Sometimes, you just aren’t able to book your flight the recommended 90 days before takeoff. While that three to four-month window is your best bet for finding a real deal, that doesn’t mean there aren’t strategies for getting the cheapest deal you can when you really need to buy your ticket only a week or two before your flight.
Check Multiple Sites
To find last-minute flight deals, start by opening multiple sites and tracking what you find. Use the sites for Google Flights and Skyscanner to get a look at what is available.
Be Flexible About Day and Time
Are you prepared to take a flight that leaves at one in the morning? Can you fly out on a Tuesday? When using the websites to check for flights, open the view up to monthly so you can see everything that’s coming up. You’ll be able to figure out which days are going to be cheapest for you. Most often, that’s going to be a Tuesday.
Check The Airline’s Website Directly
Sites like Skyscanner will give you a broad view of what airlines are flying when. Now that you can see which are offering the cheapest flights take a second look at the airline’s website. Again, look at their calendar for checking multiple days if you can. While flight checking websites are usually close to accurate, you can sometimes find a cheap last-minute flight that hasn’t made it through to the flight websites yet.
Sign Up For The Airline’s Newsletter And Social Media
Occasionally, you’ll get emailed coupons! If this comes up for you regularly, it can be helpful to have a travel-specific email address where you sign up to receive a newsletter from services you use often. Then you can always search your inbox for coupons when booking last-minute flights.
Check Nearby Airports
Is it possible to fly to a city an hour or two away from your final destination? Or an hour or two away from your original location? Checking nearby airports can give you a lot more options, and that opens the door to better prices.
While your specific circumstances may only make some of these tips possible, use as many as you can to help yourself get the cheapest deal. If you’re buying with less than two weeks to go, purchase as soon as you can! The price is extremely unlikely to drop within that time frame.