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How to Find Extremely Cheap Last Minute Flight Deals

Want to know how to find last minute flights? Use the Skyscanner app to search for cheap last minute flights and to book accommodation for last minute travel. Just follow our handy guide and find your extremely cheap last minute flight deals.

Search Last Minute Flights Below 👇

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Best Ways to Find Extremely Cheap Last Minute Flights

Search Last Minute Flight Deals in the Skyscanner App

If you wish to know how to find flights for last minute, follow these suggestions:

  • Look for the most up-to-date way to find flights for last minute travel
  • Always be on the alert for extremely cheap flights
  • Be flexible about how you find last minute flights
  • Sometimes it’s better to book early
  • Avoid fees when confirming your cheap flights
  • Remember how to book accommodation for last minute travel
  • Choose destinations recommended for last minute flights

Find Last Minute Flights to top destinations in the app 👇

Domestic Flight Deals International Flight Deals
New York From $85 London From $161
Las Vegas from $65 Paris from $201
Los Angeles from $68 Bangkok from $419
Chicago from $86 Rome from $364

*Prices valid when pulled and subject to change without notice

How to find last minute flights

1. Look for the most up-to-date way to find last minute flights

Back in the day, the best way to get last minute flights was to arrive at the airport and ask for a standby ticket, but those days no longer exist. With so many people now traveling by air, the majority of flights sell out and the only way you’re going to get on that elusive standby list is:

  • If you miss your own flight
  • If you hold a full price ticket and want to get on an earlier flight
  • If you have friends working at the airline. Even then you should be prepared to wait.

The answer to ‘how to find last minute flights’ is no longer interactions at the airport but rather quick, comprehensive flight searches online with Skyscanner. A search online or within the app can also be the solution when you are pondering how to book accommodation for last minute travel. The search tools will allow you to assemble information in real-time so you may compare the prices and make the best choice

Here are a few ways to search for last minute flight deals within the Skyscanner app:

Search calendar view to see if there are any days that are cheaper than others to depart and return for last minute flights.

Search calendar view in the Skyscanner app
Click image to search cheapest month in the app 

View dates in chart view for more specific pricing to decide the best dates for your last minute travel

chart view

Need to fly same day? Click on “Filter” at the top right of your screen. Then select “Times” to select when you would like to depart and return

Filter
Search last minute flights to everywhere

Click here to download the app for IOS or Android and find your last minute flight deal

Did you know… that you can also search for “cheapest month” on skyscanner.com? You can also view travel dates in both calendar and chart views too! Check them out below:

2. Always be on the alert for last minute flights

You’re not the only one out there looking for how to get cheap last minute flights. You can get the jump on other spontaneous travelers just by paying attention.

If an airline has a newsletter, sign up for it. This works particularly well for chartered flights, as they often have spare seats to fill, and the newsletter will keep you informed about last minute flight sales. We highly recommend signing up for the Skyscanner newsletter as we send out the top flight deals weekly. You can also check out our daily flight deals which updates every hour with top flight deals.

Signing up for price alerts is another good way to find last minute flight deals, depending on where you’re flying from. The basic concept is that you set a price alert for a flight that you are interested in and we will email you or send you a notification via your mobile device telling you whether the price has dropped, risen, or stayed the same. You can set a price alert through the Skyscanner app or on desktop.

How to setup a price alert on Skyscanner 

Set Price Alerts within the Skyscanner App to Book Last Minute Flight Deals

When you download the Skyscanner app, you can set price alerts on the specific route you’re interested in tracking

1.) Add in your origin, destination, and dates you wish to travel
2.) You will see a bell icon in the bottom left hand corner of your screen
3.) Tap this icon and create your price alert

Set a price alert

4.) Receive notifications when the price rises or drops to book at the right time. You can turn off these notifications and remove your price alert at any time.

Price alert

Skyscanner also promotes weekly flight deals under $100. Make sure you keep an eye on this curated list to stay up-to-date and work out how to get cheap last minute flights. It’s one of the most useful pages when you are considering how to find flights for last minute travel.

