than 130 destinations in the US, and it’s a hub for United. With so many available routes to Denver, you can get there from just about anywhere in the US, including many smaller airports, on a direct flight that won’t break the bank. 

Number of deals in the last year: 51

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to Denver:

  • Santa Barbara to Denver for $150 roundtrip
  • Wichita to Denver for $120 roundtrip
  • Nashville to Denver for $178 roundtrip 

>> See cheap flights to Denver

9. Orlando, Florida


Orlando’s MCO is Florida’s busiest airport, and this year it unseated Tampa for the Florida destination with the second-largest amount of deals found by Going. It’s a hub for Silver Airways, a focus city for JetBlue, and an operating base for Southwest and Avelo, among others. There are direct flights to Orlando from more than 70 cities all over the US, so it’s easy—and typically pretty inexpensive—to get here from all corners of the country. 

Number of deals in the last year: 62

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to Orlando:

  • Salt Lake City nonstop to Orlando for $158 roundtrip 
  • Phoenix nonstop to Orlando for $168 roundtrip
  • Colorado Springs nonstop to Orlando for $98 roundtrip 

>> See cheap flights to Orlando

8. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is the busiest US airport that doesn’t operate as a hub for Delta, United, or American. But, Vegas still has a lot of competition, helping keep prices down. 

It does serve as a base for Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country, and Spirit Airlines (we send our members deals on Southwest but not the others), plus JSX with 15 domestic carriers in total offering direct flights to Sin City from a whopping 136 cities across the US. In the last six months, we found an average of five deals per month from US cities to Las Vegas. 

Number of deals in the last year: 62

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to Las Vegas:

  • San Francisco to Las Vegas for $98 roundtrip
  • Bozeman to Las Vegas for $198 roundtrip
  • Salt Lake City to Las Vegas for $138 roundtrip 

>> See cheap flights to Las Vegas

7. Chicago, Illinois


For anyone who has flown through Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD), it may not be a surprise that it’s one of the busiest airports in the world (fourth busiest by passenger traffic). It’s a hub for both United and American and a focus city for Spirit Airlines—all together, it’s served by 12 airlines offering direct flights to Chicago from 186 cities in the US. 

Chicago has even more flight options, though, thanks to a second airport, Midway (MDW), which is a focus city for Frontier and Southwest, and offers direct flights to 79 cities on 6 airlines. 

You can get to Chicago from just about anywhere in the US on a direct or one-stop flight, which means whether you’re craving a good old-fashioned Chicago deep-dish pizza or something from one of the city’s many Michelin-starred restaurants, you can be there in just a few hours, and usually for not much money. 

Number of deals in the last year: 67

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to Chicago:

  • DC to Chicago for $98 roundtrip  
  • Miami to Chicago for $80 roundtrip 
  • Denver to Chicago for $128 roundtrip 

>> See cheap flights to Chicago

6. Washington, DC

Washington, DC.

DC has two major airports located within about 25 miles of the city, Reagan (DCA) and Dulles (IAD); there’s also BWI, about 32 miles away. Dulles is the largest and is served by 6 domestic airlines flying direct from 81 cities; it’s a hub for Southern Airways Express and United Airlines. DCA (Reagan) is the smallest but closest to DC and is served by 7 domestic airlines with direct flights from 97 cities; it’s a hub for American. That means that no matter where you are in the US, you can likely get to DC with one stop or less, no matter which airline you prefer or which airport in DC you’d rather fly into. 

Number of deals in the last year: 69

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to DC:

  • Huntsville to DC for $188 roundtrip
  • New Orleans to DC for $168 roundtrip
  • Boston to DC for $88 roundtrip

>> See cheap flights to DC

5. New York metropolitan area, New York

New York.

One of the most popular destinations in the US (and arguably, the world), NYC is associated with two major airports a short jaunt from the city (along with Newark in New Jersey) and in the last 12 months, we sent 73 deals to them. That means, on average (depending on departure airport), a member might have had as many as 6 chances per month to snag a cheap flight to the Big Apple. 

NYC’s busiest airport, JFK, has direct flights from 70 cities in the US and is a hub or focus city for American, Delta, Eastern, and JetBlue. Laguardia (LGA) has direct flights from even more cities (81) and is a hub for American and Delta as well. With so many airlines, routes, and even airport options, there’s a lot of incentive for airlines to keep deals to NYC frequent—and they do. 

