Cheap Flights From Chicago To New Orleans

Are you dreaming of a getaway to the vibrant city of New Orleans, but worried about breaking the bank? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will explore all the tips, tricks, and insider secrets to help you find the best deals on flights from Chicago to New Orleans. Whether you’re planning a quick weekend escape or a longer vacation, we’ve got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey to affordable travel!

Table of Contents

Best Time to Book Your Flight

When it comes to finding cheap flights from Chicago to New Orleans, timing is everything. By understanding the best time to book your flight, you can save a significant amount of money. Here’s what you need to know:

Months with Lowest Fares

The travel industry is notorious for fluctuating prices, and the same applies to flights. However, by analyzing historical data, we can identify the months with the lowest fares. Typically, the months of January, February, and September tend to offer the best deals on flights from Chicago to New Orleans. These months fall outside peak travel seasons, making it the perfect time to score affordable tickets.

Days of the Week with Cheapest Flights

In addition to choosing the right month, selecting the correct day of the week can also impact the price of your flight. Generally, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are known to have the cheapest fares. By avoiding weekends and Mondays, when demand is higher, you can potentially save a significant amount of money on your flight from Chicago to New Orleans.

Optimal Time of Day to Book

Believe it or not, the time of day you book your flight can make a difference in the price you pay. Many experts recommend booking your flight in the early morning hours. This is when airlines often release their discounted fares and when fewer people are searching for flights. By being an early bird and booking during these hours, you may be able to snag a great deal on your Chicago to New Orleans flight.

Airlines Offering Affordable Flights

When searching for cheap flights from Chicago to New Orleans, it’s essential to explore a variety of airlines. While major carriers may offer convenience and comfort, low-cost airlines can often provide significant savings. Here are some airlines to consider:

Major Carriers

American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines are among the major carriers that operate flights between Chicago and New Orleans. While these airlines may not always offer the cheapest fares, they do provide a wide range of flight options and amenities. If you value comfort and reliability, these carriers may be the right choice for you.

Low-Cost Airlines

For budget-conscious travelers, low-cost airlines like Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines can be a great option. These airlines often have lower base fares, but it’s important to be aware of their additional fees for things like baggage and seat selection. By being mindful of these fees and planning accordingly, you can still enjoy significant savings on your flight from Chicago to New Orleans.

Customer Reviews and Recommendations

Before making a decision, it’s always a good idea to check customer reviews and recommendations for the airlines you’re considering. Websites like Skytrax and TripAdvisor can provide valuable insights into the overall customer experience, including factors such as customer service, punctuality, and overall satisfaction. By doing your research, you can choose an airline that not only offers affordable fares but also meets your expectations in terms of service quality.

Exploring Alternate Airports

Flying into alternate airports can often lead to significant savings on your journey from Chicago to New Orleans. By considering nearby airports in both cities, you can explore more options and potentially find better deals. Here’s what you need to know:

Alternate Airports in Chicago

While Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is the main airport serving the city, there are other airports in the area that you can consider. Midway International Airport (MDW) is a popular alternative located on the southwest side of Chicago. This airport is served by a variety of airlines and can sometimes offer cheaper fares. Additionally, you can also explore nearby airports in Milwaukee, such as General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), which is approximately 70 miles north of Chicago. By considering these alternate airports, you may find hidden gems that offer better deals on flights to New Orleans.

Alternate Airports in New Orleans

When it comes to New Orleans, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is the primary airport serving the city. However, there are other airports in the region that you can consider. Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR), located approximately 80 miles northwest of New Orleans, is a viable option to explore. While the distance may seem significant, the potential savings on your flight could make it worthwhile. Additionally, Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) in Mississippi is another alternative that is within a reasonable driving distance from New Orleans. By being open to these alternate airports, you can expand your options and potentially find cheaper flights.

Ground Transportation Options

When flying into alternate airports, it’s crucial to consider ground transportation options to ensure a seamless journey. Many airports offer shuttle services, rental car facilities, and public transportation connections. Researching these options in advance can help you determine the most convenient and cost-effective way to reach your final destination in both Chicago and New Orleans. By factoring in transportation costs and logistics, you can make an informed decision about which airport best suits your travel needs.

Utilizing Flight Comparison Websites

Flight comparison websites have revolutionized the way we search for and book flights. These platforms allow you to compare prices across multiple airlines, helping you find the best deals and discounts available. Here are some top flight comparison websites to consider:


Kayak is a popular choice for many travelers, thanks to its user-friendly interface and extensive search capabilities. The website allows you to compare prices from various airlines, filtering by factors such as departure time, airline alliance, and number of stops. Additionally, Kayak offers a “Price Alerts” feature, which notifies you when prices for your desired flight route drop, ensuring you never miss out on a great deal.