Did you know… that you can also set up a price alert on skyscanner.com? See how below:

skyscanner price alert how to
Click here for cheap flights under $100

Follow your favorite airlines on social media. Your time on Facebook and Twitter will be well spent if you manage to pick up a deeply discounted flight.

Look for cancellation vacations. Some package vacation companies sell off last minute trips for a huge discount when their customers can no longer travel. The same principle applies when considering how to book accommodation for last minute travel.

4. Be flexible about how you find last minute flights

Everybody knows that you need to be flexible when you’re looking for cheap flight deals. But when it comes to last minute flights, there’s more to being flexible than choosing anti-social flight times.

Skyscanner Mobile App

It also means being flexible about your destination, and the airport you’re flying from. You could find yourself in a gorgeous city that you’ve never heard about before. Now that’s spontaneous! Aim for destinations recommended for last minute travel. There’s loads of cheap flights for the weekend within the US, such as to New York, Denver, Vegas, Boston, or Florida. For international destinations, the Caribbean is always a great option with flights to Guadeloupe starting from $208 or to Curacao from $298.

A great way to find the cheapest last minute flights when you are flexible is by using Skyscanner’s “everywhere” destination option. This way you can see which places are cheapest to visit on a short timescale.

You can find the everywhere option 2 different ways within the Skyscanner App:

Click “Flights” on the homepage of the app and then type “Everywhere” into the destination block. Click the blue button “Start Exploring” to see where you can go for the cheapest price within your selected dates. Want to change your dates? Simply click on your dates to change them. You can also select whole month if you are flexible.

Click the image to search Everywhere in App

Check out these awesome last-minute deals now!

Departure CityDestination
Round-Trip Fare
BostonSan Juan$309
BostonZurich$422
ChicagoMadrid$370
ChicagoBarcelona$461
Los AngelesVancouver$219
Los AngelesTokyo$375
MiamiLisbon$474
MiamiCancun$184
New York CityTel Aviv$439
New York CityReykjavik$218

*These prices were valid as of November 20, 2018, and may not always be available. Bookmark this page – we’ll be updating it weekly!

You can also click “Explore” at the bottom of the screen to show you various destinations you can travel to if you’re flexible. Search top deals to everywhere around the world, popular destinations to visit, weekend deals for a last minute trip and more!

Click the image to visit Explore

Did you know… that you can also search EVERYWHERE on skyscanner.com? Just type “everywhere” into the destination field like this:

5. Sometimes it’s better to book early

You can save money by booking ahead, too. Some airlines will reward you for doing your homework and will offer you an airline credit making up the difference if you call them. Otherwise, try to buy refundable tickets and if the price drops you can cancel and repurchase at the cheaper price. Skyscanner can help you identify the cheapest month to fly to your chosen destination. You can also check out the best time to book flights here. In many instances, the flight prices will increase if you are booking the same week you want to travel. This is why it’s best to search for flights as much in advance as you can and set a price alert so you can see when the price drops. 

6. Avoid fees when confirming your flights for last minute flights

Do be careful, as some budget airlines will charge a fee for any changes. Airlines often release cheap flights months in advance, with cheap international flights becoming available five and a half months before departure. If you’ve always dreamed of flying to Europe, Thailand, or Australia, then don’t wait until the last minute to book the trip of a lifetime. Be sure to read over the airline’s baggage fees and any other additional fees that may incur such as to select your seat, receive food and beverage on-board, check-in at the counter, etc.

7. Think about how to book accommodations for last minute flights

How to book accommodations for last minute travel is not an exact science. Like the similar discipline of how to find flights for last minute travel, there is certain steps you can take to maximize your chances of finding a cheap deal. If you are looking for accommodations at the last minute, try to search for a wide range of types of accommodations and have a broad geographical spread of potential hotels to consider. The more options you have available to you in your initial search, the more likely you are to locate the cheapest possible deal. Traveling midweek could also reveal further cheap deals.

8. Choose destinations recommended for last minute flight deals

Well established tourist resorts or major cities are among the destinations recommended for last minute travel. Both are likely to have a large number of scheduled flights from multiple airports. There is also likely to be a number of major airlines traveling these routs so you will be able to take advantage of competition in prices when you book last minute travel.

