The last-minute traveling plans basically make you a multi-tasking. From bookings to packing, everything needs to be done in a short amount of time, thus it shakes up your regimen. As everything becomes so spontaneous, you forget about saving and spending money on things and places where you can make easy savings such as Flight tickets. Usually, people end-up booking the first flight they come across without even cross-checking the price. We understand, you already have so many things queued-up hence have no time to do a complete R&D, therefore we have done the research for you. All you need is; follow the easy-peasy tips given here, whenever you 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.
The flight maps work like any other map tool. You first need to set your location and destination, the tool will check for all the flights available on your nearby airports and compare the prices. This way you can pick the one option that blends-well in your budget. If you are going for a trip and 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, else will be dealt with by Google Flights.
- Directly contact airlines:
There are few generous airlines that offer low-fares to last-minute flyers. So, do not miss your chance!
Call the airlines directly or strike to their counter to know about the deals and discounts available for you. This is the best way to save your money without keeping the security at bay. If you are running out of time, call airlines and throw a convincing pitch, as good discounts worth few efforts. Besides holiday-ing, if you need to travel for an emergency, you are very likely to get discounts as airlines often co-operate 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 airline charges 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 last-minute. Choose the hours of the day which are less crowded as tickets are usually cheaper during off-peak hours.
So, if you want to get cheaper air tickets, ditch the peak-hours and befriend the “undesirable” timings such as odd-hours of the night or day. This can give you a rough-travel but never mind, as you are saving so many bucks that can be used somewhere else.
- Use rewards or airline miles:
The airline rewards or miles are basically the points you collect every time you book a flight with specific airlines. 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. Usually, 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 your 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 the favorite airlines:
If you are a loyal customer of a specific airline, do not ditch it for the last minute booking. The airlines you usually fly with, keep your name in 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 the 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.
- 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.
- Sign-in for the price alerts. To get alerts for the flights you are looking forward 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 batch. 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 last-minute flight, do not go for adjacent seats. Book from different IP”s as a single person, because of 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.
8. 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 engines prefer cheap sites whereas some prefer official over third-parties, but you will definitely get variation in prices if you compare different search engines.
None of the search engines as well as the website is perfect. So, take a 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.