The experts talk about leisure travelers being able to take advantage of so-called “dead zones” each year when airfares are more affordable because so few people are flying.
Two of those dead zones, according to the popular travel website FareCompare that’s dedicated to helping fliers make smart airfare decisions, will occur in the next 60 days or so.
The first is happening now, and it continues through the middle of December, but it’s pretty late to be planning a pre-Christmas trip, so we’ll focus on the other. That’s January, and it’s one of the five times each year when travelers who want to depart from Northwest Arkansas National Airport can find some of the very best deals.
We’ll cite only a few of our favorite deals here, all in January, and the prices shown are for weekend roundtrips. These destinations provide a combination of affordable coupled with places that would be good for January trips.
FareFlightNWA relied on the Explore feature on Google Flights to find our favorites. It’s possible fares will be a bit more or a bit less expensive by the time you buy, but here were some of January’s best deals spotted today (Dec. 3):
San Antonio on Breeze: One might think San Antonio would be among the warmest places to fly (averages 64 degree highs in January), but it’s not Florida warm. Still, it’s pretty nice considering Bentonville settles in at 47 degrees next month. What’s nice here is flexibility: You can fly any Thursday and return any Sunday in January, and it’ll be $78 if it were to be purchased today.
Fort Lauderdale on Allegiant: Its high temperature in January averages 76 degrees, so departing XNA on Jan. 21 and returning on Jan. 24 makes sense. Airfare is just $74, but if price is a huge issue, there are slightly better deals to be had.
Las Vegas on Frontier: We’d do Jan. 6-9 for $74 roundtrip, but the temperatures might not be as high as you’d expect (59 degrees for the average high). If you really want to save some bucks, take the bus from the airport to your hotel. It’s always less expensive that way.
Austin on Allegiant: A $72 trip on Jan. 7, returning Jan. 10. Austin is way cool, too.
Houston on Allegiant: The $70 trip to Houston Hobby on Jan. 7-10 was the least expensive weekend roundtrip spotted in January. Temperatures in both Houston and Austin are highs in the low 60s, so it’s no Florida, but it’s comfortable.
Tampa on Breeze: The flying experience will be better on Breeze Airways than on Allegiant or Frontier, and the airline has seats with extra legroom (for extra money) if that’s important. Its basic seats go for $113 if you travel Jan. 6-9. At $20, its checked or carry-on bag fee is less than every other airline at XNA. High temperatures will be low 70s, meaning you’ll be fine with a light jacket in the morning.
Melbourne on Delta: Legacy carriers like Delta Air Lines rarely win on these cost-focused lists, but a trip to Florida with lots of flexibility makes this a great option. What’s cool here is you’d leave Jan. 7 and can return to XNA any time between Jan. 10-18 for $196 or $197. Weather? Think Tampa.
New York/Newark on American, Delta or United: Great deals available, but no promises on the weather, OK? January average high is 39 degrees, a few degrees colder than Bentonville. However, the fares are good and it’s easy to stick with your favorite carrier if that’s important. Leave XNA on Jan. 5-7, return to XNA anytime between Jan. 9-29. Every airline sells it for $219.