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. Been there? We can only sympathise, and recommend staying alcohol free and studying the Art of Zen before you embark booking last minute flights. Or, use the operator who you are booking the tour through, and instead of flying off the handle, just get you flying where you need to go.

Is there such a thing as a cheap, last minute flight?

Many of us remember the arrival of budget airlines to the party, and are guilty of going on a flight fest at some time or other. It was cheaper to get to Croatia than it was to Crawley way back when. But the model has changed a lot since then, and such bargains are rarities. Which is not only good for carbon footprints, but also to get people back in touch with slow travel. Not just flying to tick a box but to have a full on, exciting and authentic experience when they are there.

Here are some boxes to tick, however, when it comes to booking a last minute flight:

  • Please note that we do not book flights at Responsible Travel. We guide you through all the good stuff that you can do when you get there.
  • Check with your tour operator first to see if they can help you book. They know the destination, which days there are flights, times and so on. Many suppliers can help organise 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 someone before you book, you might lose a good price. Try and be as flexible as possible.
  • Make a vat of chamomile tea.
  • Check on Skyscanner, the cheap flights booking website, to compare prices.
  • It is hard to get proof, but there is 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. Ways to avoid this are to delete your cookies, or use two devices with different email addresses. All a bit Sherlock Holmesian, we know, which is why your next step is to…
  • Drink some more chamomile tea.
  • There are some tried and tested ways to get a better price – traveling mid-week, booking mid-month (there is a high demand after pay day, so fewer bargains) and some even say that Tuesday 1am is a top time. Allegedly, most low airfares are advertised between a Sunday and Monday PM. So, if those don’t sell, they come back onto the system just after midnight on a Monday night.
  • Book.
  • And now, only now, open the wine.
Written by Catherine Mack
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