Do Flights Get Cheaper Last Minute?

Do Flights Get Cheaper Last Minute

Are you someone who loves to travel but is always on a budget? You might have wondered, “Do flights get cheaper last minute?” while planning a trip. It is a common belief that airlines tend to offer discounted prices on unsold seats as the departure date approaches. However, is this true in every case? 

In this article, we will be discussing whether flights actually get cheaper at the last minute or not. We will also be sharing some tips that will help you to find the best deals on flights, even if you are planning a last-minute trip. 

Do Flights Get Cheaper Last Minute?

The answer to this question depends on several factors including the destination, the length of the flight, and how full the flight is. When it comes to short-haul flights, there is often an opportunity to save money by booking at the last minute. 

Airlines tend to offer discounted seats closer to the departure date in order to fill any remaining empty seats. 

This may be due to a lack of demand for the flight, or because the airline is offering a sale. 

Either way, it can be a great way to save some money if you don’t mind leaving things until the last minute. 

However, these discounts are often less common on long-haul flights as airlines tend to prefer filling all their seats in advance. 

Therefore, waiting until the last minute may not result in savings on long-haul flights.

It is also important to consider other factors that could lead to cheaper flights. For example, booking during off-peak periods can often result in lower prices, as can traveling with a budget airline or using reward points. 

Additionally, if you are willing to be flexible with your travel dates, there may be opportunities to find cheaper flights outside of peak times.

Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to finding the cheapest last-minute flight. 

However, understanding the factors that influence flight prices can help you make an informed decision and potentially save some money on your next trip.

How Can You Get Flights Cheap Last Minute?

How Can You Get Flights Cheap Last Minute?
Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

You can check the fares at various times of the week or month—you could save money by flying on different days or during off-peak travel hours. Also, check whether it would be cheaper to fly one way and then return via a different airline. 

Here are some more tips to get flights cheap last minute:

  • Decide where to go: Look beyond round trips and consider destinations within driving distance that can be combined into an itinerary with multiple stops. You might also use search tools that include nearby airports in your results so you can compare fares at multiple airports. 
  • Search on Google Flights: Start your search on Google Flights, as this is one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly sites for finding flights. You can use its “Explore” tool to find destinations that match your budget, or even to create custom filters and alerts so you can stay up-to-date with last-minute flight deals. 
  • Search other travel sites: Once you’ve searched Google Flights, try using other metasearch websites like Kayak, Momondo, Hotwire, Priceline, or airline websites directly to see if there are cheaper fares available elsewhere.  
  • Check Your Rewards Programs: If you have any airline rewards programs or hotel loyalty programs, be sure to check those too as they often offer discounted last-minute fares or promotions with extra benefits like free checked bags or meals onboard. 
  • Check Your Subscription Services: If you’re enrolled in any subscription services such as airline newsletters, scheduled fare updates, or other travel-related services, be sure to check those too for last-minute deals and discounts. 
  • Repeat: Once you’ve completed your initial searches, repeat them regularly to stay on top of new deals and discounts that arise. You never know when the perfect last-minute flight deal might pop up! 

Finding a great last-minute flight deal doesn’t have to be an impossible task—just follow these steps for the best chance at success! 

With a little bit of planning and dedication, you can snag yourself a cheap flight with minimal stress.

Are Last Minute Plane Tickets Cheaper Always?

The answer is no, the last minute plane tickets are not always cheaper. It may be tempting to think that airlines will offer discounted prices on unsold seats as the departure date approaches, but this is not necessarily always true. 

A variety of factors such as route popularity, time of year, and availability of other transportation options can affect the cost of a last-minute ticket

Additionally, airlines sometimes raise prices for last-minute bookings since they know travelers may be willing to pay more due to urgent travel needs. 

It’s important to explore all your options before purchasing a last-minute plane ticket. 

Compare prices across multiple airlines and look into alternative modes of transportation such as buses or trains if available in your area. 

