The hot weather and infinite amount of pools that define Las Vegas appeal to San Franciscans, especially during summer months when the city is encapsulated in a cloud of fog. The Las Vegas casinos also attract the tech-industry youngsters with lots of money and not enough places to spend it. Plus, the convention capital attracts the startup crowd with thousands of trade shows each year that offer a gathering place for professionals to discuss and share what’s new and next in the industry. As such, Las Vegas beckons San Franciscans whether for a busy work week or an escape from the grind. Here are 10 tips on how to find a cheap ticket and save at least $408 on your next flight to Las Vegas.
Photo by mkoukoullis/Flickr.
The quick flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas makes it very appealing to want to book last minute. However, booking 15 days in advance can save travelers up to $200. Plus, this allows more time to plan out a trip that perfectly coincides with your work schedule. If you do decide to book last-minute though, you'd be best off doing it using Hopper's new app for spontaneous travelers, Flight Tonight. It's available for download now, for free, in the App Store.
Leave on a Tuesday and save up to $61 more than any other day. This is an ideal day to make it to an industry trade show (basically give the Monday a miss). The Vegas fun will also be in full swing in this city that very rarely sleeps. With the famous Cirque du Soleil performances scheduled every night of the week, you’ll also have time to get in a show or two.
Returning on a Wednesday can guarantee up to an additional $87 in your pocket. Of course a Wednesday return makes our earlier recommendation of a Tuesday departure a bit harder, so you’ll either have to choose between the two or stay for seven nights – when your boss asks where you are, just say that Hopper told you to do it!
In between all the poking and tweeting and Instagramming, San Franciscans should take time out of their busy work week to buy a flight to Las Vegas. Travelers can save up to $20 just by purchasing a ticket on a Wednesday. Now that’s something worth writing about on your Facebook wall.
In between all the company holiday parties, San Franciscans may want to get away from it all. December is the ideal month to travel to Las Vegas because visitors can save up to $40 on a ticket. Make it a holiday gift, and someone special will truly appreciate it.
The Bay Area has four major airports — one in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento — all within a couple hours of each other. However, the San Francisco International Airport offers the best deals on flights to Las Vegas, with tickets sometimes up to $200 cheaper. Luckily, SFO is also the most centrally located, making it an easy alternative to the others.
United Airlines has the best fares on direct flights to Las Vegas, with tickets sometimes up to $80 cheaper than Virgin America, the other airline offering direct flights on the route. That savings can be used towards an extra night in Sin City. Who knows how long you’ll want to stay if you’re on a gambling roll.
Airlines offering direct flights from San Francisco to Las Vegas:
- United makes the journey in 1.5 hours for $143 round trip, on average.
- Virgin America makes the journey in 1.5 hours for $143 round trip, on average.
Hopping across the Californian heartlands to the Nevadan desert’s city of fun this year doesn’t have to be costly. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything at all, save a few dollars here and there on taxes and booking charges. That’s because United Airlines are offering their frequent fliers a return ticket on any North American route less than 700 miles in length for just 20,000 air miles, with business class round trips coming in at 50,000.
No matter what time of year you want to fly, or what airline you want to go on, Hopper’s When to Fly and Buy Reports offer one of the most comprehensive breakdowns of air fares from SFO to LAS on the web, collating nearly 60 million round-trip flight searches from a whole cascade of different outlets across the internet. They offer information about demand on the route (calculated by the amount of searches it’s receiving), the cheapest fares going (understood as the price of the lowest 10% of flights sold) and a whole host of other useful statistics.
So you’ve saved your $87 by returning mid-week and stashed an extra $20 aside for the blackjack tables by booking on a Wednesday, but now those sneaky additional charges are threatening to take it all back by adding another $120 for checked baggage. Pre-empt the airlines before you buy this year, using Hopper’s Airline Fee Calculator, to see which offer the cheapest routes including any additional services you may need. For example, those with two checked bags will find JetBlue cheaper overall from SFO to LAS this year, while extra leg room brings American neck-and-neck with United.
While some travelers have found flights from San Francisco to Las Vegas for as low as $98, a good deal on a ticket between the two cities is $156. Mix that price with an oftentimes less than $100 a night room rate at one of the major Vegas resorts, and you can guarantee you’ll have plenty of money leftover to spend on gambling, shows or a thrill ride or two.