Travel News How to Find Extremely Cheap Last Minute Flight Deals | 2020/2021

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How to Find Extremely Cheap Last Minute Flight Deals | 2020/2021

We strongly believe travel is the best thing you can do with your time on this strange old place we call Earth. But we don’t think it should cost the Earth to do it. That’s why we’re sharing our best and brightest ideas about how to save big on flights.

Search Last Minute Flights Below 👇


How to find the best last-minute flights

We know that it may not be the best time to travel. But in addition to providing updates and advice regarding COVID-19, we still want to inspire you so that when the world does open its doors again, you’ll be ready to explore it.

The easiest way to score a last-minute flight used to be to just turn up at the airport and ask for a standby ticket. Sadly, those days are gone. So many people are flying these days, most flights sell out. You can still sneak onto a standby list, but only if:

  • You’ve missed the flight you booked
  • You’ve got a ticket for a later flight, but arrived early
  • You’ve got friends working at the airline — but you’ll probably still have to wait

So, yeah, just turning up at the airport isn’t such a great idea anymore. 

The good news is, we’ve invented a few cool tools in our free app that can help.

Find last minute flights below 👇

Domestic flights

Departure CityDestinationRound-Trip Fare
New YorkMiamiFrom $37
New YorkLos AngelesFrom $79
Chicago Las VegasFrom $77
ChicagoPhoenixFrom $76
Los AngelesHonoluluFrom $286
Washington OrlandoFrom $57
MiamiNew YorkFrom $32
San FranciscoSan DiegoFrom $117
BostonChicagoFrom $49
OrlandoNew YorkFrom $32

International flights

Departure CityDestinationRound-Trip Fare
New YorkAthensFrom $782
New YorkLondonFrom $318
Los AngelesTokyoFrom $566
Los AngelesParisFrom $782
ChicagoLondonFrom $614
ChicagoTorontoFrom $195
MiamiMadridFrom $264
MiamiLondonFrom $290
San FranciscoBangkokFrom $511
San FranciscoBarcelonaFrom $288

All prices are subject to availability and may change depending on the airport of origin, as well as the data selected. Prices shown include round-trip flight tickets for an adult, including estimates and taxes. Prices ​​found and verified on 7.28.2020.

Please check your airline’s flight cancellation, rebooking and refund policies, as well as travel bans and restrictions, before booking a flight. See the latest information about coronavirus flight cancellations here.

We strongly recommend reviewing the coronavirus advice from your local authorities and governments, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of State, as well as the guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) — a reliable and trusted source of global news and information.

How to find the best flight deals in the Skyscanner app

Have a specific trip and rough dates in mind?

You can find the cheapest dates to travel using our ‘Calendar’ view or ‘Chart’ view. Once you have plugged in the airport you are flying from, and where you are flying to, simply tap on the date to view the Calendar. From here you can change between the Calendar and Chart view as shown below.

Need to travel at a specific time?

We’ve got you covered there, too. Just tap ‘Filter’ at the top right of your screen. If you then hit ‘Times’, you’ll be able to find the cheapest flights to fit your requirements.

Looking for the cheapest time of the year to travel?

If you’re really flexible with your travel date, you can find which time of year is cheapest for travelling to your destination. You can do in the app’s ‘Explore’ section, which is shown below.

Start by inputting your destination in the search box. This will take you to a page to help you plan your trip.

You will then be able to view all cheap flights by selecting ‘See more flight deals’.

You can also input a preference for the length of your stay to make sure the flights shown fit your plans!

Open to travelling anywhere?

If you don’t have a specific destination in mind, you can get inspired and find the cheapest travel options by searching ‘Everywhere’ from either a country, city or airport. You can do this from within the Flights search itself by setting your destination to ‘Everywhere’ or by visiting ‘Explore’ within this app, and hitting ‘Explore Everywhere’ as shown below.

How to be on high alert for the best prices

Flight prices are funny things. They can fluctuate madly — choose to buy a flight to New York one minute, and it might cost less than a sweet pair of sneakers. Hold off booking for an hour, and the new price could put a dent in your pension.

So, how do you find the right price when it feels like you’re playing a random game of flight fare roulette? We’ve got a few tricks.

1) Signing up for different airlines’ newsletters is a good idea — they’ll let you know about last-minute flight sales, which often happen when the airline needs to fill up a route.

