The cost of air travel has skyrocketed in recent years. Many travelers feel they have to choose between spending a fortune and staying at home. But it doesn't have to be this way. You can save on air travel by flying with cheap airlines or getting low-priced tickets.
With soaring inflation, airline ticket prices have jumped 25%. Most people think the popular and more expensive airlines are the safest and most reliable, but not everyone can afford that luxury.
Each airline has its own rules and regulation. If you're a budget-savvy traveler, you know every dollar counts. Very few people enjoy splurging on flights. Most prefer to pay more for food, hotels, and experience.
Ready to get on a plane with your bucket list and go on an adventure? Below are the cheapest airlines for your next trip!
The Cheapest Airlines to Fly
Southwest is one of the most popular low-cost carriers in the United States. The airline offers flights to different parts of the country and beyond the shores of America. Nearly half of Americans (49%) have an enjoyable experience with Southwest, making it the most popular airline brand.
What makes Southwest Airlines stand out is its customer service. Their employees are known for being friendly and helpful, which makes flying with them a pleasant experience. You will also enjoy free inflight entertainment and appetizers.
What people love about Southwest Airlines is that they don't charge extra fees for things like baggage or seat selection. Everyone loves to save money, especially when traveling with a family or group. There's also a low-fare calendar on the airline's website, so you can easily find the cheapest flights.
Finally, the Southwest Rapid Rewards program rewards points for every dollar you spend. You can redeem these points for free flights, hotel stays, and more.
Spirit Airlines is a go-to carrier for anyone who wants to travel on a budget. The airline offers flights to over 50 destinations in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. As the seventh largest airline in America, you can trust that you're in good hands when flying with Spirit.
As a low-cost carrier, you can travel with Spirit for a reasonable price, just don't expect luxury service. You might also encounter some minor problems like uncomfortable seats. If you want extra perks, you may have to pay extra for them: food, carry-on luggage, and seat selection.
But, the overall costs are still lower than what you would pay at other airlines. And you don't have to pay for the extras if you're only interested in getting from Point A to Point B. You can also join the Spirit Saver$ Club, which gives you access to their lowest fares, saving you $160 per year on average.
This Club membership gives you and eight guests low flight prices, discounts on luggage, shortcut security, shortcut boarding, and seats. You also enjoy benefits with Spirit's partners for $69.95 annually.
JetBlue is an airline based in New York City that flies to over 100 destinations across the United States, South America, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean. The airline has a reputation for its comfortable seats, friendly crew, and inflight entertainment options.
You can confidently choose JetBlue Airways if you want a comfortable flight with complimentary snacks and drinks and top-notch customer service. And all of this comes at a relatively low price. To get the lowest prices, you must opt for their Blue or Blue Basic programs featuring low-priced tickets, free WiFi, and seat-back entertainment.
While the Blue Basic program seems great, it doesn't offer many amenities and extras. Be prepared to pay fees for additional carry-on luggage and bag checks starting at $35. You also won't have access to advance seat selection. But this could be the cheapest option if you're traveling light or couldn't care less about seat selection.
4. Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air (formerly Westjet Express) is a low-cost airline that offers flights to popular vacation destinations. The airline is known for its ultra-low fares, which can save you a lot of money if you're willing to forego some of the standard amenities that come with flying.
The Nevada-based airline currently flies to over 140 destinations across the United States. Some of its operating bases include:
Grand Rapids, MI (GRR)
Nashville, TN (BNA)
Bellingham, WA (BLI)
Des Moines, IA (DSM)
Fort Walton Beach, FL (VPS)
Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL)
Like some airlines on this list, Allegiant Air boasts incredibly low-priced tickets, but that doesn't include all of the extras. You have to pay to choose a seat, carry-on luggage, checked bags, and in-flight entertainment.
The overall cost of your flight will be cheaper than most other airlines, even with these extra costs. But if you want to score cheaper airfares, participate in Allegiant Air's frequent flyer program – Allways Rewards.
It is free to join the Allways Rewards program, and you can start earning points towards free Allegiant travel as soon as you sign up.
5. Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines is a major American airline based in Seattle, Washington. They fly to over 100 destinations across the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico. With an award collection for top-quality service, you can be sure to enjoy your flight on Alaska Airlines.
Although Alaska Airlines is one of the cheapest airlines, you can get lower prices with their loyalty program, Mileage Plan. With this plan, you can earn and redeem miles on flights with Alaska Airlines and their partners, which include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Fiji Airways, and more.
You don't need to be a frequent flyer to join the Mileage Plan program; it is free to sign up. Start earning rewards immediately from their award-winning loyalty program (Nerdwallet Best-of Awards 2021).
If you want a constant flow of information about their lowest fares, consider signing up for Alaska Airlines' email list to get updates on their cheapest flights.
6. Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines is the largest airline in Hawaii, and it flies to over 28 destinations across the Pacific Ocean, North America, and Asia. The airline is revered for its expansive network, award-winning service, and on-time arrivals.
Prices for flights on Hawaiian Airlines are generally lower than other airlines flying to similar destinations. And you can get better flight fares through the HawaiianMiles program, which is not based on how much you spend but on how much you fly. You can redeem your HawaiinMiles anytime because they never expire, and you can choose any seat in the main cabin.
Wait, there's more! The Hawaiian Airlines Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard gives you 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days. Here's the best part – you pay a $0 fee for the first year – and $99 for the following year.
Asides from Hawaii Airlines' cheap fares, you will have peace of mind flying with them as they've never had an accident since they first took to the skies back in 1929.
7. United Airlines
United Airlines is one of the biggest carriers in the world, with a vast network of flights to hundreds of destinations across the globe. It is headquartered in Chicago and has a good reputation for its inflight services.
This airline offers low-cost flights, and you can get cheaper tickets when you book your flight early. United releases their cheapest seats about 11 months before the departure date, and the prices gradually increase as the date gets closer.
United Airlines' loyalty program is United MileagePlus. If you're a United MileagePlus loyalty program member, you enjoy perks such as free checked bags, priority boarding, and more. You can redeem your miles for flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and experiences. The best part is that the United MileagePlus program has no annual fee.
Asides from that, you will get lower prices on United Airlines when you purchase their cheapest fare option – Basic Economy. That is their lowest-priced airfare, but it comes with some restrictions, such as being unable to choose a seat or bring a carry-on bag (depending on your destination).
8. American Airlines
American Airlines is another large airline in the United States with a vast domestic and international flight network. The airline's headquarters are in Fort Worth, Texas.
American Airlines offers low fares for domestic and international flights. You can get cheaper tickets when you book your flight early. If you want to save even more money on American Airlines, become a member of their loyalty program, AAdvantage.
As a member, you can earn and redeem miles on flights with American Airlines and its partners. You can also transfer your miles to your friends and family.
American Airlines allows you to use your miles for:
- Car rentals, hotels, and vacations
- Flights to over 1000 destinations worldwide
- Other retail products
The AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard also gives you access to more bonus offers, so feel free to get that too. It's free for the first year.
Ready to Fly
So there you have it! Those are the cheapest airlines to fly to your destination. If you plan a future trip, always check for early-bird specials, flight deals, and travel deals when booking your flight, and you can take advantage of loyalty programs to get the best deal. And don't forget to compare airfares before you book! By doing so, you can save more money in the long run.
This article was produced by Wealth of Geeks.
Cindy started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, so she decided to venture out. She took action and decided to learn how to save, budget, and invest while helping others along the way.