Las Vegas was designed for big spenders — so why not save a bit on the flight there? Though Sin City is a year-round tourist destination with frequent flights, good deals can still be found by savvy travelers.
There's really no better way to find cheap flights than to study your route. Set airfare alerts for your trip to Las Vegas (try the farecasting app, Hopper), and watch prices on sites like Google Flights and Skyscanner. This will help you familiarize yourself with standard costs — and better recognize a deal when one arrives.
Travelers without rigid travel dates will have the easiest time finding deals on flights to Las Vegas. But even if your trip isn't flexible, you can increase the odds of scoring a deal by watching well in advance of your departure. In a 2014 analysis, Hopper suggested that by booking at least 14 days in advance, travelers could save $200.
If you are flying into Las Vegas, you’re landing at McCarran International Airport, which is serviced by nearly 30 airlines. Six of those are budget airlines: Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines. Virgin America, which will become Alaska Airlines by 2019, also flies into and out of McCarran.
Low-cost carriers are a great place to start when looking for a cheap flight to Vegas. But because so many airlines support such a large number of routes into McCarran, it’s worth casting a wide net. You may find a better deal with a traditional carrier (and avoid the ancillary fees for seat assignments and checked bags that budget airlines are notorious for charging).
Where to Find a Good Deal
You’ve got to compare prices if you want to find the best deal. Travel search engines such as Google Flights, KAYAK, Skyscanner, and Momondo are great places to begin. Some airlines, however — most notably Southwest Airlines — don’t share pricing data, and as a result, won’t show up in travel search engine results. Check those fares on the individual airline websites before booking a ticket.
When to Buy
Cheap flights to Las Vegas can be found any time of year. Because Las Vegas is a popular destination year round, however, there’s no real off-season during which a traveler might reliably find a great deal.
Instead of looking for shoulder or off-season deals, travelers should follow the general rules of thumb for finding affordable airfare: don’t buy your plane ticket last minute (really, you should shop at least two weeks in advance), and fly on days of the week that are typically in lower demand (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays).
Las Vegas is also particularly busy around New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day, so expect prices — both flights as well as hotels — to be higher. If you do plan to travel to Las Vegas during one of these peak times, booking a flight and hotel deal well ahead of time is even more important. As is shopping around.