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Thursday, May 25th 2017

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YLW." - Chris Myden



2013
15
January
How To Get The Best Deal On Flights From Kelowna To Los Angeles


Guides >> North America >> California >> Flights from Kelowna to Los Angeles

The Ydeals Noise-Free Guide To Getting The Best Deal On Flights From Kelowna (YLW) to Los Angeles (LAX)

Ydeals logo There are thousands of travel sites out there, all wanting you to believe they have unique or special prices on airfares to Los Angeles. They don't.

They use marketing noise to hide the fact that there is really only one source of unique prices on flights to Los Angeles.

This guide will cut through the noise and show you exactly what that source is, so you can stop wasting so much time searching for the best deal on plane tickets.

What are the unique sources of prices on flights from Kelowna (YLW) to Los Angeles ?

Unique Source #1 - The Major Airlines

There are 5 major airlines that offer flights from Kelowna to Los Angeles (LAX), and they are: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, and WestJet.

Are there any nearby airports I can fly to instead of LAX?

Yes, although LAX is generally the most common one to fly into, and usually has the cheapest prices, and the most direct (non-stop) flights, there are 4 others you could consider from Kelowna as well.

  • Burbank (BUR) - essentially NW Los Angeles
  • Long Beach (LGB) - essentially South Los Angeles
  • Santa Ana (SNA) - aka Anaheim. Closest to Disneyland.
  • Ontario (ONT) - 64km East of Los Angeles

However, most people will usually end up flying to Los Angeles (LAX) or Anaheim (SNA).

Where should I look to get the best airfare from Kelowna?

All you need to do is search all the major airlines, preferably at once. My current favorite way to do this would be using Google Flights Explorer. You can enter 'Los Angeles (LAX)' into the 'To' box, and see current airfares from all the major airlines. Not to mention how easy it is to browse through different date combinations.

If you want to search the surrounding airports mentioned above using Google Flights Explorer, you'll need to enter them in individually.

Even if you're planning to go for a longer date range than this tool supports (currently up to 2 weeks), it will give you an excellent idea of what the typical bottom price is right now, and which airline(s) it can be found on. Use it as a starting point, and then use a tool with more precise search options, such as...

My second favorite way would be to search using Kayak. It has all the sort and filter options I need, and searches all major airlines. Click on 'Make my dates flexible' and set it to '+/- 3 days'. You may be surprised how often being a little flexible with your dates can result in a better price.

Another thing you can do with Kayak is select the option for 'nearby airports' underneath your destination on the front search page. If you enter in Los Angeles (LAX) for example, and select 'nearby airports', it will also search the 4 other surrounding airports at the same time. Or you can pick and choose which airports you would like to search by clicking on 'airport map'.

What about the thousands of other travel sites offering airfares to Los Angeles?

This is the noise. There is no shortage of travel sites or vacation brands trying to convince you that they have the lowest fares from Kelowna to Los Angeles. The truth is though, there's only one unique source that they're gathering their prices from, and that's the major airlines themselves. They can't offer a lower price than the airline itself, as there's already virtually no markup.

There's a few reasons why I think travelers waste an enormous amount of time checking multiple websites, hoping for a better travel deal than the one they already found (studies show it to be an average of 22 different sites over 10 periods of research!). The first reason is just human nature. We all want to compare prices and make sure we're getting an exceptional deal on flights.

But I think the biggest reason is simply the noise of travel marketing. With so many North American travel brands competing for your attention, all hoping you'll book through them, combined with the fact that not one of them will *ever* admit to you that their source of prices is the same as everyone else, it's little wonder travelers from BC waste so much time searching.

What about searching the airline's website directly?

There's nothing wrong with doing that. It's usually just a lot easier to search all of the airlines at once, with a better interface using a good search tool. It's amazing how poor many of the airline's search interfaces are. The fares found on any half-decent search engine will be the same as the fares found on the airline's own website.

One thing you can do is just use a search tool to search all the airlines at once, and then go to the airline's own site to book it once you've figured out exactly which flight you want, and what the ticket price is.

What about my local travel agency or independent travel agent here in Kelowna?

They're seeing the same prices you are. Depending on the agency or agent, they might even charge you a 'booking fee' on top of the airfare price, for their time. As there's virtually no markup on the cost of flights, they can't offer you a price that's any cheaper than from the airline, or from a search tool that properly searches the latest airfares.

When should I book a seat to get the best price?

This is never an easy question to answer, as airfares are not 100% predictable. Airlines start by setting their price at a level they think will fill the maximum number of seats, based on the demand they expect to see.

If they experience less demand than they expected, they may decide to lower them. If they experience more demand than they expected, they may raise them. Unfortunately, a lot of factors that influence demand can be unpredictable.

How long a person can wait it out in hopes of a better price is a personal decision. Personally though, I am usually not afraid to watch ticket prices on the major airlines up to about 8 weeks before departure in hopes of a lower price without fear of the price rising. But everyone has a different tolerance for risk.

