How to Find Last Minute Flight Deals

While last minute flights aren’t generally the best ways to save money when traveling, life doesn’t always let you plan your trips ahead of time. Unexpected changes in plans, work expectations, or the sudden desire to travel do come up. But does that mean a flight will cost you an arm or a leg?

Fortunately, you can get flight deals on last minute travel if you know where to look and how to save. There are many ways to go about finding these deals, including apps, booking through budget sites, and being flexible about travel dates, airlines, and more. Here’s how you can find the best last minute flight deals.

The more passengers on a plane, the more money that an airline makes. Therefore, airlines have an incentive to offer airline deals to customers booking in advance to help fill up a flight. But what happens when a flight isn’t full? You guessed it. They offer last minute flight deals.

At the end of the day, butts in the seat are what airlines profit off of, so they’re going to offer discounts on whatever seating they have left.Generally, you can snag one of these deals up to two hours before departure time. But the sooner you snag a deal, the better, as you won’t be the only one looking for a last minute flight.

Finding last minute discount flights is one of the best ways to cut down on the cost of unexpected travel plans. Here are six tips to help you find the best deals at the last minute.

Be Flexible About Your Travel Dates
Be Flexible About Your Travel Dates

One of the most common travel questions is, “What are the cheapest days to fly?” but the answer isn’t always that simple. The best days to book flights can vary based on the airline, the website you book through, the flight date, the destination, and so on.

Therefore, checking for deals on multiple days is one of the best ways to find discounts. Additionally, you can save a lot of money by being flexible about your travel dates.

There are thousands of flights every day. As a result, airlines may have more incentive to fill one flight over the other, or they may be trying to boost their revenue on specific days. That means more money back in your pocket if you don’t have a set departure or return date.

When searching for cheap last minute flights, try to expand your search by a few days, a week, or more. In addition, many websites offer calendars where you can compare multiple dates to see which dates offer the lowest prices.

Use Those Airline Miles
Use Those Airline Miles

If you’re looking for flight deals, check your credit cards. Airline miles are a common reward through travel credit cards.

If you haven’t used your airline miles in a while, you may have a hoard of them you can use to reduce the cost of your ticket. Additionally, considering utilizing a travel credit card to book your flight to earn cashback or airline miles to use in the future.

If you don’t have a travel credit card, look for one that offers bonus airline miles or other rewards for specific purchases made within the introductory period.

Choose the Right Airports
Choose the Right Airports

Did you know that where you travel from and to affects your ticket prices? While larger airports offer last minute flight deals, you can generally save more by choosing a smaller airport. Smaller airports don’t get as many travelers, so airlines may provide additional incentives to attract customers to the airport. Plus, these flights are unlikely to fill up before the last minute, which means you’ll have the chance to buy a ticket.

Be Open to Layovers and Multiple Stops
Be Open to Layovers and Multiple Stops

Non-stop flights are some of the most popular flights, which means they can cost more. If you’re looking for airfare deals, make sure that you search for both non-stop and layover flights. The longer the layover, the cheaper the flight generally is as it’s not preferable to most travelers. The same goes for flights that include multiple stops, too. 

Check Budget Flight Websites
Check Budget Flight Websites

Some of the best last minute flight deals aren’t offered directly through airlines, they’re found through budget flight websites. These websites provide great deals and offer features like hotel and car rental bundle discounts, last minute flight alerts, travel updates, baggage deals, vacation destination details, remote check-in, and more.

Some of the best websites to use when purchasing flight tickets include:

  • Airfare Watchdog
  • Skiplagged Flights
  • Skyscanner

Some of these websites, like Skyscanner, have apps that you can use to find other deals and utilize special features that make booking a flight even easier.

Use the Hopper App
Use the Hopper App

Hopper is an excellent and innovative mobile app that predicts hotel and flight pricing with a 95 percent accuracy. Not only does this service help you save money, but it ensures that you never miss flight deals. In addition, you can set your app to alert you when there’s a deal for your flight, making last minute flights a breeze.

After receiving an alert, you can freeze the price to give yourself some time to plan your trip or purchase your ticket directly from your smartphone. In addition, Hopper offers many great features, including the ability to book car rentals, hotels, and refundable ticket plan options. The app also helps you save even more when you can be flexible about your travel dates and departure times. Finally, Hopper is convenient and lets you make modifications to your upcoming flight and view fees all in one place.