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ddtripper May 31st, 2009 08:01 PM

Travel search engine that will show cheapest flight from US
I would like to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica in 2010 during spring break. Is there a search engine that will show me the cheapest flight to San Jose from any city in the US? Or, do I have to search by individual US city? I could easily get to another city in the US if the price is right. Any advice would be appreciated.

kybourbon May 31st, 2009 08:11 PM

Travelocity used to have a feature called dream maps that let you search like that, but I'm not sure it still exists.

AAFrequentFlyer Jun 1st, 2009 04:20 AM

travelgourmet Jun 1st, 2009 04:37 AM

There is no search engine that will give you what you need. ITA Software, which AAFF links to above will let you search multiple cities, though. Just input the list of cities in the "From" field, like this: BOS, JFK, ORD, MIA and on.

However, I find that ITA delivers only partial results when you do this. In other words, you will get more results for JFK if you search for JFK alone, than if you were to search on the full list above.

Regardless, for a flight to Costa Rica, I doubt you would save enough money booking two separate tickets to make it worthwhile.

kybourbon Jun 1st, 2009 05:50 AM

ITA also lets you search a 300 mile area.

mamamia2 Jun 1st, 2009 10:35 AM

mrwunrfl Jun 1st, 2009 11:53 PM

I have an old bookmark to the travelocity dream maps webpage but the webpage doesn't work correctly. It doesn't show the map anymore.

travelgourmet Jun 2nd, 2009 12:15 AM

The Dream Maps wouldn't help anyway. They showed the cheapest destinations from a single airport. The OP is looking for the cheapest departure point for a single destination. The two prices are not necessarily going to be the same, particularly given the timing over spring break.

ddtripper Jun 3rd, 2009 03:51 PM

I'm just bummed because I missed out on a promotional fare from LA to SJO for $218 RT (not including fees)!! Argh, should have jumped. BTW, I have travel vouchers for UA that could get me to a destination within the US if I could find an incredibly cheap ticket to SJO -- that was the thinking anyway. I'll keep looking. Thanks for the links, Fodorites!

Kyliebaby3 Jun 4th, 2009 01:36 PM

You can check fares TO a specific airport or FROM a specific airport. Sounds like either of these options might be of help to you.

mrwunrfl Jun 4th, 2009 10:21 PM

The dream maps would have been useful. You would just specify SJO as your departure airport and then you would see fares to the other cities. Likely that the fares would be the same either way. But at least it might point to the cheaper airports. Woulda been worth a shot.

Interesting that you saw such a cheap fare this far in advance.

I would assume that the vouchers can be used only on UA-operated flights. If that is not the case, then be aware that you can book a trip to SJO at united dot com. It will show you flights that you can buy, operated by Lacsa or Lacsa/TACA connections. Or call UA and say you want to fly to SJO and use vouchers.

travelgourmet Jun 5th, 2009 02:33 AM

<i>Likely that the fares would be the same either way.</i>

I don't find this to be true, at all. I routinely see differences of 20% or more on pricing ex-Europe, vs pricing ex-US. These are two separate products. One may want to travel USA-Destination during summer, but Destination-USA during winter.

mrwunrfl Jun 5th, 2009 07:51 PM

Figured you would argue that.

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