Buying your airfare at the last minute (as any seasoned traveler knows) is never a good idea, but sometimes it can be unavoidable. If you find yourself in this spot and you need to book airfare at the last minute, here's the first thing you need to know. First of all, ticket prices in the "coach" section are not created to be equal. That may sound ridiculous and it is but it's true. The person sitting right next to you in coach (in one of those seats that reclines all of Ã,Â½ an inch) could have paid over $100 less for his/her ticket. You may be wondering how that is even possible.
The thing is that different fares each have letter codes. These codes stand for a number of things, and each of them impacts your ticket price. For instance, one letter might mean the ticket is non-refundable, or that it was purchased a month in advance. These requirements equal cheaper prices for you, the passenger.
Before you fly, you must first be sure to call the airline and inquire about the cheapest time to buy tickets for your trip, and the cheapest day of the week to fly out. Believe it or not, flying on a Wednesday is much cheaper than flying on Sunday. This is an airline trick that is rarely explained to you unless you get a really good staff member to cut you a break.
There are many internet sites that are devoted to helping a traveler find deals on last minute airfares, including such websites as lastminutetravel.com, cheaptickets.com, Expedia, Travelocity, and Cheap Tickets, etc. It is definite that they can be useful. However, the site that is specially created for last minute travelers is called TraveLogia.com. When having to purchase tickets for last minute airfares, you will want to wade through the different options of flight times and dates, and using one of these websites can help you do this more quickly.
Bargain seats are often available for last minute airfares, but not always. The reason these seats may be available is because someone else cancelled their flight at the last minute. Instead of the airline having empty seats, they will offer these as bargain tickets for last minute airfares. This can save a traveler quite a bit of money, if there are any available.
It is important, though, if you know in advance you will be flying somewhere, not to wait to try and find these bargain last minute airfares. The reasoning for this is simple: there may not be any seats that will come available. It is also slightly tricky to purchase last minute airfares at a discount, because up until very close to the flight time, the tickets are likely more expensive than they were a week before. This means that if you wait until three days before the flight, you may pay an outrageous price for a flight, while someone may wait until 12 hours before the flight, and pay half the price you did for their last minute airfares.
Another thing to consider is how many tickets you will be purchasing for your last minute airfares. If there are several people traveling with you, you may not even be able to find that many seats available on one plane. This makes the savings slightly useless if everyone isn't on the same plane.
One more way to purchase last minute airfares that can help save money is purchasing stand-by tickets. This option is best used only when the flight has to be last-minute, because you may be sitting in the airport for a long time waiting to catch a plane that had a seat come available that will enable you to have last minute airfares. This does usually save quite a bit of money for the flyer, but, depending on what time of year you are traveling, can cause long waits to catch a flight.
The best thing to remember about saving money on last minute airfares is to only do this when you have to, and check as many options as possible. How quickly you need to get somewhere will often play a large part in how much a traveler is willing to pay for last minute airfares.
Good luck is not the last thing when dealing with the last minute airfare. Wish you good luck and have a nice journey!