Finding the Best Flights. Because Our Time Matters, Even When We Fly.
Many of us know that air travel in & out of Central Oregon has increased significantly over the years and so has looking for the best flight. Maybe we are traveling for fun to go adventure in the great outdoors, or just transitioning over to our seasonal home. In short, everyone has a reason to come to Central Oregon.
More and more people are flying to RDM (the airport in Redmond OR) than ever before. As flying in & out of RDM has become more popular we began to wonder, which of the airlines has the best flight times and price? My search didn’t take too long as there weren’t too many to choose from. The list of airlines that are currently flying out of RDM include; Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines. So the question is, who’s the better airline to fly with?
Having moved to Bend OR from Los Angeles CA I found myself flying back and forth frequently so that I can see my friends and family back home. The flight to LA is a fairly quick and easy flight, roughly a 2-2:15 hour flight. Now I’m not sure about you, but when it comes time to book my flight I typically end up doing the same thing that most people do, the infamous Google Search. I type in “Cheapest flights from Bend OR to Los Angeles CA” and I’ll click on whichever link looks most appealing. From there I begin searching through to try and find the best deals that I can. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was just searching through the same 4 airlines and that I most likely won’t find anything else.
How do you Start Your Search to Find the Best Flight?
So, let’s start checking out some flights! For my research, I decided to look at flights for a single flyer 1 month in advanced as that’s typically when I do my bookings. Do you think that’s too early or too late to book your flight? Let me know your thoughts! For this case I chose the dates March 1st-8th for all 4 of my airline searches. For my search criteria I selected a single passenger with a basic ticket. Lets see how they panned out!
For kick starters, only 2 of the 4 different airlines fly nonstop daily to LA. Therefor, if you’d like to get a straight shot flight to LAX from RDM you would need to choose between either United Airlines or American Airlines. Our other options are Alaska Airlines and Delta. Unfortunately, there only have flights with stops, which are most likely in either Seattle or Portland. It does have the potentially to be another airport for a connecting flight but it will just depend on the flight you choose. Since both United Airlines and American Airlines have nonstop flights to LAX, what’s the difference? To figure that out well have to look into a couple of things. Some of these may including the available time of flight departure, quality and comfort of the plane ride itself, and what’s probably most important, the price of the flight ticket.
When I search for a flight from Bend to LA with American Airlines, I find that they have 2 nonstop flights. One that flies out at 5:45 AM and arrives in LAX at 8:14 AM and another that flies out at 7:29PM and arrives at 9:50PM. They also have a 3rd flight option that flies out of RDM at 12:01 PM to PHX then a connecting flight for you to arrive at LAX at 6:43PM. This third option is definitely the least appealing. It’s almost 3 times longer to get to your destination and much more expensive.
Personally I fly with American Airlines because I have an American Express credit card and use my points towards my flight ticket. However, I understand that not all of us use credit cards or points programs that are available, so lets look at the prices.
These are your departure flight times with your roundtrip price;
Here are your options for your return flight;
Looking a month out, the tickets are close to $300 being priced at $291. However, this is a little pricey in my opinion. Whenever I’m shopping for my flight ticket I try to get a ticket in the $200-$250 price range. In my experience that’s typically the cheapest I’ve seen them. Of course just like any other trip or traveling adventure, prices will vary depending on WHEN you plan your trip.
Since the late 1940’s United Airlines has been flying out of RDM and hasn’t slowed down much since. They currently have nonstop flights between Bend and Los Angeles as well. United Airlines has never been my first choice, but I wont be picky when I’m looking the best deals on flights to Los Angeles.
At first glance it may look like they have a decent amount of flights, but in reality they only have 1 nonstop flight. That can be a problem for Alaska flyers who’re in a hurry. The rest are all flights with stops in between ranging from Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and more. When you clean up the filters to see what you really have to work with, you’ll find that you only have 1 flight option with United Airlines. The departure time is at 6:55 PM, with your arrival to LAX at 9:10. Similar to the flight time that American Airlines has. Pricing for a single flyer ticket is priced at $291, the same as American Airlines.
Delta Airlines has daily flights to LAX. Nevertheless, none of them are nonstop unfortunately. Therfore if you want to fly with Delta, plan on making a stop somewhere along the way, chances are you’ll make a stop for a connecting flight in Seattle Washington. The prices initially aren’t too bad, considering you will be on two flights. At $284 this is cheaper than the two for-mentioned airline services above, American Airlines and United Airlines.
Now Just because they don’t offer nonstop flights doesn’t immediately throw them out of the window. When you look at all of the flights, Delta probably offers the most flight options out of RDM. There was 12 options for the same day. As a result they offer different flight time frames that may work better for you. In the event the early morning and evening flight times from American Airlines and United Airlines don’t work out for you, you can most certainly take any of the other flights that Delta offers and you’ll still make it to LA on the same day.
Our final airline with flights from Bend to Los Angeles is Alaska Airlines which has a large variety of flight options to choose from. Flights are offered throughout the day beginning at 5:45AM and going until 7:10PM.
These flight options might be great if you are looking for more variety for your flight time. They have plenty to scan through. On the other hand the downside is that you may be spending quite some time hanging out in the airport. Some of the listed flights have a total travel time of over 8 hours. Yeah, your normal 2 hour flight just quadrupled. OUCH!
On the bright side, they do have the cheapest pricing (at the moment) I was able to get a ticket for about $266.
BUT If you look at the departure times, they are in the middle of the night. Some people may love this, others may hate it. Either way, whenever you are searching for a flight be aware of the times AND dates you are viewing. Some of the advertisements for those “cheap” flight ticket prices can be sneaky with the dates. However, they can definitely provide some solid deals, but I would proceed with caution.
All The Best Flights Must Come With Food and WiFi, Right?
- Provides snacks for the Basic ticket group.
- Has WiFi for a fee ($7-$19) I must note that the WiFi is not the most reliable from my experience.
- States that they have snacks for a fee, although I’ve never had to pay for a pack of pretzels.
- WiFi available for a fee. There is a variety of different packages starting at as low as $4 for 30 minutes.
- Delta states that they have refreshments and food for purchase.
- Offers a $16 day pass for WiFi as well as other choices.
- Food for purchase according to the details for my ticket checkout.
- They have WiFi as well including a $16 day pass and a pack of six 45-minute passes for $36.
When it Comes Down to it, Who has the Best Flight?
Quite personally Alaska is my least favorite, although according to Forbes, Alaska Airlines is one of the best airlines out there currently. I can definitely see that, with their cabin comfort and deals they have for frequent flyers. These perks may be great, but for this particular trip I would say that cheaper and faster will overcome comfort and extra reward points.
I’m also not a fan of seeing the different prices per departure and return ticket, I like to have 1 price from the start. I definitely do see the benefits of picking your flights individually to work with your schedule and pricing. Personally, I still find it to be an inconvenience having to pay a different price depending on the flight. I’d rather see the whole price from the start.
Being a fan of nonstop flights and getting straight to my destination, Delta and Alaska were off my radar immediately. American Airlines and United Airlines would be without a doubt my selection to choose from, but who should I pick? Both airlines offer all of the same amenities like snacks, drinks and wifi.
In conclusion when it all comes down to it, IF I had to chose one airline to continuously use, it would be American Airlines. Solely on the fact that they have nonstop flights with different times at both the early morning and later afternoon. I find this to be the best option for me.