Oakland International Airport announced Thursday that Southwest Airlines will begin nonstop service between San Francisco’s East Bay and Palm Springs, California (PSP) twice per day starting Nov. 15.
Southbound flights will depart Oakland at 9:05 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. Return flights depart PSP at 8:30 a.m. and 4:25 p.m. for the hour-or-so trip.
Fares are for sale on Southwest.com starting Thursday, and a quick check shows the cheapest OAK-PSP roundtrips at a remarkably low $79 roundtrip. That’s super cheap, and I expect we will soon see United, Alaska Air and Sun Country match those fares from the Bay Area.
Only Southwest will serve the Oakland-Palm Springs route, and will use Boeing 737s. Alaska, United and Sun Country fly nonstop between San Francisco and PSP. Alaska will soon add a nonstop from San Jose. United and Alaska fly a combination of various jets on the route, but primarily use smaller Embraer or CRJ aircraft.
RELATED: Why Palm Springs is so hot these days
What’s best about Southwest fares is that you can go ahead and make reservations now, then make changes later with no penalties. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, most other carriers have also eliminated those frustrating fees, which is going to make a getting to and from the Coachella Valley this winter quicker, easier and less expensive.
Southwest will also fly to Denver and Phoenix from Palm Springs.
Don’t miss a shred of important travel news! Sign up for our FREE weekly email alerts.
“Palm Springs is an often requested yet unserved destination from the East Bay,” said Port of Oakland Director of Aviation Bryant L. Francis. “So, we’re especially pleased that the new service will allow over 4 million East Bay residents to use their home airport when they fly to Palm Springs.”
Read all recent TravelSkills posts here
Chris McGinnis is SFGATE’s senior travel correspondent. You can reach him via email or follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Don’t miss a shred of important travel news by signing up for his FREE weekly email updates!
SFGATE participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.