What about last minute vacation deals?

Last minute airfare deals to Los Angeles on the major airlines don't really exist. Typical of most airfares on the major airlines, as you get fairly close to the departure date, if the airline has done their job correctly, and filled most of the seats on the plane, they feel the last remaining seats become more valuable, and often decide to raise the price.

What's a decent price for a trip from Kelowna to Los Angeles?

From Kelowna, flights to Los Angeles (LAX) tend to bottom out around $375 to $400 (roundtrip after taxes). Anaheim (SNA) and Ontario (ONT) are usually similarly priced. Long Beach (LGB), Burbank (BUR) tend to be higher, but not always. This is just a general guideline though, based on average demand periods of the year.

Airfare prices are notably affected by demand. So anytime you can think of a reason that there might be higher demand than usual for travel to Los Angeles (such as dates when many people in Kelowna have holiday time) you can expect prices to react accordingly.

As for the Christmas holiday period (anything between Dec 21 and Jan 5), that's a whole other level of demand, which means prices for a flight are never anything but very expensive relative to the rest of the year. As a very general rule of thumb, I find you can usually take a decent price from an average demand period and multiply it by 1.5 to get your typical Christmas price.

What about one way trips to Los Angeles?

You should be able to get to Los Angeles (LAX) or one of the surrounding airports in California for about 50-60% of the cost of a roundtrip flight. Use the same search techniques as for round-trip flights, and just change the search option in your favorite search tool to 'one-way'.

What about non-stop (direct) flights to Los Angeles?

From Kelowna, there are non-stop (direct) flights to Los Angeles (LAX) on Westjet, Air Canada, and United.

None of the other surrounding airports have non-stop (direct) flights, which is why most people from Kelowna fly into LAX. Flying to the other airports in the Los Angeles area usually involves a lengthier route, stopping over in a different U.S. city first.

What about a multi-city flight? Such as into one Los Angeles airport and out of another?

Searching for multi-city flights in travel is still a bit of a pain. Even Google Explorer currently can't handle it, as there's too many possible combinations. I'm sure eventually someone (likely Google) will put enough processing power behind it and create something useful for searching multi-city fares.

But for now, you're stuck with searching one departure date at a time when it comes to multi-city fares and experimenting with different destination combinations. Most of the decent travel sites I recommend will offer a multi-city option (it should be right next to 'one-way' and 'round-trip').

Kayak would be my preferred option here. Just click on the 'multi-city' option and in the first box, enter in Kelowna to Los Angeles (LAX), or whatever airport you want to fly into, and then in the second box, enter Santa Ana (SNA) to Kelowna, or whatever airport you want to fly out of.

You never really know what you're going to get with a multi-city fare. From Kelowna to the Los Angeles area, it can often be around the same price as a typical roundtrip fare to the same destinations (or an average of the two). Sometimes it can be slightly more. In rare cases it can even be cheaper. Of course, you're still left with figuring out the cost of getting between the two airports.


What about cheap flights to Los Angeles from U.S. airports close to Kelowna?

Flights from Bellingham, Washington (BLI)

If you've ever read my guide about flying out of U.S. Airports, you may know that I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see an airfare from Bellingham to Los Angeles that's at least $400 less per person than from Kelowna.

And as I've already mentioned that flights from Kelowna to Los Angeles tend to bottom out at around $400 roundtrip after taxes, the flight from Bellingham would have to be virtually free (or you being paid to fly by the airline) to be worth the drive, in my opinion. In short, I don't think it would normally be worth it.

Flights from Spokane, Washington (GEG)

Similar advice to above, the flight out of Spokane would be need to be $475 cheaper than from Kelowna, and it's unlikely to ever be worth the drive for most people.


I think I've found a great deal on a Kelowna area flight to Los Angeles!

Excellent! Please share it with your fellow travel lovers from the BC interior, they will appreciate it and thank you for it! You can post it in the YLW Deals Facebook group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive), where thousands of people from Kelowna are crowd-sourcing the best deals, and sharing great travel advice.

Or if you prefer, you can always give me a shout through the YLW Deals contact form or on Twitter @YLWdeals or through Google Plus. Great deal finds are always appreciated.


Why should I trust this holiday flight savings guide?

Chris Myden Ydeals The info in this guide is based on my observations of the travel industry over the years, including all the thousands of websites out there, and where all the different players get their prices from and how they interact with each other.

The goal is to remove the noise of travel marketing, so people can stop wasting so much valuable time searching the same prices over and over.

But, as social proof of it's accuracy, feel free to join the YLW Deals Facebook Group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive) and publicly disagree with any of it, or make a comment below. Critiques are always welcome!


I think I have some info that could help improve the guide for Kelowna travellers!

Great! Please post your info in the Facebook group above, or contact me directly. Suggestions for improvement are always appreciated. Let me know if you see something that seems inaccurate or outdated.

Hit Like if you like this Kelowna Flight Deal Guide! Click Share to show your friends on Facebook.








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