2) At Skyscanner, we analyze thousands of flight routes, combinations and prices. We send out the best deals we find each week to our newsletter subscribers, so you might want to sign up for our newsletter, too. (It’s free, so there’s no catch.

3) We also publish a round-up of flight deals under $100 every week. So if you’re the spontaneous type, you might like to bookmark the page and check back every Monday.

4) You can also ask us to watch fare prices for your favorite route. If you’ve got your eye on a particular destination or flight, set up a Price Alert and we’ll email or text you when the price drops or rises. Sound good? We’ve got a quick guide to setting price alerts below. And, yes, our alerts are free, too.

How to set up a Skyscanner Price Alert

You can set up a Price Alert on our website (so we’ll email you) or through our app (so we’ll text you). Either way is super-simple, and will help you find the sweet spot for your flight.

On the website: First, head over to our homepage and search for the flight you’re interested in. (Where from, to, and which dates.) In the top right of the results page, you’ll see a button with a bell on it. Hit this and — hey presto — you’re done. We’ll email you with any updates about price changes.

In the app: Got our app? Great. Open it up and tap the plane icon to search for the flight you want. See the results? You’ll also see a round, grey button with a bell icon at the bottom left of your screen. Give it a tap. Et voilà, we’ll text when the price changes.

How to be flexible for better flight deals

Obviously, the more flexible you are, the more likely you’ll bag a big deal. But that doesn’t need to mean staggering bleary-eyed to catch a 3am flight no one else wants.

In our experience, the more spontaneous you are, the better chance you have of bagging an awesome holiday that won’t bust the budget. And you get to tell the story, too. “I woke up in my apartment on Monday morning and was sipping a rum punch in Guadeloupe by the evening — and it only cost me $200” definitely sounds cool.

  • Some package vacation companies sell off last-minute trips at huge discounts when their customers cancel. (The same is true for hotel rooms). It’s worth calling and asking if they have any same day deals.
  • Try using our ‘Everywhere’ destination option when searching on Skyscanner. We’ll show you the cheapest flights we can find from your preferred airport, on your specified dates, to places all over the world. You could end up literally anywhere!

How to win a last-minute popularity contest (hint: popular destination = more flights)

You can increase your chances of a cheap last-minute fare by looking at the most popular tourist resorts and cities. These destinations will have a larger number of scheduled flights, leaving from more airports — so you’ve got a better shot at finding a deal. Plus, lots of major airlines will be flying these routes, so you can expect competitive prices.

  • Make the trip even cheaper by going all-inclusive. This is a solid last-minute option because all-inclusive holidays don’t require any advance planning — everything is included. Better still, we got our experts to put together a guide to the best all-inclusive resorts in the world.
  • Popular resorts and cities have loads going on, so it shouldn’t be hard to book activities and entertainment at the last minute, either. We can also help you search for deals on major sights and attractions.

How to play flight-fare chicken

Fortune favors the brave, they say. Well, we say it depends on just how brave you want to be.

  • Truth is, waiting to book until the week you want to travel can be tricky if you’re not flexible. Flight prices often increase when you try booking at short notice, probably because airlines assume you really need to get there — whatever the cost.
  • But if you’re daring enough to play flight-fare chicken — waiting until the very last second before making a move — it could pay off. Flight prices can drop as the departure date draws palm-sweatily closer. If you want to travel on Friday, but can’t find the right fare on Tuesday, don’t give up just yet — try Wednesday, Thursday and the big day itself before you throw in the towel.
  • If you’re searching with us, we’ll always show you the very best value fares at that time. In a matter of seconds, we can compare thousands of flight deals so you don’t need to do weeks of research.

How to find a cheat sheet for the best deals

Finally, we have a cheat sheet for you. Because we think everyone should be able to enjoy travel at a fair price. So, we took all the booking data we collected over the past two years, and analyzed it to predict the best times to book flights in 2020. Our cheat sheet includes:

  • How far in advance to book domestic and international trips
  • The best time of day to book flights
  • The best day of the week for cheap flight deals
  • The best time to book flights for popular destinations including New York, Miami, Las Vegas and more
  • The best time to book flights for holidays including Thanksgiving and New Year

Take a peek at our cheat sheet right here.

We should say, of course, that this isn’t an exact science —  which is why Price Alerts, signing up for newsletters, checking out the ‘cheapest month’ tool and being super-flexible are all good ideas, too.

In any case, hopefully we’ve helped you get excited about your next trip.

Happy travels!