Skyscanner is another powerful flight comparison website that can help you find cheap flights from Chicago to New Orleans. With its comprehensive search engine, you can easily compare prices and filter results based on your preferences. Skyscanner also offers a unique feature called “Everywhere Search,” which allows you to explore flight deals to various destinations from Chicago, giving you more flexibility in planning your trip.

Google Flights

Google Flights is a reliable and convenient tool for finding affordable flights. With its intuitive interface and robust search capabilities, you can easily compare prices and view a calendar of the lowest fares for your desired travel dates. Google Flights also offers a “Explore Map” feature, which visually displays flight prices to different destinations, making it easier to find the best deals.


Expedia is a well-known online travel agency that not only offers flight comparison but also allows you to book other travel essentials such as hotels and rental cars. By bundling your flight with accommodations, you may be able to save even more. Expedia also has a loyalty program called Expedia Rewards, which allows you to earn points that can be redeemed for future travel.

Taking Advantage of Airline Rewards Programs

Airline rewards programs can be a fantastic way to earn points, miles, and other perks, ultimately leading to more affordable travel. By understanding how these programs work and utilizing them effectively, you can maximize your savings. Here’s what you need to know:

Joining Frequent Flyer Programs

Most airlines offer frequent flyer programs that allow you to earn points or miles every time you fly with them. Signing up for these programs is usually free, and it’s a great way to start accumulating rewards. As you accumulate points or miles, you can redeem them for discounted or even free flights. Additionally, some programs offer elite status tiers, which come with additional benefits such as priority boarding and access to airport lounges.

Co-branded Credit Cards

Many airlines offer co-branded credit cards in partnership with major banks. These credit cards allow you to earn points or miles for everyday purchases, not just when you fly. Additionally, many co-branded credit cards offer sign-up bonuses, which can provide a significant boost to your rewards balance. By using these credit cards strategically and paying off your balances in full each month, you can accumulate rewards faster and enjoy the benefits of airline loyalty programs.

Partner Airlines and Alliances

It’s important to remember that many airlines have partnerships and alliances with other carriers. This means that you can earn and redeem rewards on flights operated by partner airlines as well. By understanding these partnerships, you can expand your options and potentially find better deals. For example, if you’re a member of American Airlines’ AAdvantage program, you can earn and redeem miles not only on American Airlines flights but also on partner airlines such as British Airways and Qatar Airways.

Maximizing Rewards RedemptionMaximizing Rewards Redemption

When it comes to redeeming your earned rewards, there are a few strategies you can employ to get the most value out of them. Firstly, consider booking your flights well in advance to secure the best availability for reward seats. Airlines often have a limited number of seats allocated for reward redemption, so planning ahead can increase your chances of finding availability.

Another way to maximize your rewards is by taking advantage of airline promotions and sales. Airlines frequently offer discounted award flights or bonus miles promotions, allowing you to stretch your rewards even further. By staying informed about these promotions and being flexible with your travel dates, you can make the most of your earned rewards.

Lastly, consider combining your rewards with cash to book flights. Some airlines allow you to use a combination of rewards and cash to pay for your ticket, giving you more flexibility and potentially reducing the number of rewards needed. This can be particularly useful when the cash price of a flight is low, allowing you to save your rewards for future trips when prices are higher.

Booking Strategies for the Best Deals

When it comes to booking flights from Chicago to New Orleans at the best possible price, there are a few strategies you can employ. By being strategic and flexible, you can save a significant amount of money. Here are some booking strategies to consider:

Flexible Dates and Nearby Airports

If your travel dates are flexible, consider using the “flexible dates” feature on flight comparison websites. This feature allows you to view price fluctuations across a range of dates, helping you identify the cheapest days to fly. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, exploring nearby airports in both Chicago and New Orleans can also lead to savings. Be open to adjusting your departure and arrival airports to find better deals.

Combining One-Way Tickets

Rather than booking a round-trip ticket, consider combining one-way tickets on different airlines. Sometimes, booking two separate one-way tickets can be cheaper than a round-trip ticket on a single carrier. By comparing prices for one-way tickets on different airlines, you can potentially find better deals and save money.

