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October 28, 2009 7:54 AM   Subscribe

I need to find the most affordable flight from south Georgia to California. I seem to have too many variables though. How do I find the best flight from multiple possible departure airports to multiple possible arrival airports? Throw flexible dates in there as well just for fun.

I live near the GA/FL border and can fly from Atlanta, Jacksonville, Tallahassee or the local commuter airport. I have family near San Diego and San Francisco. I'm going to have to rent a car in any case on the west coast so arrival can be to any airport within 2 hours or so driving. As this is still all planning phase I have no set dates. I just need the cheapest way to get there with two kids. Am I asking something impossible here?
posted by Talia Devane to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Kayak will let you do a lot of that stuff, though I'm not sure it'll let you do all of it.

This might be one of those things where you'll just have to do multiple searches and take some notes, though.
posted by box at 7:58 AM on October 28, 2009

Seconding Kayak. I think you have to create a login to search for trips using the fuzzy departure point/time feature, but it works pretty well. Keep in mind that it doesn't search Southwest or JetBlue(?), so you may want to check their sites to confirm you're getting the lowest price.
posted by electroboy at 8:44 AM on October 28, 2009

In my experience, it is generally cheaper to fly into San Jose than Oakland or SFO, though it is rather less convenient to San Francisco.
posted by juliplease at 8:45 AM on October 28, 2009

Thirding Kayak. It has a checkbox to "include nearby airports", an option for "flexible" dates and will naturally sort tickets by price, which, combined, should do a fair amount of what you're asking for. Plus many other super-helpful options. The basic search tools are very useful, but if you sign up for a membership (free) you get even more search-power.
posted by ManInSuit at 9:05 AM on October 28, 2009

You may also want to try ITA software's trip planner. I haven't used it much myself, but I've read very good things about it. It has a "month long search" feature specifically meant to find lowest rates for flexible schedules. And you can enter multiple city options in your search (separate the cities with semicolons). This might actually work even better for you than Kayak.
posted by ManInSuit at 9:16 AM on October 28, 2009

Dohop lets you put in multiple origin and destination cities.
posted by mdonley at 2:08 PM on October 28, 2009

Sidestep is another site that lets you check off "include nearby airports" and search for flexible dates in order to get the best deal.
posted by platinum at 7:42 PM on October 28, 2009

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