Ways to Save Money on Last-Minute Flight Deals

tips to save money on last minute flights

Last-minute travel plans are nothing but a pain. The hassle of packing everything in haste and booking a last-minute flight is not something you would want to do often. 

At this time, people usually end up booking the first flight they come across, which costs much more than the usual price. 

But the thing with last-minute flights is that you don’t have the time to do a complete R&D; therefore, we came up with some amazing tips to save big on your last-minute flights! 

8 Ways to Save Big on Your Last Minute Flights 

Getting a cheap last-minute flight sounds like a pipe dream, but what if I tell you this is very much possible? All you need to do is remember some easy-peasy tips, and you can save more the next time you have to book a last-minute flight. 

Use a Flight Map

Flight maps usually come in the form of apps. These apps are extremely useful for finding the cheapest flights especially when you are booking tickets last minute.

How to use Flight Map: 

  1. The flight maps work like any other map tool. You first need to set your location and destination. 
  1. The tool will check for all the flights available at your nearby airports and compare the prices. 
  1. This way you can pick the one option that blends well with your budget. 
  1. If you are going for a trip and are open to multiple locations and your preferences are non-definite, for example, “a place with a beach” or “a hill station”, a map will help you find the most budget-friendly place that matches your preferred criteria.

One such flight map tool is “Google Flights”. It is the most secure flight map tool that allows you to choose flights from 300 airlines and numerous online travel agencies. 

You will get a long line of options for beaches, hills, resorts, hotels, food, and wildlife. Just pick your interests or dates and pack your bag, everything else will be dealt with by Google Flights.

Directly Contact Airlines

Few generous airlines offer low fares to last-minute flyers. So, do not miss your chance!

Call the airlines directly or stride to their counter to know about the deals and discounts available for you. This is the best way to save your money without keeping your security at bay. 

If you are running out of time, call the airlines and throw a convincing pitch, as good discounts are worth a few efforts. 

Besides going on holidays, if you need to travel for an emergency, you will likely get discounts as airlines often cooperate with such customers. But for emergency cases such as going to meet a sick person or attending a funeral, you need to provide the name and number of the person and your relationship with them.

You can compare prices offered by the various airlines and choose the one with low fares.

Fly During Off-Peak Hours

Peak hours are those during which the maximum number of passengers prefer to fly, thus airlines tend to charge more during peak hours. 

Additionally, the peak hours may vary for every airline. So, avoid flying during peak hours if you are planning your travel at the last minute. Choose the hours of the day which are less crowded as tickets are usually cheaper during off-peak hours.

The “undesirable” timings such as odd hours of the night or day can give you a rough travel but never mind that, as you are saving so many bucks that can be used somewhere else.

Use Rewards or Airline Miles

The airline rewards or miles are the points you collect every time you book a flight with a specific airline. If you have collected miles that are enough to pay the price of a flight ticket, do not hesitate to redeem those points.

The flights that you book using your rewards or miles are called award flights. Typically, it is preferable to book such flights as early as possible to get assured seats as many airlines keep a specific period during which the miles can be redeemed. 

But do not lose hope there are possibilities that airlines might keep award flights available, even till the last minute. So, thoroughly search for flights if you have “miles” in your airline’s user account. Check for award seats and grab the one, if available.

Pick Your Favorite Airlines

If you are a loyal customer of a specific airline, do not ditch it for a last-minute booking. The airlines you usually fly with, keep your name on the frequent flyers list, and you are more likely to get deals and discounts for being a loyal and old customer.

Another trick is following your favorite airlines on social media and deal pages to find suitable cheap deals available:

Twitter Handles of Popular Airlines 

Alaska Airlines: @AlaskaAir

American Airlines: @AmericanAir

Delta Air Lines: @Delta

Frontier Airlines: @FlyFrontier

JetBlue Airways: @JetBlueCheeps

Southwest Airlines: @SouthwestAir

United Airlines: @United

Keep your eyes open

There is an endless number of people looking for cheap deals, so the trick is to stand out in your searches. To grab the maximum discounts or cheaper last-minute flights, be an active traveler and pay attention to minute details.

  1. First sign-in for airline newsletters: This is the only thing that can help you know about every minute of sales. Also, being a subscriber can let you keep your hands on the spare seats that airlines sell at low prices.
  1. Sign-in for the price alerts: There are several benefits to having alerts for cheap flights, to enable the notifications option. So, whenever the prices fluctuate or a discount begins, you will get an immediate alert via email.

Do not book in a group

If you start booking for a group from multiple IP addresses, the prices of flights will shoot immediately. So, try not to book in batches. Alternatively, one person can make bookings on behalf of the group. 

Here is another solution — make sure there is a gap of several hours between two bookings so that the airline cannot find too many users at one time.

Also, if you are traveling in a group and want to save money on a last-minute flight, do not go for adjacent seats. Book from different IPs as a single person, because the airline charges you more when you want seats near to each other. But, if you want to sit together, you can switch seats at the time of the checkout process without paying extra money.

Compare prices from different search engines

All of us have multiple search engines, so use them all when you need airline tickets at the last minute. Every search engine prefers cheap sites whereas some prefer official over third parties, but you will definitely get variations in prices if you compare different search engines.

None of the search engines as well as the website is perfect. So, dive deep to find the gem that can give you cheap tickets on last-minute bookings. Additionally, you will surely find one, if you use incognito mode for your search over the normal one.


Last-minute flights are unavoidable if you’re in the middle of an emergency and there’s no sugarcoating it — flight fares are expensive, more so when you are booking at the last minute. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t save while booking flights. Even if you’re a frequent or not, these tips will help you save some precious money on your last-minute flights. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Are last-minute flights cheaper?

From the time when the flights are open for booking until about 21 days before departure, the price is the least expensive you’ll find. But the price will rise at the last minute.

How to get a flight ticket at a low price?

Use a flight map to know the cheap flights around, directly contact the airlines for offers, fly during off-peak hours, and use the reward points or airline miles to reduce the prices.

Which day’s flight rate is the cheapest?

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly domestically and Wednesdays and Thursdays are the cheapest days to fly internationally.

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