Leveraging Hidden City Ticketing

Hidden city ticketing is a strategy that involves booking a flight with a layover in your desired destination, but not completing the final leg of the journey. This can sometimes result in significant savings, as flights with layovers in popular destinations may be cheaper than direct flights. However, it’s important to note that airlines do not endorse this practice, and there are risks involved. Hidden city ticketing can result in complications if your luggage is checked through to the final destination, and it’s essential to be aware of the airline’s policies regarding this practice.

Monitoring Prices and Setting Price Alerts

Flight prices can fluctuate rapidly, so it’s crucial to monitor prices closely before making your purchase. Set up price alerts on flight comparison websites or sign up for email notifications from airlines to stay informed about any price drops or promotions. By being proactive and patient, you can secure the best possible deal on your flight from Chicago to New Orleans.

Packing Tips for Light Travel

Traveling light not only saves you money on baggage fees but also makes your journey more convenient and hassle-free. Here are some packing tips to help you travel light:

Choose the Right Suitcase

Selecting the right suitcase is crucial when aiming to pack light. Opt for a lightweight and compact suitcase that adheres to airline carry-on regulations. By avoiding checked luggage, you can save on baggage fees and eliminate the risk of lost or delayed luggage.

Pack Essentials Only

When it comes to packing, it’s important to prioritize essentials and avoid overpacking. Consider the climate and activities you’ll be engaging in during your trip. Pack versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched, and utilize travel-size toiletries to save space.

Roll Your Clothes

Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can save a significant amount of space in your suitcase. This method not only helps to prevent wrinkles but also allows you to fit more items into your luggage. Utilize packing cubes or compression bags to further organize and compress your belongings.

Wear Your Bulkiest Items

If you’re traveling with bulky items such as jackets or boots, wear them during your travel days to save space in your suitcase. Layering your clothing can also help you stay comfortable during the flight while keeping your luggage light.

Consider Laundry Options

If you’re planning a longer trip, consider the availability of laundry options at your destination. Research nearby laundromats or inquire if your accommodation offers laundry facilities. By planning to do laundry during your trip, you can pack fewer clothing items and save space in your suitcase.

Money-Saving Tips for Accommodations and Transportation

Accommodations and transportation are significant expenses when traveling, but with the right strategies, you can save money in these areas. Here are some tips to help you cut costs:

Consider Alternative Accommodations

While hotels can provide comfort and convenience, they are often more expensive than alternative accommodations. Consider staying in budget-friendly options such as hostels, vacation rentals, or even couchsurfing. Websites like Airbnb and Hostelworld can help you find affordable options that suit your preferences.

Utilize Public Transportation

Public transportation is not only cost-effective but also allows you to experience the local culture and explore your destination more intimately. Research the public transportation options in New Orleans, such as buses, streetcars, and the famous St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. By utilizing public transportation instead of taxis or rideshares, you can save a significant amount of money.

Take Advantage of Free or Discounted Attractions

New Orleans is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and numerous attractions. Many of these attractions offer free or discounted admission on certain days or times. Plan your itinerary accordingly to take advantage of these opportunities. Additionally, be on the lookout for city passes or tourist discount cards that offer discounted access to multiple attractions.

Explore Dining Options

Dining out can be a significant expense while traveling. To save money on food, consider exploring local markets, street food, and budget-friendly eateries. New Orleans is famous for its delicious cuisine, and you can find affordable options like po’boys, beignets, and gumbo at local eateries. By immersing yourself in the local food scene and avoiding tourist traps, you can enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank.

Exploring Affordable Dining and Entertainment Options

New Orleans is a city renowned for its vibrant food and entertainment scene. While it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement, it’s essential to find affordable options that won’t drain your wallet. Here are some tips for experiencing the best of New Orleans on a budget:

Local Eateries and Street Food

One of the best ways to savor the flavors of New Orleans without breaking the bank is by indulging in local eateries and street food. From po’boys to muffulettas, the city offers a wide range of affordable and delicious options. Explore neighborhoods like the French Quarter and Marigny for hidden gems that serve up authentic and budget-friendly cuisine.

Happy Hour Specials

New Orleans is famous for its lively bar scene, and many establishments offer happy hour specials with discounted drinks and appetizers. Take advantage of these deals to enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife without overspending. From classic cocktails to local brews, there’s something for everyone.

