If you want to become a world traveler, you are going to have to take a flight or two (or three, depending on how many connections it takes to get where you're going). This doesn't have to be a big, expensive ordeal, though. Not every airline charges an arm and a leg for a seat, and you don't always have to sacrifice comfort to get a bargain. Here are six of the top U.S. airlines for cheap flights.
If Spirit Airlines' incredibly low fares don't get you in the spirit for traveling, I don't know what will. According to a study conducted by Rome2Rio, flights on this airline average out to around 20.9 cents per mile. Upcoming 2019 Spring Break fares for Spirit Airlines start at just $25.99, making travel possible for even those on a very tight budget. The only drawback is that this is a budget airline, meaning that if you want snacks or other amenities on the flight, you have to pay extra for them.
Hawaiian Airlines is the biggest airline in Hawaii, but that doesn't mean it is the most expensive. Flights booked through this airline had a 91 percent on-time rating in 2017, making the airline one of the most dependable low-cost carriers in the United States. To make it even better, Hawaiian Airlines offers non-stop service to beautiful Hawaii from multiple airports in North America, Asia and the South Pacific. It also offers domestic flights to every major Hawaiian island.
JetBlue Airways might be a budget airline, but unlike other low-cost companies, it doesn't make you pay extra for Wi-Fi and snacks. JetBlue also provides passengers with free DirecTV during flights, as well as comfortable, roomy seats. The average round-trip domestic flight costs around $159, thanks to recent discounts in the Northeast and Florida routes. You can actually even earn money on future flights too by signing up for their rewards program or bundling flights, making JetBlue one of the best deals out there.
Southwest is another very popular airline, but many people don't realize that it is also a low-cost airline. One of the biggest benefits of flying Southwest is that the airline doesn't charge you if you have to change your flight (something that could lose you a lot of money on some other major airlines). While most other airlines only allow you one checked bag without fees, Southwest lets you check two bags for free as well. This generosity makes Southwest Airlines one of the highest-rated by customers, even if you do tend to have to race to pick the seats you want, since they are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Delta Airlines is another big name in the airline game, but it is also one of the cheapest airlines to fly now thanks to its "basic economy" class seats. According to Money.com, the past couple of years have seen Delta Airlines round-trip ticket prices drop around 17 percent, from $269 to $238 between 2016 and 2017. Most flights also offer free in-flight entertainment and reward miles that you can put toward future trips.
Last but not least is Alaska Airlines. This airline sees some amazingly deep discounts that are handed out via periodic "flash sales," during which ticket prices drop as low as $34 to $39. In spite of the name, this airline is based in Seattle, not Alaska, and offers 1,200 flights daily to more than 115 destinations in the United States and surrounding areas, including Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica.