Domestic Flights Within USA

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Domestic Flights in the USA

Easily search and buy domestic flights within the USA with Alternative Airlines. Here’s what domestic flights are and some FAQs…

What are domestic flights?

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Domestic flights, also known as internal flights, are flights which depart and land in the same country.

Domestic flights are much more popular in larger countries such as the USA. An example of a domestic flight in the USA is one which may depart from New York and land in Los Angeles, therefore staying within the USA.

These type of flights are often cheaper than their international alternatives, due to their typically shorter travel time and costs. Some common airlines that run domestic flights within the USA are Delta, Spirit Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines.

Search on Alternative Airlines to see what cheap domestic flights we offer, or perhaps you want to visit lots of cities in one country and may want to use our multi-city flight planner. You may also prefer to fly directly from one city to another without any stopovers and may want to check out our direct flight guide.

Why book domestic flights in the USA?

 

Whether you are travelling home for the holidays, booking a holiday or travelling for work, domestic flights could be the travel option for you.

There is so much to see and do in the USA, that sometimes a ‘staycation’ is the perfect option for you to keep costs down rather than travelling internationally.

There are so many different places and cities to experience within this one country, whether you are wanting a weekend city break in Los Angeles, a culture trip to New Orleans or a relaxing beach holiday in the Florida Keys. A domestic flight can be the perfect holiday or get away that you need. Use our search engine now to explore the different places that you could get away to on your next break. Commuter flights are often domestic, as they depart from a small regional airport and land after a short flight in a larger airport.

Internal USA Flights Check-In Time

Internal USA flight check-in time will always depend on the airline that you're flying on and your airport of departure (if you choose to check-in at the airport).

However, generally, online check-in opens 24 hours before scheduled flight departure time and closes one hour before. If you check-in at the airport, most domestic flights within the USA close check-in around 30—45 minutes before scheduled flight departure time.

Take a look at the check-in times for these airline flying domestically within the USA:

Alaska Airlines

Online: Available between 24—1 hour before flight. 

Airport: Closes 40 minutes before flight. 

Allegiant Air

Online: Available between 24 hours—45 minutes before flight.

Airport: Closes 45 minutes before flight. 

American Airlines

Online: Available between 24 hours—45 minutes before flight.

Airport: Closes 45 minutes before flight.

Delta Air Lines

Online: Available from 24 hours before flight up until 30—60 minutes (depending on route flown).

Airport: Closes 30 minutes before flight at most airports. At some other airports, closes between 30—60 minutes before.

Frontier Airlines

Online: Available up until 60 minutes before flight departure time.

Airport: Closes 45 minutes before flight departure time.

Hawaiian Airlines

Online: Available from 24—1 hour before flight time.

Airport: Closes 30 minutes before flight for Neighbor Island destinations and 45 minutes before flight for North American destinations.

JetBlue

Online: Available between 24 hours—90 minutes before flight departure time.

Airport: Closes 30 minutes before flight departure time on most flights. 40 minutes before flight departure time on flights from Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK) and Tampa (TPA).

Southwest Airlines

Online: Available between 24—1 hour before flight departure time.

Airport: Closes 30 minutes—1 hour before flight departure time.

Spirit Airlines

Airport: Available between 24–1 hour before flight departure

Online: Closes 30 minutes before flight departure time. 

United Airlines

Airport: Airport check-in is available between 24—1 hour before flight departure time.

Online: Closes 30 minutes before without checked baggage. Closes 45 minutes before with checked baggage.

Domestic Flights
FAQs

Do I need a passport for domestic flights in the USA?

You don’t need a passport when flying domestically within the USA, however you will need some form of acceptable photo identification(ID) for adult travellers aged over 18. This can include a passport or passport card, driver's license or a DMV-issued photo ID card.

However, identification requirements will be changing and getting more secure as of octubre 2020. If you are planning on using a state-issued ID or license when flying domestically within the USA, they will have to be Real-ID compliant. This has already been enforced in 28 states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida, are beginning to require a Real-ID approved driver’s license, which will roll out to the whole of the USA in octubre 2020.

Children under 18 are not required to provide ID when flying domestically and travelling with a adult. It may be a good idea to contact the airline you are travelling with to ensure that they don’t have any additional policies, or be prepared to have identification ready to show in case you are asked.

How early do I need to arrive for domestic flights in the USA?

Check-in times for domestic flights in the USA vary depending on the airline. The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) recommend arriving at the airport 2 hours prior to departure for domestic flights to allow time for check-in, bag drop and security. However, different airlines have different cut-off times for check-in so be sure to check with the airline you are flying with if you are unsure.

We have complied a list of some common airlines which fly popular domestic routes, along with their recommended arrival time for check-in for domestic flight within the USA:

American Airlines - 1.5 hours, closing 45 minutes prior to departure

Delta Airlines - 2 hours, closing at least 30 minutes prior to departure

Spirit Airlines - 2 hours, closing at least 30 minutes prior to departure

Alaska Airlines - No later than 40 minutes prior to departure

United Airlines - At least 30 minutes without checked baggage and at least 45 minutes with checked baggage.

When is the best time to find cheap domestic flights for the USA?

As explored in our blog regarding the cheapest day to buy flights, there is no set time or day to buy the best domestic flights in the USA. Regardless, this blog provides many tips which can make sure that you are getting the best deal using Alternative Airlines. You can also get cheap domestic flights in the USA by choosing buying a red eye flight. Because of their obscure flying times, red eye flights are often cheaper than other flights.

If you're looking for an affordable way to pay for domestic flights within the USA, why not choose Affirm as a payment method? Affirm allows you to pay off your flights in monthly payments.

How much baggage can I take on domestic flights within the USA?

Most airlines will offer free hand luggage when travelling domestically within the USA. Some also offer one piece of checked baggage, typically weighing up to 23kg.

However, this is very general and it is best to check with the airline that you are travelling with to see their individual policies regarding baggage for domestic flights in the USA, checking both weights and dimensions permitted as part of the baggage rules.

Can I book domestic flights in the USA online?

Alternative Airlines offer online booking for your domestic flights. Use our search bar to search and buy domestic flights with different airlines to destinations across the USA.