Reports

The 20 Best Cheap Flight Deals of 2020

By
Scott Keyes
|
Founder & Chief Flight Expert
December 7, 2020
|
6 min read

It’s been another big year at Scott’s Cheap Flights—and one that brought some unique challenges. How does a travel company adapt when travel to much of the world isn’t possible? 

First, we committed to continuing to serve our members in a way that makes sense. While we’ve never sent last-minute flights, we started focusing on deals for travel farther in advance. We also prioritized airlines offering free changes, so that members don’t lose their money if it’s still not safe to travel come trip time. 

In July, we also launched domestic deal alerts for Premium members so that those who were able to travel within the US could do so. 

In 2020, we sent more than 2,500 emails alerting members to cheap flights and Mistake Fares around the world, to destinations well-known and off the tourist path. And, every day, we heard from members who’d snagged cheap flights and we’re excitedly looking forward to the day they can explore the world again. 

Now as we look towards 2021, we’re incredibly hopeful for the future and all the amazing trips we plan to take.

Here are the 20 best cheap flight deals we sent in 2020. As always, these aren’t just any deals. We have strict standards; all deals have to pass our Bestie Test, which means they can’t have multiple long layovers or be on airlines like Spirit. 

Note that all prices below are roundtrip.  

20. Bahamas for $235  

Regular price: $550+
Departure cities: Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, DC, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix,  San Francisco 
Travel period: January through October 2021

This Premium-only deal departed from eight major cities to Nassau. The best part: travel dates extended through October 2021, giving travelers plenty of time to plan ahead. And, for those who wanted a little more legroom, they could upgrade to Comfort+ and still keep this roundtrip cheaper than regular prices by about $200! 

19. India for $423 - $676

Regular price: $1,200+
Departure cities: 40 cities across the US
Travel period: August 2020 through April 2021; some routes included Thanksgiving, Diwali, and Holi 

This deal went out to both Premium and Limited members and included several destinations in India. Among them: Bengaluru, Chennai, Indore, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi. Prices were 50% or more off regular fares from 40 cities all across the US, and the dates were even good for travel during the Indian holidays of Diwali and Holi. 

18. Thailand for $448 

Regular price: $950+
Departure cities: Denver, Houston, DC
Travel period: January through May 2021 

Available for travel in the early part of 2021, this Premium-only deal had fares less than half the usual cost from Denver, Houston, or DC to Bangkok. 

Member Scott M. was ecstatic to book this one for a trip that would bring him full circle with SCF. “My fiance and I jumped on this Miami to Bangkok deal. We hope to be married by then and therefore, able to celebrate our honeymoon in her home country. We traveled to Iceland last year, where I proposed to her. Without your emails, none of this would have been possible.”

17. Central America and Caribbean for $245

Regular price: $600+
Departure cities: Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Seattle 
Travel period: August 2020 through mid-April 2021, excluding the holidays 

This Premium deal—good for travel to 17 destinations including Costa Rica, Belize, Aruba, Bahamas, St. Lucia and more—departed from five airports, including a few that don’t see a lot of Caribbean deals.  Even better: the travel dates extend through mid-April 2021. 

Member Katie W. used this deal to book a first trip for her whole family. “I booked a trip for my family of five (three kids, mom, dad) to Belize because of this deal! My children have never been out of the country. Because of this deal we are taking them for the experience of a lifetime and I’m so incredibly grateful to you!”

16. Vail for $137 for Christmas and New Year's

Regular price: $400
Departure city: Miami
Travel period: December 2020 through March 2021 including the holidays 

Vail for ski season—including the holidays—at less than half the usual price? Yes, please. This domestic deal was sent to Premium members in Miami back in August, showing that it’s good to plan ahead. 

15. Canada for $134 - $223 nonstop 

screenshot of Canada deal.

Regular price: $450+
Departure cities: 20 cities across the US
Travel period: November 2020 through April 2021; some routes included the holidays 

While borders with Canada are still closed, this deal, which was sent in August, is good for travel to Toronto, Vancouver, and Montréal through April 2021. Departure cities—20 in total—included both large metropolises like Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, and NYC, and smaller cities like Minneapolis, Fort Myers, and Santa Ana, all at prices about 60% off typical fares. 

The Mercer family was pretty excited about this one, writing in to let us know, “We booked two tickets from Atlanta to Toronto in February. Snowmobile trip here we come!”