Here is an overview of some factors that can impact when it is possible for airline tickets to get cheaper last minute:

Factor Description
Demand If demand for a particular flight is low, airlines may lower the price of tickets closer to the departure date in order to fill up empty seats. This is more likely to happen during off-peak travel seasons.
Time of day Flights that depart early in the morning or late at night may be cheaper than flights that depart during peak travel hours, as they are less desirable to many travelers.
Seat availability If an airline has many unsold seats on a flight, they may lower the ticket price in order to fill them up. This is more likely to happen closer to the departure date.
Competition If there are multiple airlines operating on a particular route, they may compete by lowering ticket prices in order to attract more customers. This is more likely to happen closer to the departure date, as airlines may adjust their prices in response to each other.
Last-minute deals Some airlines offer last-minute deals on unsold seats in order to fill them up. These deals may be advertised on the airline’s website, social media accounts, or through email newsletters.

How Do You Find Last-Minute Flight Deals?

One of the best ways is to use an aggregator like Google Flights. When searching on Google Flights, you can leave the destination field blank and input only the dates you wish to travel. This will bring up a map of some of the best deals available. 

You should also consider flying off-hours if possible as these flights tend to be cheaper than those during peak hours. 

Alternatively, consider looking into different airports near your desired destination; this could lead to lower ticket prices since they may have less competition from nearby destinations. 

It is important to compare flight prices across various airlines and sites to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible

Lastly, some airlines offer last-minute deals if they have unsold tickets for upcoming flights. 

Even though these deals may not be as significant as other last-minute offers, they can still provide a good way to save money on your travel expenses. 

What Day Is The Cheapest Time To Buy Flights?

What Day Is The Cheapest Time To Buy Flights?
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

If you’re looking for the best deals on flights, certain days offer cheaper fares. According to, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are the cheapest days to fly. These days usually have fewer people traveling and can therefore offer lower prices than peak travel days like Mondays and Fridays. 

For those who need to travel more often on business, it is still possible to find good deals by choosing flights on Tuesdays through Thursdays instead of weekends or holidays when airlines increase their prices

Airlines also tend to hike up rates closer to the date of departure so planning ahead is key if you want to save money on your ticket costs. 

Overall, understanding which day has the lowest fares can help travelers save a substantial amount of money when booking flights. 

Whether you’re a business traveler or just looking for a cheap way to get from Point A to Point B, choosing the right day can make all the difference! 

Here is a table that shows the average cost of same-day flight tickets on weekdays for a hypothetical route:

Day of the Week Average Cost of Same-Day Flight Ticket
Monday $200
Tuesday $180
Wednesday $175
Thursday $225
Friday $250


Are Same Day Airline Tickets Cheaper?

The answer is that it depends on a few factors. Generally speaking, when you book a flight at the last minute and purchase your ticket on the same day as your travel date, you may be able to score a good deal. 

Airlines often want to fill up the remaining empty seats and so provide discounts for those who buy last-minute tickets

However, this doesn’t always hold true – in some cases, booking flights several months in advance can actually be more cost-efficient than buying on the same day. 

Therefore, it is important to do your research and compare prices before deciding which option to go with. 

It’s also key to keep an eye out for special promotions or offers from airlines that could potentially give extra savings. 

It is also important to consider the other factors that could come into play when deciding between same-day or advanced bookings. 

Flying during a holiday season, for example, might require you to buy an advance ticket in order to ensure your seat and avoid any inconveniences due to overcrowding. 

On the other hand, if you’re flexible with your travel dates, it may be beneficial to wait until closer to your departure date as flight prices are known to fluctuate all the time. 

Can You Get Cheap Flights At The Airport?

In general, the answer is yes, you can. It’s possible to get cheaper flights at the airport, but it depends on the airline you choose. Some airlines offer discounts and sales when booking tickets at the airport, while others may not. 

It is best to check with your chosen airline before buying a ticket to see if they offer anything special for purchases made at their physical locations

Even if no discounts or sales are available, it might still be beneficial to buy a ticket at the airport since there could be fewer taxes and fees than online purchases. 

Additionally, some airports have loyalty programs that reward frequent flyers who book tickets in person rather than online. 

Before heading off to the airport to book a flight, make sure you do your research! 

Compare prices between different airlines, and look for any deals or discounts offered at the airport. Moreover, read over the terms and conditions so you know exactly what you’re getting before you buy. 

With a bit of effort, it is possible to get cheap flights at the airport. 

What Is The ‘Hidden-City’ Booking?

The ‘hidden-city’ booking is an airline ticketing practice that can save you money on flights. It involves buying a ticket to a certain destination, with the intention of only traveling as far as the stopover and not completing the journey to the final destination

This method of booking flights has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its potential for significant savings. 

