Flights Out of LA Cheaper, Sort of

Airfare wars have brought down prices, though it depends where or when you fly

For all the attention that's been given this supposed airfare war, you'd think a Los Angeleno would be able to fly somewhere cheaply. Forget that we can't afford the lodging once we get there. It's the journey that matters most, right?

Southwest Airlines, for example, has been boasting about various air fare specials, including "Yes You Can!" fares of $49 to $99, which is great, depending upon where you're going, and when.

I punched up a hypothetical flight to Denver for the weekend of Feb. 27 to March 1 and found a slew of non-stop flights at the Web-Only fare of $59, with departures as late as 8:50 p.m. on Friday. There were even $59 fares available for the return flight that Sunday, though the latest of those was scheduled to depart at 2:20 p.m., hardly late enough to enjoy any of Sunday. The latest return was 9:05 p.m., priced at $98.

The same weekend in Seattle had departure and return flights as low as $69, but Portland came in at $99 each way.

Logic? What logic?

Detroit and Chicago were even more -- $143 and up each way -- but, really, who wants to go to Detroit or Chicago in February?

Long Island, which is as close as you can get to New York City on Southwest, was $152 and up for the departure and nothing less than $183 on the return.

Sure, San Francisco is cheap at $59 each way but at $120 per person roundtrip it's cheaper to drive. Depending on how much time you're forced to waste waiting in the terminal, The Grapevine can sometimes be quicker.

As for the cheapest of the cheap fares, to get those you must you fly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So, unless you're going to be gone for a matter of hours, or a full week, you won't be seeing any of those on your itinerary.

-- TJ Sullivan

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