Number of deals in the last year: 73

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to New York airports:

  • Houston to NYC for $168 roundtrip
  • Miami to NYC for $98 roundtrip 

>> See cheap flights to NYC

4. Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

The Miami/Fort Lauderdale region of South Florida is another area with two competing airports less than an hour from each other that help keep prices low and deals frequent. 

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) is a hub for Silver Airways and a focus city for Spirit Airlines, JetBlue, and Allegiant. It’s also the main South Florida base for Southwest. In total, 15 domestic airlines serve the airport, and there are direct flights to FLL from 88 US destinations. These help keep deals frequent, and downward pressure from competition at nearby Miami airport helps even more. 

The Miami airport (MIA) has 9 domestic airlines serving it. It’s a hub for American Airlines (it’s their third-largest hub) and a focus city for Frontier Airlines and Spirit. It’s also the busiest airport in the state by airport operations (second to Orlando by passenger traffic). In all, there are nonstop domestic routes from 78 airports in just about all corners of the country. 

Between the two airports, we found our members an average o 6 deals per month to South Florida in the last 12 months. 

Number of deals in the last year: 78

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to Fort Lauderdale:

  • San Diego to Fort Lauderdale for $178 roundtrip 
  • Austin to Miami for $98 roundtrip
  • NYC to Fort Lauderdale for $98 roundtrip

>> See cheap flights to Miami

3. San Francisco Bay Area, California

SF Bay Area.

The San Francisco Bay Area has several airports, with two major ones (SFO and OAK) an easy train ride from the city. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is the biggest airport in the Bay Area and behind only LAX as the busiest California airport by passenger traffic. It’s United’s fifth-largest hub and is served by 10 domestic airlines with direct flights from 88 US cities. 

Across the Bay, the smaller Oakland (OAK) airport is only served by 9 domestic airlines and has direct flights from 43 cities, but it’s a focus city for JSX and Southwest. The former offers private-jet style flights around the West Coast, while the latter helps drive prices down across the board, but especially on flights to and from Hawaii. 

Number of deals in the last year: 89

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to San Francisco:

  • NYC to SF for $198 roundtrip
  • Phoenix to SF for $90 roundtrip
  • Seattle to Oakland for $137 roundtrip

>> See cheap flights to San Francisco

2. Greater Los Angeles, California 


With an average of 10 deals per month to LA, the City of Angels is accessible at a good price to just about any traveler in the US. The third-busiest airport in the world and the second-busiest airport in the US, LA’s main airport LAX is served by 14 domestic airlines and offers direct flights from 113 destinations across the US. It’s also a hub or focus city for more airlines than any other airport in the US. It’s a hub for Alaska, American, Delta, and United and a focus city for Jetblue, Allegiant, and Southwest. Additionally, there’s competition from several other airports in the LA area, including in Burbank, Santa Ana, Ontario, and Long Beach. 

And due to all that, LA is consistently one of the cities where we see the most deals. In fact, if you’re looking for a deal to LA, you’ve had an average of 2 chances per week in the last year, depending on your airport. 

Number of deals in the last year: 121

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to Los Angeles:

  • Chicago to LA for $138 roundtrip
  • Albuquerque to LA for $117 roundtrip
  • Las Vegas to Long Beach for $78 roundtrip

>> See cheap flights to LA

1. The Hawaiian islands


Gone are the days when flying to Hawaii for cheap was an unrealistic dream. In recent years, the number of flights has increased (mostly thanks to the addition of Southwest flying to and from the islands), and we’ve seen the number of deals rise accordingly. 

It’s important to note that this increase in affordable flights wasn’t always for the best. In the summer of 2021, Hawaii’s governor asked tourists to stay away, as the island simply couldn’t cope with the number of visitors. While the government of Hawaii has since begun to welcome visitors again and has removed all Covid restrictions, debate remains about whether or not it’s ethical to visit the islands. 

While the Hawaiian islands are only served by 7 domestic airlines offering direct flights from 36 US cities, there’s a lot of competition that helps keep the deals coming on a regular basis. In the last year, we found 209 deals to Hawaii—more than 15 per month—so for those who do feel comfortable going, there is plenty of opportunity to snag a deal. 

Number of deals in the last year: 209

Examples of previous deals we’ve sent to Hawaii airports:

  • Los Angeles to Maui for $155 roundtrip
  • Cincinnati to Honolulu for $366 roundtrip  
  • Phoenix to Hilo for $268 roundtrip

>> See cheap flights to Hawaii

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Published December 13, 2023

Last updated December 21, 2023

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