We are a family of four from the United Kingdom who will be holidaying in California in July 2012. Flying into San Francisco, we will spend two weeks touring around, albeit we have not yet planned a detailed itinerary. Very roughly, we want to head south after around five days in the SF area, reaching LA towards the end of the two weeks.
We then need to reach Pittsburgh for a family commitment after our two week touring holiday, en route back to Europe. We had thought that flying from LAX to Pittsburgh would be straightforward, however there appears to be only one airline – United - and only one direct fight a day. Largely as a result of this monopoly (I would guess), the current one-way fare on that route is USD 596 per person. That is almost as much as our return flights from Scotland!
So my question is: What are the options for flying from the greater LA area, or southern California more generally, to the Pittsburgh area? We don’t want to arrive at our destination too late – ideally reaching our Pittsburgh city centre hotel in the early evening, or at least before 10pm. And we want to pay a lot less than the United fare quoted. We are open to flying into and out of different airports. At the Californian end it would mean simply ending our tour in a different location. At the Pittsburgh end it could conceivably mean travelling for a couple of hours to reach our destination, in order to land at a more accessible airport.