Hitting the slopes for a ski vacation or weekend ski getaway is easier than ever these days with the increased number of airlines offering direct flights to ski resort destinations during the winter. But where to find airline ticket deals to ski resorts? Taking a direct flight to a ski resort can maximize your time on the mountain and ease the burden of winter travel. And, while it isn’t always the most inexpensive option, there are ways you can save money on airline tickets to ski destinations.
Finding the best airline ticket deals to ski resorts
Even the most savvy online shoppers have a tough time finding cheap deals on airfare to ski resort destinations. You can typically find some specials and discounts for lodging and ski gear rentals, but rarely are there any bargains on flights. During the winter months, airfares can be pricey, especially around the holidays. If you know your travel dates far in advance, it is possible to save find deals on airline tickets by purchasing them early, but if you’re looking for a last-minute getaway, you will most likely be looking at a hefty price tag.
The key to saving money on a direct flight to a ski
destination is flexibility. If you are able to adjust your travel dates some,
you will have more options to save money. Mid-week and low-season travel dates
can offer you savings, and booking in advance can keep you from having to pay
inflated costs as the trip nears. Having travel flexibility, booking early, and
using coupons and deals from our website on other travel expenses can help keep
your vacation costs at a minimum.
If you’re planning a ski vacation and want to try flying
directly to the resort, take a look at Google Flights and plug in your travel
dates. This will give you a good starting point for pricing. As you peruse the
internet, you’ll likely to see a wide range of prices. It will take some
diligence and effort to sift through all the information, but in the end you
should be able to score a cheaper flight. Keep notes of the dates and prices,
name of the airline and flight number, so you can reference it later as you
continue to search. Be sure to start
your search, and book your flight, as soon as possible to save money. Pricing
tends to increase as the travel date approaches.
Flash sales and other deals
It can also be useful to visit the airline’s actual website
and check pricing there. Some airlines, like Southwest, don’t circulate its
rates to outside websites like Expedia and Travelocity. You might actually find
the best rate by purchasing directly from the airline. Sometimes there a flash
sales and other deep discounts available, but you have to be ready when they
pop up, because they don’t last for long.
For example: If you’re planning a trip to Lake Tahoe, be
sure to check the rates on Southwest to fly directly to Reno-Tahoe
International Airport, less than an hour from Squaw Valley. More on that in our
“Best Ski Resort Airports” section below.
Online sites like Hopper can also help you look for cheap flights. It uses web data to predict the perfect time to purchase your airline tickets. The website claims it can predict the lowest rate with 95% percent accuracy, and up to one year in the future. Hopper does not actually sell tickets on its site. It merely predicts the best time to buy.
More money-saving tricks
Here are some other tips to save you money on flying to a
ski resort destination:
The best time to find airline ticket deals can often times be in late January and early February. Prices usually go up toward mid-February and peak in mid-March when student vacations and spring break are happening. Late March through the end of the ski season can be cheaper, too. Be sure to check your destination’s ski conditions and closing day when planning a late-season vacation. Some resorts, like Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, can stay open as late as mid-June some years, depending on snowfall. Be sure to look for late-season deals and specials. Some resorts will offer deep discounts for last-minute travel toward the end of the ski season.
Book your air travel about one to two month in advance. That’s typically the best time to buy. Prices begin to rise sharply about two to four week prior to departure. If you’re planning a big vacation over a memorable holiday (like Christmas or New Year’s) or to a popular destination (like Aspen Snowmass for Winter X Games), you may want to secure your travel close to a year in advance. Most people book their normal winter travel plans in August, September or early October.
Be sure to book you ski rentals and lift tickets early as well. Check our website for deals and specials once you have finalized your air travel.
Still can’t find airline ticket deals to your top ski destination? Have a look at some other top ski resorts. There’s so much amazing skiing out there to experience, it won’t be hard to find a great location to rip some fresh powder. Let’s take a look at some suggestions.
Best ski resort airports
Let’s take a closer
look at some top ski resort airports. These are smaller airports that are
usually located right outside of town or the ski resort, or less than an hour
from the ski resort.
The Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is one mile from Buttermilk Mountain, only five miles from downtown Aspen and Aspen Mountain, and only six miles from Snowmass Village. Major airlines servicing Aspen include American, Delta and United, with nonstop flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.
Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is less than 10 miles from the city of Jackson, Wyoming, and only 20 miles from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Major airlines servicing Jackson include American, Delta and United, with direct flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, New York (JFK), Salt Lake City and Seattle.
Telluride Regional Airport (TEX) is only 10 miles from downtown Telluride and the Telluride Ski Resort. The airport is serviced by United Airlines and Boutique Air, with nonstop service from Denver.
Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) is less than 15 miles from Sun Valley Resort in Idaho. Major airlines servicing Friedman Memorial Airport include Alaska Airlines, Delta and United, with nonstop flights from Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle.
Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) is only 10 miles outside of the town of Mammoth Lakes, and about 30 minutes from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Alaska Airlines offers nonstop flights from Los Angeles, while United has seasonal flights from Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) is about a 40-minute drive from both Beaver Creek and Vail, and just an hour from Copper Mountain. Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge and Keystone are a little over one hour away. Major airlines servicing Eagle County include Air Canada, American, Delta and United, with nonstop service from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York (JFK), Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) in Montana is only 40 miles for Bridger Bowl and 50 miles from Big Sky Resort. Major airlines servicing Bozeman include Alaska Airlines, American, Delta and United, with nonstop service from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, New York (LaGuardia), Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle.
Burlington International Airport (BTV) in Vermont is just 50 miles from Stowe Mountain Resort and under an hour to Smugglers’ Notch. Major airlines with nonstop flights to Burlington include American, Delta, jetBlue, Porter and United, with direct flights from Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto and Washington D.C.
Montrose-Telluride Regional Airport (MJT) is about 75 minutes from the town of Telluride and Telluride Ski Resort. Major airlines servicing the airport include Allegiant Air, American, Delta and United, with nonstop flights from Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Newark, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.
Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) the closest to Lake Tahoe, and is about 50 miles from Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts. Major airlines that service Reno include Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and United, with nonstop flights from Austin, Boise, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Oakland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and San Jose.
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is within an hour’s drive to 10 major ski resorts, including Alta, Brighton, Deer Valley, Park City, Snowbird and Solitude. Major airlines with service to Salt Lake City include Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Frontier, jetBlue, Southwest and United. There are daily nonstop flights available from several major North American cities.