Rather than paying full price for a non-stop flight from A to C, passengers can book a cheaper itinerary from A to B with a stopover in C, then disembark at C and never continue on to B – saving money without sacrificing convenience or comfort. 

Contrary to what some may think, hidden city booking is not illegal. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Firstly, hidden city bookings usually involve one-way tickets only.

This is because it is against the airline’s terms and conditions to book round-trip tickets with this method. 

Additionally, airlines reserve the right to cancel any itinerary if they suspect that a passenger may be using hidden city ticketing. 

Finally, many airlines will not allow you to check bags when flying on a hidden-city ticket – so make sure you are aware of the rules before you embark on your journey. 

Despite these potential drawbacks, ‘hidden-city’ booking can still be an excellent way to save money on flights and explore new destinations without breaking the bank! 

Can Hidden City Ticketing Get You Banned?

Can Hidden City Ticketing Get You Banned?
Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

Yes, hidden city ticketing can get you banned from an airline or even multiple airlines. This practice involves purchasing a ticket with a layover at your desired destination, but instead of completing the journey, you get off at the layover point, which is actually your intended destination. 

This is usually done to save money, as some flights with layovers can be cheaper than direct flights to the same destination. 

However, airlines prohibit this practice and consider it a violation of their contract of carriage. If caught, you could be charged for the full fare of the flight or even banned from future flights with the airline. 

Some airlines even have algorithms to detect and sanction travelers who use hidden city ticketing. 

Therefore, it is important to understand the risks involved before using this method to save money on airfare.


How To Fly For Cheap Last Minute?

First, consider using discount airlines or budget carriers, which often offer lower prices than traditional airlines. Additionally, it can be helpful to be flexible with your travel dates, as prices can vary depending on the day of the week or time of day. 

Finally, be sure to check online travel agencies and flight comparison sites to compare prices and find the best deals. 

By being strategic and flexible, you can often find affordable last-minute flights to your desired destination.

Do Airlines Offer Last-Minute Flight Deals?

The answer is yes. The airlines do offer last-minute flight deals, but they are not guaranteed. The availability of these deals depends on various factors, such as the airline’s current inventory, demand for the flight, and competition from other airlines. 

Last-minute deals are typically offered within a week of departure, and they can provide significant savings for travelers who are flexible with their travel plans. 

However, it is important to note that last-minute deals may come with certain restrictions, such as limited seating options, non-refundable tickets, or specific travel dates. 

Therefore, it is recommended to compare prices and check for any hidden fees before booking a last-minute deal.

Which Airlines Sell Last Minute Seats Cheap?

Budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier, as well as larger airlines like American Airlines and Delta sell last-minute seats cheaper. However, the availability of these cheap last-minute seats depends on many factors, including the route, time of year, day of the week, and demand. 

It’s important to do your research and compare prices across multiple airlines before making a purchase. 

Additionally, it’s worth signing up for airline newsletters and following them on social media to stay updated on any last-minute deals or promotions.

Do Flight Prices Go Up The More You Search?

No, flight prices do not necessarily go up the more you search for them. However, flight prices can fluctuate based on a variety of factors including demand, seasonality, and availability. The airlines use dynamic pricing algorithms that can adjust prices in real-time based on demand and other factors. 

Therefore, it is possible that a flight price may increase or decrease depending on when and where you search. 

It is recommended to use price comparison websites and set up price alerts to monitor flight prices over time and find the best deal possible.

Is It Cheaper To Buy A Ticket Online Or At The Airport?

It is generally cheaper to buy tickets online than at the airport. This is because airlines offer various discounts and promotional deals that are only available online. Additionally, buying tickets online allows you to compare prices across different airlines and choose the most affordable option. 

Buying tickets at the airport can also come with additional fees and charges, such as airport taxes and service fees. 


In conclusion, flights do not always get cheaper last minute, although it’s not uncommon for airlines to offer discounted prices on unsold seats as the departure date approaches. 

The cost of a last-minute flight can be affected by a variety of factors, including the popularity of the route, the time of year, and the availability of other transportation options. 

Ultimately, the key to finding a cheap last-minute flight is to be persistent and explore multiple options until you find a price that fits your budget.

Swati Jaiswal

Swati Jaiswal is a dedicated traveler and an even dedicated individual who specializes in travel, digital marketing, & health and fitness niches. Passport stamps and coffee stains are her badges of honor.

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