Southwest and JetBlue aren’t the only discount carriers giving the majors a run for your money. Your fingers might have to do a little extra clicking to find these five carriers, but they all offer fantastic flying experiences, and most include the bells, whistles, leg room, and snacks you expect from the best.
1. Virgin America
Domestic travel deals blossom in sunny California where this airline stands ready to whisk you away with amenities that amaze. Virgin America flights based out of San Francisco and Los Angeles cater to your comfort with leather seats, mood lighting, and seat-back video touch-screens. How far does Virgin go? How many miles are there between LA and Hawaii, New York or Florida? The list goes on, and it all adds up to seven consecutive Readers’ Choice Awards from Conde Nast Traveler.
2. Sun Country
Folks from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area love to brag about this scrappy company. The little airline got everything right when it started out as one of the original low-fare carriers back in 1982. It’s all grown up now, offering cheap domestic travel from the Alaskan wilds to the Floridian coasts. That dedication to serving its very best hasn’t gone unnoticed. Conde Nast Traveler put the carrier on its Top 10 Domestic Airlines list for the last three years in a row.
3. Allegiant Air
Think Vegas, baby. Yes, Sin City serves as the base for one of the cheapest domestic airlines you’ve never heard of. Are you looking for a first-rate flight to a small town? Do you need to land where the majors don’t go? This carrier has your ticket, and it serves big-city hubs too. From online check-in services to an app for all that, Allegiant is a feisty competitor determined to win your loyalty with super-low fares. The airline coordinates with hotels and travel agents to streamline your experience and put leisure back into traveling.
You can’t resist an airline that brags about Bare Fare and Frill Control. Number crunchers think this Florida-based carrier offers the cheapest airfare in the country, but that’s up to you. Spirit bases your ticket price on which perks you pick when you book your reservations. Think of it as bundling with wings. Sure, you can pay a little more for that ultra-wide seat up front, but your wallet might prefer something in the middle. It’s different, but it’s also refreshingly revolutionary to have so many budget-friendly choices.
When you want to save big on your next domestic flight booking and rack up free perks, Mile-High City just might be your ticket. With corporate headquarters in Denver, Frontier goes after your business with the oldest trick in the book: something for almost nothing. Their Early Returns program racks up mileage rewards in a hurry, and you earn even more by staying at their partner hotels. You have to sign up for a membership, but those freebie miles are good for rooms and car rentals too.
These airlines offer some of the cheapest domestic flights available from coast to coast, and they’ll get you just about anywhere in between. They won’t put the majors out of business, but will put some serious stretch back into your travel dollars.