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I Don't Understand This

My girlfriend and I have briefly discussed the idea of me flying down to Utah to meet her parents. While this idea is still very much in the "What if?" stage, I took a look on orbitz.com today just to see what the flight would cost.

The flight would be a one-way trip from Portland to (I assume) Salt Lake City, since if I went we would be driving her truck back up to Oregon.

Orbitz's first, and cheapest, suggestion was that I fly to Las Vegas, have an 1hr 52min layover, and then fly to SLC. This would cost me a total of $193 and would take 5hr and 22min. Hmmm, I say to myself, that sounds reasonable, but let's see what else they have.

Orbitz's second suggestion is that I still fly to Vegas first--but get this--for only six dollars more they'll throw in an extra 8hr layover, fly me southwest to Los Angeles (for those who don't have a map handy, SLC is exactly in the opposite direction), give me another hour layover, and then fly me to SLC.

Why would I want to do that? Is the eight hour layover in Vegas supposed to give me time to gamble?

If I scroll down further, I find that I also have options to fly to Idaho or Arizona first. But here's my hands-down favorite: for only $339, Alaska will fly me north to Seattle, by turboprop I might add, east to Boise, and then south to SLC, in economy seating all the way, for a trip that takes over 12 hours.

Why would I want to do this?

Wait, hold on, Orbitz is telling me to "Act Fast! Only 3 tickets left at this price!"

lidge_34 says:

Okay, nobody else is replying on this site, so I just had to!

When I was trying to find tickets to visit my family in LA for Christmas, I had a similar problem, though not quite as drastic. I was trying to fly from Tampa to LA and back. One of the ones Orbitz gave me was Tampa to Ontario, CA, then Long Beach to Orlando. Another had me flying out of Orlando and then coming back home to Miami. I eventually got flights using just LAX and Tampa, but it required red-eye flights on the way back. Which was better than driving from Miami after flying across the country!

This is why I try to avoid Orbitz if I can. Southwest is generally cheaper (except for last minute flights) and you can pick your seat, which I really like. And Delta generally has decent fairs for flying cross-country, except that you have to make your stop at the Atlanta airport, which as far as I'm concerned, is the ass crack of all airports. Every time I have flown into Atlanta, the second leg of my flight has been switched to a gate at the other end of the airport while I was in the air, and I land with half an hour to lug my stuff across the airport. Oh, and then I was forced to check my carry-on bag that I have been able to carry on at every other airport I've been through.

BTW, you can get that ticket for about $80 on Southwest right now. And no wild adventures to other cities...

CJO says:

Yeah, I mentioned orbitz's wild suggestions to her and her response was, "Orbitz? Why don't you just use southwest.com?"

Oh.

So I go on southwest.com, and sure enough, a non-stop, one-way flight to Salt Lake is $79.

It's like those Staples commercials--I feel like I just hit the "easy" button.

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