Free and Low-Cost Entertainment

While New Orleans has plenty of paid attractions, there are also numerous free and low-cost entertainment options to explore. From strolling through the historic French Quarter to enjoying live music performances on Frenchmen Street, there’s always something happening in the city that won’t cost you a dime. Additionally, keep an eye out for free festivals and events that showcase the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Exploring Parks and Outdoor Spaces

New Orleans is home to beautiful parks and outdoor spaces, providing opportunities for relaxation and exploration. Take a leisurely stroll along the Mississippi Riverfront or visit City Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country. These outdoor spaces offer a tranquil retreat from the bustling city and are completely free to visit.

Insider Secrets for a Memorable Trip

As you wrap up your journey from Chicago to New Orleans, here are some insider secrets to ensure a memorable and unforgettable trip:

Discover Lesser-Known Attractions

While New Orleans is famous for its well-known attractions like the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, the city is also home to numerous hidden gems. Venture off the beaten path to discover lesser-known attractions such as the Garden District or the historic cemeteries. These off-the-radar spots offer a unique and authentic experience of New Orleans.

Embrace the Local Culture

Immerse yourself in the vibrant and diverse culture of New Orleans by attending local events and festivals. From Mardi Gras to Jazz Fest, the city is known for its lively celebrations. Engage with the locals, listen to live music, and taste the delicious cuisineto truly experience the soul of New Orleans.

Take a Haunted History Tour

New Orleans is famous for its rich history and spooky tales. Embark on a haunted history tour to learn about the city’s ghostly legends and explore its eerie landmarks. These tours offer a unique perspective on New Orleans’ past and are sure to leave you with spine-tingling memories.

Experience Live Music

Known as the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans boasts a thriving live music scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a live performance at one of the city’s many jazz clubs or music venues. From traditional jazz to blues and funk, the music in New Orleans is sure to get your feet tapping and your spirits soaring.

Indulge in Local Cuisine

New Orleans is a food lover’s paradise, with a culinary scene that is as diverse as it is delicious. From gumbo and jambalaya to beignets and po’boys, the city is renowned for its unique flavors and culinary traditions. Don’t miss the chance to try authentic Creole and Cajun dishes at local eateries and food stalls. Your taste buds will thank you.

Immerse Yourself in the Art Scene

New Orleans is a hub of creativity and artistic expression. Explore the city’s vibrant art scene by visiting galleries, attending art festivals, and checking out local street art. From traditional paintings to contemporary installations, there’s something for every art enthusiast to admire and appreciate.

Get Lost in the French Quarter

No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to the iconic French Quarter. Take a leisurely stroll through its charming streets, lined with colorful buildings, lively bars, and enticing shops. Don’t forget to stop by Jackson Square, where you can admire the stunning St. Louis Cathedral and soak in the lively atmosphere.

Sample the Local Libations

New Orleans is known for its spirited libations, including the famous Sazerac cocktail and the refreshing Hurricane. Take the opportunity to visit historic bars and taverns, and indulge in the city’s unique cocktail culture. From classic cocktails to innovative concoctions, there’s no shortage of libations to quench your thirst and keep the good times rolling.

Join a Second Line Parade

Experience the vibrant energy of New Orleans by joining a second line parade. These lively street processions are a quintessential part of the city’s cultural heritage. Dance, sing, and celebrate alongside the brass bands as they parade through the streets, spreading joy and revelry.

Explore the Bayous and Swamps

Escape the city for a while and venture into the breathtaking bayous and swamps that surround New Orleans. Take a guided tour and experience the unique ecosystem of these wetlands, home to alligators, turtles, and an array of bird species. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature and witness the beauty of Louisiana’s wilderness.

Discover the Historic Plantations

Step back in time and visit the historic plantations that dot the outskirts of New Orleans. These beautifully preserved estates offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history and plantation culture. Take a guided tour to learn about the lives of the people who lived and worked on these plantations, and marvel at the grandeur of the antebellum architecture.

Engage in Community Service

Give back to the vibrant community of New Orleans by volunteering your time during your visit. Many organizations offer opportunities to participate in community service projects, such as rebuilding homes, cleaning up parks, or assisting in local schools. Not only will you make a positive impact, but you will also gain a deeper understanding of the resilience and spirit of the city.

In conclusion, your trip from Chicago to New Orleans can be affordable and unforgettable with the right strategies and insider tips. By being strategic in your flight booking, exploring alternative accommodations and transportation options, and taking advantage of affordable dining and entertainment, you can make the most of your budget while immersing yourself in the vibrant culture and charm of New Orleans. Remember to embrace the local experiences, indulge in the delicious cuisine, and let the soulful sounds of jazz sweep you away. Prepare yourself for an adventure that will leave you with cherished memories for a lifetime.

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