Is It Really Possible to Save So Much on Last Minute Flights?
Ask anyone about their perceptions of last minute airfare deals, and the range of answers will vary greatly. Some travelers think that they can show up at the airport at the last second and end up with a great airfare for pennies on the dollar. Other travelers believe that last minute fares are prohibitively expensive and book their fares months in advance to avoid any markups. The real answer is somewhere in between the two. Air travel has changed dramatically in this country as airlines have been able to raise prices by restricting capacities. Simply stated, airlines no longer have this huge overhang of inventory that they need to markdown to sell. Still, this does not mean that there are no bargains to be had at the last minute as not every seat on a flight is filled. Those travelers who are flexible may end up scoring serious deals. Travelers who are smart and tech savvy have the ability to reap significant savings on last minute flights if they know where to look. There are various new information sources that have come into existence recently that push out flight deals to travelers in a timely and coordinated fashion. While a cheap last minute flight is not a guarantee and may even be a reach in some instances, it is certainly a possibility in today's marketplace.
How it Works
If there is one piece of advice that can be given upfront and explicitly, it is to not wait until the last minute if a traveler knows exactly when and where they need to go far in advance. There are other studies about the best time duration from the trip to book a flight, but for purposes of this article, the only piece of advice that will be given is to remove specific destinations at specific times from the last minute flight calculation. At the same time, if a traveler knows where they need to go, but is willing to fly at any time, last minute deals can be had. For example, flights that depart at undesirable times may be sparsely booked and may be the subject of a last minute discount to fill the capacity. Red-eye and early morning flights may feature cheaper last minute prices since those flights are the ones that tend to be less than full and less popular among travelers. The best way to get a last minute steal is to have a completely open mind about where to travel. In that instance, numerous services provide travelers with information about bargains to selected destinations and a traveler can simply pick one and pack a bag. There are subscription services that are available that provide travelers with a steady stream of last minute flights. Additionally, there are numerous apps and websites that are devoted solely to last minute deals.
Questions and Answers
Q: What is the best way to find a last minute deal?
A: Last minute packages that offer both flights and a hotel provide the most worthwhile bargains.
Q: What are some apps that list flight bargains?
A: Fareness and Get the Flight Out are both last minute fare apps with bargains.
Q: Can couples or families find last minute flight bargains?
A: Bargains are more commonly found by single travelers rather than by families.
Q: What days are most likely to have last minute bargain flights?
A: Holidays usually offer last minute deals as most people have already travelled by the actual day of the holiday.
Q: Where else can last minute bargains be found?
A: Follow airlines' Twitter accounts as flash fare sales are often announced by Twitter. Also check out Google Flights for cheap last minute fares.
Q: Is there a time of year when one is more likely to get last minute deals?
A: The short answer is whatever the offseason is for a destination is more likely to have flights that are less full.
Q: What if a traveler wants to fly cheap and really be surprised?
A: There are services available that send travelers to hidden cities that are revealed only after the fare is booked.
Q. What are some of the websites that specialize in last minute flights?
A. To name a few websites: The Flight Deal, Airfare Spot and Fly for Free.