14. Cancún for $164 - $176 nonstop 

Regular price: $550+
Departure cities: Baltimore, Chicago, Miami, Nashville, Philadelphia
Travel period: December 2020 through February 2021, including the holidays 

This sweet Premium deal to Cancún departed from five cities around the US with prices less than half the usual fare. Plus, the dates included the holidays and extend into early 2021. 

13. South America for $155-$297

Regular price: $800-$1,200
Departure cities: DC, San Francisco, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Denver
Travel period: January to July 2021

With five departure cities and six destinations—including Santiago, Quito, Lima, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Guayaquil—this mix-and-match deal offered Premium members savings of $600-$900 off usual prices. 

Member Chris Z. acted fast and snagged this deal. “I saw this deal and immediately recalled Scott’s story about how he missed an earlier opportunity to snag a deal because he was working out different options So, I booked a trip to Chile for my wife and me in late March 2021. I checked back a couple of hours later, and the same flight had increased to $880.”

12. Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket for $97-$270

Regular price: $550+
Departure cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, LA, DC, Austin
Travel period: August through September 2020

While there was a wide range of prices on this Premium deal, members still saw savings of at least half off the usual prices. In Chicago and Atlanta, for example, fares were $193. Members in DC scored the best though, with nonstop deals for just $97 for a late summer/early fall trip. 

Member Jeffrey P. let us know he booked it. Hope you had a great, safe trip, Jeffrey! 

11. Bali for $356 

Regular price: $1,400
Departure city: Portland
Travel period: January through May 2021

Fares from Portland to Bali typically hover in the $1,400 range, so this was a screamer of a Premium-only deal at barely one-third of that price. Plus, travel dates extend through May 2021.  

Robin C. was among the lucky members who grabbed the deal. “Booked this flight. Cannot believe it. My boyfriend and I got roundtrip flights from Portland to Bali for $355 each...Thank you so much!”

10. National Parks for $146 

Regular price: $400+
Departure city: Atlanta
Travel period: October through mid-December 2020, excluding the holidays  

Fares this low from Atlanta to smaller airports like those near national parks? Unheard of. But Premium members in ATL lucked out with this sweet deal to Big Bend, Grand Teton, Glacier, and Saguaro National Parks for fall travel, with fares more than half off the regular prices. 

9. Hong Kong for $270

Regular price: $1,200+
Departure cities: Las Vegas and Los Angeles 
Travel period: September 2020 through February 2021; through May 2021 for LAS

Back in June we found this fantastic deal to Hong Kong from Los Angeles for our Premium members, with prices about 60% off the usual fares. Two days later, we found almost the same price from Las Vegas, with travel dates extending into the first half of 2021.  

Member Rob K. was pretty stoked to snag this one. “We got roundtrip to Hong Kong for $514.02 for two. Woohoo!”

8. Azores/Lisbon for $652 in business class

deal text from email.

Regular price: $2,000+
Departure city: Boston
Travel period: January to June 2021

Deals to the Azores aren’t all that common, and deals to the Azores in lie-flat business class are even more rare. This Mistake Fare, sent to Premium members in August for travel in the first half of 2021, allowed travelers to fly either to the Azores, or to both Lisbon and the Azores (as a stop on the way home).

Member Amanda B. let us know she snagged this deal: “Azores 2021, here we come! This will be our first time flying business class internationally. Grateful customer and 4th-time booker though your great finds!”

7. Hawaii for $109+ nonstop 

Regular price: $450+
Departure cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego
Travel period: January through March 2021 

We love a good Hawaii deal and this one, sent to Premium members in December for travel to Honolulu and Maui, was one of the best we've ever seen, with fares as low as $109 nonstop from the West Coast. Member Kevin P. let us know he booked his family of five for a trip in March!

6. Caribbean for $70-$113 nonstop 

Regular price: $550+
Departure cities: Baltimore, Charlotte, Columbus, Dallas, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, New Orleans, NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Tampa
Travel period: January to June 2020

This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Mistake Fare went out to Premium members in 13 cities and was good for travel to San Juan, St. Croix, and St. Thomas through early summer 2021. We heard from dozens of members who were able to snag sub-$100 nonstop flights, but our favorite story came from Colleen U: “I signed up for Premium on the spot to get this deal and booked a flight to Puerto Rico for $87.70! Best part is...I video chatted my crush to go on this trip with me and she said yes. Mind. Blown. I’ll believe this in the morning.” 

