Five, count ’em, five airports in the greater Los Angeles area are now being served by Southwest airlines. Some people, even native Californians, don’t realize that commercial flights operate out of Long Beach airport. LGB airport is about 20 miles south of the behemoth that is LAX.
The obvious benefit to flying in and out of Long Beach Airport has to be the convenience. This airport is so small it doesn’t even have jet bridges. You will board your plane, up to an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737, via a mobile ramp. As soon as you step foot on the tarmac you can easily make it to the pick-up curb in 3-5 minutes. When you land in LAX, how long does it take you to make it to pickup? Better yet, how long does it take for your ride to navigate through the mess and get to the arrivals curb?
Long Beach Airport recently underwent a major modernization overhaul. They added an open-air terminal allowing you to enjoy that fresh ocean air!
Check out the view of the awesome open-air waiting area at LGB airport:
Looking at the map below, you can see where Long Beach Airport (green) resides in relation to LAX (blue) and downtown LA (red box).
Now, this new Southwest route is only starting with one city. Beginning June 5th, Southwest will be running four daily flights between Long Beach (LGB) and Oakland, CA (OAK) (three flights on Saturdays). The great part about this route is that flights are starting at $49 one-way. Even better, it is only 2,272 points one-way! If you need some easy ways to earn Southwest points, check out this post.
If you are departing Long Beach, you can grab a connection in Oakland to reach many other cities such as; Boise, Spokane, Seattle, and Portland. You can fly from Long Beach to Portland on Southwest Airlines for 3,200 points one-way.
Don’t forget, you can always fly Southwest one-way and return on a different airline such as JetBlue. JetBlue is the major carrier at Long Beach airport with 11 destinations (Anchorage is seasonal). JetBlue has a similar award system to Southwest in that both carriers charge a variable number of points depending on the price of the flight. Award flights on Delta, United and American are at fixed rates so many times it doesn’t make sense to use your points. You can transfer your American Express Membership Reward points to JetBlue which makes them almost as valuable as Southwest Rapid Reward points.
Here are the cities you can reach non-stop from Long Beach. (remember, only Oakland on Southwest for the time being):
|Anchorage, AK Jet Blue (Seasonal)|
|Austin,TX Jet Blue|
|Boston, MA Jet Blue|
|Las Vegas, NV Jet Blue|
|New York, NY (JFK) Jet Blue|
|Oakland, CA Jet Blue & Southwest|
|Phoenix, AZ American Airlines|
|Portland, OR Jet Blue|
|Sacramento, CA Jet Blue|
|Salt Lake City, UT Delta, Jet Blue|
|San Francisco, CA Jet Blue|
|Seattle, WA Jet Blue|
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