All inclusive vacation destinations remove any need for advance planning, so when you book accommodation for last minute travel you know that everything you need will be available to you when you arrive. Read this guide to the best all inclusive resorts around the world.

With last minute travel to major cities, particularly in the United States, there is a strong chance you will also be able to arrange activities and entertainment at the last minute. Rely on Skyscanner to guide you towards the best deals available when you have selected your destination for last minute travel.

9. Book with miles and points

Even if you get dinged with a “close-in” booking fee, this strategy can save you hundreds. For example, while walk up fares for even short flights (like Houston to Dallas or St. Louis to Chicago, for example) can be $300 or more, one-way, award prices on major airlines like American can be as low as 12,500 miles one way, or even lower on their partner British Airways, whose award chart is distance-based.

While it’s true that booking awards at the last-minute can require you to pay “close-in” booking charges of around $75, your overcall cost still ends up being cheaper than paying cash. Plus, change restrictions on award bookings also tend to be less severe, which is great news if you decide last minute that a morning flight works better than an evening one.

10. Search creatively

Conventional wisdom would suggest that booking a round-trip ticket is cheaper than booking two one-way segments, but this isn’t always the case—particularly when it comes to last minute itineraries. It could be, for example, that flying out on Delta and in on United is cheaper than flying a round-trip on either airline, due to last-minute fluctuations in fares for one or both segments.

This can also be the case when it comes to flights that require a connection. If you need to fly last-minute from Los Angeles to Vancouver, for example, there’s a good chance a nonstop on Air Canada is more expensive than connecting services on other airlines. However, it might be cheaper to fly to Seattle on American and then on to Vancouver on Alaska than connecting through San Francisco all on United, or flying Delta via Salt Lake City. Consider searching connecting segments separately if you’re booking last-minute.

11. Back door booking

You probably know that many airlines “codeshare,” or sell their own ticket for seats on the planes of partner airlines. What you might not realize is that the codeshare tickets can be cheaper than tickets sold by the actual airline, particularly on international flights.

If you want to book a last-minute flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles on Japan’s ANA, for example, but Skyscanner shows you that the cheapest flights are on its Star Alliance partner United, click each flight for more info. You might see one or more itineraries is “Operated by ANA,” even though it’s sold by United. This can be a great way to score a last-minute deal if you have a specific airline or flight in mind.

12. Keep searching until the last second

If the right deal can motivate you to travel at the last minute, what’s to say that the same can’t be true for the last second? The fact is that flight prices can actually drop as you get closer to your date of travel, including the same day. If you want to travel on Friday but don’t find the right fare on Tuesday, don’t despair—see what you find on Wednesday, Thursday and even the day of travel before you throw in the towel.

Find top flight deals on Skyscanner

You can save money by booking ahead, too. Some airlines will reward you for doing your homework and will offer you an airline credit making up the difference if you call them. Otherwise, try to buy refundable tickets and if the price drops you can cancel and repurchase at the cheaper price. Skyscanner can help you identify the cheapest month to fly to your chosen destination. You can also check out the best time to book flights here. In many instances, the flight prices will increase if you are booking the same week you want to travel. This is why it’s best to search for flights as much in advance as you can and set a price alert so you can see when the price drops. Always be on the lookout for best time to book flights using the tool linked above. Here are some of the best times to book for top destinations.

Skyscanner App Reviews & Ratings


Check out App reviews and ratings and see why Skyscanner is the number one trusted travel app to search for flights, hotels and car rentals.  

  • ★★★★★ Rated by Ashley Sewart on January 1, 1970

    This app has made planning a vacation so much easier on me

  • ★★★★★ Rated by Graham Barr on January 1, 1970

    Found better prices than momondo.

  • ★★★★★ Rated by Google User on January 1, 1970

    Really good app, the option of looking for flights from everywhere or to everywhere its the best, awesome!

  • ★★★★★ Rated by Parveen Singh on January 1, 1970

    I Always book my flights and hotels through Skyscanner.

  • ★★★★★ Rated by A Google user on January 1, 1970

    Probably the best app out there. Found the best deals to the most exotic destinations ever. Thumbs up