I realize that most people do not connect travel in the United States with cheap. This is especially true if you have been to places like Philippines, Thailand or Cambodia. However, the truth you can still get some pretty cheap flights on airfare.
With that said, I still believe that taking the Amtrak is the better option and of course there is the Greyhound. Many will probably find that using a combination of this actually works best. I have flown to Dallas, took the train to San Antonio and then took the bus to Corpus Christi. In doing this, I took over $150 off my travel.
Here is some tips that I have found to the cheap flights you are looking for.
Flying in Airlines hubs
Every airlines has hubs that they base out of. For American, that is Dallas and Chicago. Southwest uses Dallas as well but also Phoenix and Kansas City. Virgin America is based in San Francisco. JetBlue operates out of New York. Frontier is hubbed in Denver. While there are others these are the main ones you would need to know for cheap flights.
I have found that I could get a flight to one of these hubs and that then grab another flight cheap or even use the bus to get where I wanted to go. It might not be the most comfortable trip but it does work when you are trying to save money.
Stick with major markets
If you are flying into a smaller airport where there is not much competition, you will pay more. To annoy this, stick to flying to the main airports that all the airlines have price wars at. I use to fly out of Nashville instead of Chattanooga for this reason.
It might be a bit of a pain but this will save you a lot of money.
Don’t check your luggage
I know this might not be possible but try to not have checked bags. This is where the airlines really start to make their money. If all you have is carry ons, you will save money.
If you have a lot of stuff to move, you might consider using Amtrak for the luggage and pick it up when you arrive. I was going to Redding and there was a huge cost to take my bags. I ended up shipping over 300 pounds out for about $50 and it was there when I arrived.
What is your tips for Cheap Flights?
As you travel around, what is some things you have found saves you money? Here is some tips for long haul flights with a child and some tips for using Booking.com.
Note: this is a living document that I will come back to and add to it as new tips to save money come up as I travel the nation.