Flight prices go up and down like a yo-yo, and can change from week to week. Every year we do a bit of number-crunching to work out the best time to book flights from every British airport.
Play around with the tool and see which destinations tend have the cheapest last-minute flights from your nearest airport. This is the first place where airlines mention last minute sales. They often shout about sales and promotions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so if you spend a lot of time online this is a great way to find a bargain.
How to get cheap last-minute flights and find the best deals online
Some package holiday companies sell off last minute trips for a huge discount when their customers can no longer travel. The easiest way to do this is to set everywhere as your destination. This makes it easy to see the cheapest places at a glance. You can search for and book last-minute flight deals on the go with our app. You can track flight prices and see the heapest days to book too, just like our desktop site: just handierfor booking spontaneous trips with your friends during after-work drinks. Browse our curated cheap flights to cities, beach and long-haul destinations in our travel deals of the week.
Well we'd love it if you left us a review. When you have the rewards points in your frequent flyer account, it can almost always be a better value to book an award flight than pay cash. In other words, you might be better off paying cash and saving your points for later if the ticket is relatively cheap. American Airlines is a partner of British Airways so you book flights on them with Avios miles.
Many other international carriers including Aeromexico and Singapore Airlines don't charge booking fees and you might be able to book a partner flight to avoid the fee as well.
Some airlines might offer more award seats a couple days before departure after most cash-paying travelers have already had ample time to make a reservation. If you have enough points banked up, always consider the award ticket price before paying cash. Of course, if you have elite travel status, you might be automatically exempted from these close-in fees.
Where to look and how to book: our guide to getting a cheap last-minute flight deal online
These days, airlines like to keep the best deals to themselves instead of giving them to third-party booking sites. That doesn't mean you can't find a good deal on a third-party site.
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Momondo is probably the quickest way to find last minute flight deals because they compare the prices of direct airlines and third-party booking sites in seconds. In fact, they're not much slower than Google Flights and you might prefer their website layout more.
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Airlines are more likely to discount the red-eye flights that either depart early or arrive late. If you have this scheduling flexibility, this might be the easiest ways to save some cash and still fly on your desired travel dates. Of course, take a look at the layover times when you book these less-than-desirable flights.
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Sometimes you can spend a few dollars more to catch the same connecting flight without spending your entire day in the airport terminal because you took the 4 a. Although major airports have a reputation for having the lowest ticket prices, you might be able to book a cheaper flight when you book a flight with a single connection from a nearby airport. Booking a flight within 48 hours of departure can easily double your ticket price.
Traveling this summer? 5 ways to save money and nab last-minute flight deals
Sometimes, you have to do what's necessary when the need to travel pops up at the last minute. If possible, try to push back your travel dates or book a mid-week flight when most business travelers are already on the ground. But if you have any flexibility at all, try to fly during the middle of the week are booking your flight as far out as possible.
When you book at the eleventh hour, even one day's difference can save you hundreds of dollars.
5 ways to find last-minute flight deals online and on the phone
When the euphoria of wanderlust is simply too overwhelming, also take a look at the last minute specials on the airline websites too. An empty seat doesn't make an airline any money and they'll discount less-traveled routes to fill empty seats and even attract interest for new routes. Instead of going directly to the hotel website to book a room, look for last minute online specials.