There is any number of reasons that a person would want or need to jump on an airplane at the last minute. Perhaps he got a job offer that requires traveling for an interview. Maybe she learned of a family emergency…across the country. Maybe you just decided that you wanted a weekend getaway…this afternoon. Whatever your reason for wanting to jump on a plane as soon as possible, here is what you need to know about last minute airfare.
One of the best ways to save money on last minute airfare is to be as flexible as you possibly can. Try not to get hooked on the idea of a certain airline or a certain flight time or even a particular airport (unless there isn’t another airport within a few hours drive). Let yourself be flexible about the number of layovers you have and the amount of time it will take to get to where you want to go. The more flexible you can be the more likely you are going to be able to snatch up that last seat that didn’t get booked.
You will also want to become a regular visitor to web-based travel services. Often, when an airline is desperate to fill up a flight, they will post last minute “web only” airfares which are usually offered at enormous discounts. If the web based travel services you frequent offer an alert subscription, you should sign up for it. Sometimes these last minute “web only” offers get extended to people who have signed up to be alerted to such things before they are turned over to the general public. Of course, these last minute airfares usually have a couple of catches. Typically these web-fare tickets are not refundable and they often require a stay over on Saturdays. The best time to look for these web fares is in the middle of the week for the following weekend’s travel.
Of course, you won’t always be able to be “loosey-goosey” about your travel arrangements. If you are traveling for business or a family emergency, you usually just want to get to your destination as soon as possible. The first place to check for deals on last minute airfare in the case of an emergency is the airline company websites. Usually the numbers of seats left that still need to be sold for a particular flight are listed on the company websites only. One tip is to try to book your ticket over the internet first. While you might be temped to take your chances and just run to the airport and take the first flight you can get; chances are high that you will get charged exorbitant fees. If you take a few minutes at home, though, usually the airlines will offer deals through the websites.
Whatever your reason for wanting or needing last minute airfare, the best place to look is the internet. The internet is best bet if you are looking for discounts or slashed prices.