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Saturday, December 3rd 2016

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



2013
17
January
Calgary to Las Vegas | How To Get The Best Flight Deals


Guides >> North America >> Nevada >> Flights from Calgary to Las Vegas

The Ydeals Noise-Free Guide To Getting The Best Deal On Flights From Calgary (YYC) to Las Vegas (LAS)

Ydeals logo There are a great many travel deal sites out there, all wanting you to believe they have unique or special prices on airfares from Calgary to Las Vegas. They don't.

They use marketing noise to trick you into believing that there are more than one source of unique prices on flights from Calgary to Las Vegas.

This guide will hopefully remove some of that background noise and show you what the actual source is, so you can stop wasting so much of your valuable time searching for the best deal on flights.

What are the unique sources of prices on flights from Calgary (YYC) to a Las Vegas airport?

Unique Source #1 - The Major Airlines

There are 7 major airlines that offer flights from Calgary to Las Vegas (LAS), and they are: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines Delta, United Airlines, US Airways and WestJet.

Where should I look to get the best deal on flights to LAS?

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 'Las Vegas (LAS)' 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.

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.

What about the thousands of other sites that have purportedly great airfares to Las Vegas?

This is the noise. There is no shortage of travel sites or brands trying to convince Canadian travellers that they have the cheapest flights from Calgary to Las Vegas. The truth is though, there's only one unique source of prices that travel aggregators are gathering their prices from, and that's the prices from the major airlines themselves. No one can really a much lower price than the airline itself, as there's already virtually no markup.

There's more than a few reasons why I think travelers waste an enormous amount of time checking multiple websites, hoping for a better 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 is just basic human nature. Everyone wants to compare airline ticket prices to make sure they're getting the best deal on vacation travel.

I personally think the main reason is travel marketing hype. With so many Canadian travel sites and holiday booking brands competing for your travel dollar, 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 Calgary waste so much of their time searching for holiday deals.

What about searching the airline's website for Calgary departures?

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 plane seat ticket prices 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 travel site to book it once you've figured out exactly which flight to Las Vegas you want, and what the lowest price is.

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

They're seeing the same prices you are. Depending on the agency or agent, they may or may not charge you a 'booking fee' on top of the airfare price, for their time. As there's virtually no markup on the cost of most flights to Las Vegas, they really 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 my flight to Las Vegas in order to get the best possible price?

This is never an easy question to answer, as airfares to Vegas are not 100% predictable. Airlines that service Nevada 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 travel demand can be unpredictable.

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

What about last minute travel deals to Vegas?

Last minute airfare deals to Las Vegas 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 from Calgary to Las Vegas?

From Calgary's airport, flights to Las Vegas (LAS) tend to bottom out around $350 to $450 (roundtrip after taxes). This is just a general guideline though, based on average demand periods of the year.

Airfare prices are highly affected by demand. So anytime you can think of a reason that there might be higher demand than usual for travel to Las Vegas (such as dates when many people in Calgary have holiday time) you can expect prices to react accordingly. Many Southern destinations have higher airfare prices over long weekends, but this is especially true for Vegas. Big conventions (of which there are many in Vegas) can also impact prices.

Vegas also has two distinct 'seasons', and they have nothing to do with the weather. There's the 'off-season' which is the middle of the week, and the 'peak season' which is the weekend. The difference in airfare prices between these two seasons can be night and day. Same goes for hotels in Vegas. There's just way more demand for anything to do with Las Vegas on the weekend, and higher demand always means higher prices for Canadian travellers seeking a holiday break.

What about one way flights from Calgary to Las Vegas?

You should be able to get to Las Vegas (LAS) for about 50-60% of the cost of 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 Las Vegas?

From Calgary, there are non-stop (direct) flights to Las Vegas (LAS) on Air Canada and Westjet.

Of course, direct flights are what everyone in Calgary looks for in a Vegas trip (who wants to suffer through a layover while experiencing a hangover?). And this higher demand also means that direct flights are usually more expensive. And the most expensive of all are generally the direct flights on a weekend.

What about a multi-city flight? Such as into Las Vegas and out of another airport?

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 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 Calgary to Las Vegas (LAS), or whatever airport you want to fly into, and then in the second box, enter Phoenix (PHX) to Calgary, or whatever airport you want to fly out of.

You never really know what you're going to get with a multi-city fare. And it really depends on what airport you choose to come back from! And of course, you're still left with figuring out the cost of getting between the two airports.

What about booking flight & hotel separately? Is that cheaper or more expensive than a package?

People often want to know if booking a package to Vegas is better or worse than booking flight and hotel separately. The answer is, well, that there is no correct answer. One or the other can be cheaper or more expensive for any given situation, at any given moment. All you can do is try both and compare.

After finding the cheapest flight from Calgary to Vegas, you then just need to look around for hotel rates on your dates. Remember that packages are almost always listed as 'per person' (usually based on 2 people in a room), so you'll need to do some simple math for an accurate comparison.

The easiest thing to do is usually just to take the package price that you see on the typical Flight & Hotel Combiner sites and multiply it by 2. Jot down this number.

Now take the total cost of the flights you found (2 of them) and add it to the total cost of the hotel (across all nights) that you found on your own. Compare to the number you jotted down above.

Remember that for a fair comparison you should always keep as many variables the same as possible, including the flight quality (direct vs stopovers), the number of nights, and the hotel involved.

Congratulations, you have essentially become your own Flight & Hotel Combiner, not all that different from what the large travel sites are doing.

You may also want to read the article Calgary To Las Vegas | How To Get The Best Deal On Packages.


What about lower-priced flights to Las Vegas from U.S. airports within driving distance of Calgary?

From Kalispell (FCA) or Great Falls (GTF), Montana to Vegas

If you've ever read my guide about flying out of U.S. Airports within driving distance of Calgary, you may know that I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see an airfare from Kalispell or Great Falls to Las Vegas (the lowest ticket price typically being found on Allegiant Air) that's at least $500 less per person than from Calgary.

And with it being fairly common to see flights to Vegas in the range of $400-$500 roundtrip from YYC after taxes, the flight from Montana would need to be practically free (or the airline paying you to fly) in most cases, to be worth the drive for the most people. That's just my opinion though. You can use the calculator in the guide above to see if it would be worth it for you.


I think I've found a great deal on a Calgary flight to Las Vegas!

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

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


Why should I trust this Calgary to Vegas travel 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 YYC 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 Vegas-bound Calgarian guide!

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.

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2 Responses to "Calgary to Las Vegas | How To Get The Best Flight Deals"


    Has Duc been here?
       Duc on January 25th, 2013

    This is an awaesome article Chris!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on January 25th, 2013

    Thanks Duc!

Comments are automatically closed 30 days after the post is made.


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