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LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

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Graysville...
posts: 2,043
reviews: 27
LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

I know it is early to be booking flights (9 months out) trip is second week of June, but I heard that United just started having direct flights to CA from Pittsburgh and that they are expensive. When I looked them up they only have one flight that is direct (5 1/2 going, 4 1/2 hrs coming back) going in on that Friday night to LAX, none of Saturday and one going back out on that Sunday for around $2,200 for four people round trip. My other option was going to be going through Southwest with having a layover with the shortest trip being 6 1/2 hours with about an hour layover and going into SNA. They do not have their flight list out for June yet, but I looked at all of their flights and they have many every day and at their CHEAPEST it would come to around $1,344 if we are lucky. I am afraid that the direct flight price will only go up and by the time the Southwest schedule for June comes out in October and the flights that we want through Southwest could possibly be more expensive than their cheapest flights at $168 one way. Some of their flight are almost $300 one way. What to all of you think? I have never flown through United so don't know if they start out cheap and only go up or if they fluctuate.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 26,373
reviews: 131
1. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

there are tools such as bing travel and kayak that can help you chose the best fare and tell you if it is going up or down. I personally think it is too early to book right now and while one cannot expect the cheapest flights during Summer Memorial day through Labor day, I would bet you would get a better deal later this year.

You can also add price alerts while will help you keep an eye on fares 328 is the best RTt fare for that leg so you should be able get one closer to that.

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 24,196
reviews: 13
2. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

I would first post this question at the Air Travel Forum here at TA.

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i10702-Air_Trav…

Have you looked at jetBlue, they have a one stop flight going through Boston and lands at Long Beach (LGB), which is the same distance as John Wayne (aka Orange County/Santa Ana/SNA) to Disneyland, which, based on your avatar, where you want to go. They offer a nicer in-flight experience and reserved seating, and one free bag per person.

I would head to the Air Travel forum, and wait a bit until the Southwest Fares come out for your trip. Then look at things like how many bags your family will bring, the issue about sitting together, such as having to pay extra on Southwest to get an early boarding pass to keep everyone together.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
posts: 18,013
reviews: 87
3. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

Your going to book plenty far out Imo to get the good deal for Southwest likely as they only take bookings about 6 or 7 months out, so no one is going to be able to book before you or something.

If you book as soon as your dates show up you should be fine. However, with Southwest, the farther out you book, its usually lower priced, but June is still likely to be more expensive, so perhaps somewhere between that lower number you listed and $250 one way per ticket at the very most. But thats still lower than United.

SNA is said to be a much easier Airport to get in and out of, and its much closer to Disneyland. Sorry, Im not familiar with United.

Im not familar though with when Airlines raise thier prices each year or what that thinking is... so that may come into play before you can book Southwest for June which looks like the earliest is around Nov.

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 24,196
reviews: 13
4. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

FYI, Long Beach is smaller and easier to get out of than John Wayne airport.

The drive to Disneyland is straight down one road and no freeway is needed., just head east out the airports main exit on Wardlow, which turns into Ball Road.

Graysville...
posts: 2,043
reviews: 27
5. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

I am not too worried about Southwest booking up right away, I just meant for the one direct flight though United. I was just worried that by the time the Southwest schedule comes out that the one direct flight through United would be booked or higher price. Was also wondering if people would say to pay the extra for direct flight to save hassle or would prefer to actually have a lay over with having a longer flight? I would prefer a direct flight into SNA to avoid the bustle of LA, but that is not a choice.

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 24,196
reviews: 13
6. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

I agree with trying to avoid LAX, I would prefer jetBlue and Long Beach as compared to Southwest and John Wayne.

I prefer reserved seats, and the jetBlue in flight service and in flight offerings are nicer, especially on a long flight.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 26,373
reviews: 131
7. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

Non stops for most in the US are the best way to go as if you are delayed you are at either end along with your bags and not stuck somewhere. Summer travel brings more crowds and more crowded flights

But then one has to look at the hassle of connection vs the total price for 4 people. At times if there is sufficient time between a connection and the ticket is cheaper, then why not go that route ? LAX is huge but if the price is better, why not fly there?

SNA is very convenient to get to and from. United as mentioned will have its fares go up or down depending on demand and competition

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
posts: 18,013
reviews: 87
8. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

You know after thinking about things....June for Southwest prices are likely to be on the Higher side of What I mentioned, its just more expensive for that month. So Im not sure it would be worth the little bit of extra you might save vs getting a direct flight.

Jet Blue flying into Long Beach, and Southwest flying into SNA appear to be offering about the same price for March dates, which would likely be about the same for June I think, both appear to be pretty close to what you would be paying with United.

What about baggage fees as well, not sure what United charges. Southwest has 2 bags flying for free, Jet Blue 1 bag I believe. Depending on how much luggage you have than can make a big different in the extra price.

Edited: 10:22 pm, August 29, 2013
Graysville...
posts: 2,043
reviews: 27
9. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

Thanks so much, I really appreciate it! I will look into Jet-blue, never flown with them. I would not have even thought of them, didn't know they flew out of PIT.

Graysville...
posts: 2,043
reviews: 27
10. Re: LAX direct flight or SNA layover?

I checked into Jet blue and they seemed a little high for flights with lay overs, no direct from PIT.

I got to thinking about how close all of these airports are to the things that we want to see and when I googled them San Diego airport was only 38 minutes away from LEGOLAND and we are staying there the last two days of our trip. We are staying at the HoJo's from Sat-Fri and then LEGOLAND fri-sun. I thought if we went with a flight out on Friday night instead of Sat morning that we could stay either near Universal and go to that park first on Sat or if we flew into John Wayne that we could either get a one nights stay near the beach or near Disneyland and maybe add another night to our HoJo stay. But now that I realize how close San Diego is to LEGOLAND then maybe we should fly into san diego on Friday night (lay over though) and visit their zoo on Sat. So many choices!!