5. Across the US for $27 nonstop 

Regular price: $175-$300
Departure cities: Newark, Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Nashville, Orlando, Tampa
Travel period: September through October 2020

This Premium-only deal, sent in August, functioned two ways. Members in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston, Nashville, Orlando, or Tampa could fly to NYC (Newark) for just $27 roundtrip (nonstop!) while members in Newark could fly to Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Nashville, Orlando, or Tampa for the same low price. 

While United was waiving change fees on these flights, the price was so low that members didn’t even mind a bit of uncertainty. As Member Eric B. put it, “Bought a flight for Halloween! It was only $27 RT so if it’s not safe to go by then, oh well, I won’t lose money.” 

4. Athens for $518-$544

Regular price: $1,200
Departure cities: 100+ cities across the US
Travel period: January through May 2021; some routes also had availability in August 2021 

It’s always exciting when we find a deal that we can send to the majority of our members, and this one was doozy, with fares valid from more than 100 cities across the country from Wichita to Tallahassee, San Diego to Chicago, and so many more. Athens is typically a pricier European destination to fly to, but this deal was a savings of more than 50% off regular prices, and it was good for travel through the first half of 2021 (even in August on some routes). 

Stephania R. jumped on the fare for next year. “I booked a flight to Athens for my partner and I and I am seriously so excited. I could not believe roundtrip from Detroit was $500. Greece has been somewhere I’ve been dying to go forever, but tickets are always so pricey.”

3. Puerto Rico for $23 nonstop over Christmas and New Year’s

Regular price: $500+
Departure city: Boston
Travel period: August 2020 to January 2021

The holidays are one of the most expensive times to fly but this Premium-only Mistake Fare sent back in April showed that there are some amazing exceptions to the rule. The $23 fare was a 95% savings over the usual prices—one of the largest discounts we’ve ever found. 

Member Claire M. couldn’t resist it. “I booked for two people on Jetblue for $23 each. This is my first Mistake Fare booking—and given the mood lately it really made my day!”

2. Japan for $173+ 

Regular price: $1,200+
Departure cities: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Raleigh 
Travel period: January through April 2021 

Flights to Japan for under $400 are rare enough, but this amazing Premium-only deal went beyond that with fares from Cincinnati, Fort Lauderdale, and Philly available under $300. The best of the bunch: fares out of Raleigh at $208 and from Pittsburgh at the incredibly low price of $173. 

While time will tell if travelers will be able to go to Japan early next year, these fares were on Delta, which has waived change fees on flights purchased through December 31. This means members who snagged this incredible deal and need to reschedule can use the funds for another Delta flight in the future. 

Member Taylor H. is among the travelers who booked and is hoping for the best. “Just booked this out of Pittsburgh because I couldn’t resist. Two tickets to Tokyo for less than $500 total?! I feel a little insane since we aren’t allowed in Japan yet but really crossing my fingers this works out! Thank you!”

1. Latin America for $63+ nonstop 

screenshot of Latin America mistake fare.

Regular price: $600-$1,200+
Departure city: Atlanta
Travel period: February through September 2021 

Some deals are so good they set the Scott’s Cheap Flights social channels on fire, and this Mistake Fare did just that, with dozens of messages pouring in from happy members who snagged the deal of a lifetime. 

Flights from Atlanta to Quito, Lima, and Bogotá were stellar, at around $200, while flights to Panama City and Guatemala City dropped to an amazing $110. But nothing beat Atlanta to Santiago for $63 which dropped to an unbelievable $63 roundtrip—nonstop—for travel well into 2021. 

Member Furman N. loved the deal so much he bought it twice: “Great news, I booked two of these deals, Quito in May and Santiago in September.”

Snag flight deals like these and save up to 90% on travel with cheap flight alerts delivered to your inbox. And, if you’ve scored a great deal with Scott’s Cheap Flights, let us know!

Last Updated 
December 7, 2020
The 20 Best Cheap Flight Deals of 2020
Scott Keyes
Founder & Chief Flight Expert

Scott has traveled to 46 countries (and 46 states!), living in California, to Oaxaca, to Oregon. He’s left-handed, drinks five cups of tea daily, and holds a vendetta against the “Happy Birthday” song. On a dare, he once ate 13 hot dogs (and a bowl of Dippin’ Dots) at the ballpark. He grew up in Ohio and founded Scott’s Cheap Flights in a Denver coffee shop. Favorite airport: PDX.

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