Booking last minute flights

We all know the scenario of booking a last minute flight these days. It can be stressful, often involves staying up into the early hours of the morning, screaming at a laptop, swearing we will never fly with a budget airline again, and then drinking so much coffee or wine that we can hardly read our credit card details at the crunch moment. And while we don’t book flights at Responsible Travel, we’ve all been last minute travelers ourselves – and we’ve collected our tried-and-tested recommendations on how to book a last minute flight.

Last minute flight booking tips

Check with your tour operator first to see if they can help you book. They know the destination, which days the flights are on, times, and so on. Many vacation companies can help organise your flights. Decide when you and your traveling companions want to fly and have those details to hand before you go searching online. If you have to phone a friend just before you book, you might lose a good price. Try to be as flexible as possible. Compare flight prices on Skyscanner or Google Flights. It’s hard to get proof, but there’s a school of thought that airlines know when you have just searched for a price, and put the price up when you do a second search. There’s a chance you might avoid this by deleting your browser cookies or using two devices with different email addresses. All a bit Sherlock Homesian, we know. There are some tried and tested ways to get a better flight price. Travel midweek or book midmonth (there’s a high demand for flights after pay day, so fewer bargains). Allegedly, most low airfares are advertised between a Sunday and Monday evening. If those don’t sell, they come back onto the system just after midnight – Tuesday 1am, so airline insiders say – at a lower price. Book. But not the extras. Agents don’t make much money on flights, and so they’ll try to sell you the room, the car and the parking. Don’t buy any of these if you can be bothered to look around for better prices. Plus, they might already be included in the price of your vacation. And now – only now – open the wine.

Our top Last minute Vacation

Sri Lanka small group tour, a food adventure

Sri Lanka small group tour, a food adventure

A delicious adventure through this provocative country.

From US $1628 to US $2535 12 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2019: 3 Dec, 10 Dec, 17 Dec, 24 Dec, 27 Dec
2020: 3 Jan, 7 Jan, 21 Jan, 24 Jan, 7 Feb, 11 Feb, 14 Feb, 21 Feb, 25 Feb, 6 Mar, 10 Mar, 13 Mar, 24 Mar, 3 Apr, 7 Apr, 14 Apr, 21 Apr, 5 May, 22 May, 2 Jun, 12 Jun, 16 Jun, 3 Jul, 7 Jul, 10 Jul, 21 Jul, 24 Jul, 4 Aug, 11 Aug, 14 Aug, 21 Aug, 25 Aug, 4 Sep, 11 Sep, 15 Sep, 18 Sep, 25 Sep, 2 Oct, 9 Oct, 16 Oct, 27 Oct, 3 Nov, 17 Nov, 20 Nov, 27 Nov, 1 Dec, 4 Dec, 8 Dec, 11 Dec ...
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Last minute or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Paxson Woelber] [Intro: Ross Parmly]
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