Getting a last minute airfare deal can be something that saves you a lot of money when you have to travel by air to get to where you need to go at the very last minute. Sometimes you can get a great cheap airfare on the airlines, and that is what you are really looking for when it comes to last minute airfare deals. But getting those last minute plane tickets can also prove costly if you are not careful. Granted, sometimes you simply have no choice. You may find yourself in a position where you just have to travel no matter what. You will book your flight at the last minute and just pay whatever you have to pay to get on board that plane. In many cases, the airfare will be very expensive but it is possible to get the last minute airfare deal every now and again.
Sometimes I will have to book a flight on short notice to some city where I have to do business, and what I have found is that last minute air travel can be expensive, but it can also be cheap if you keep your eyes and ears open.
I recently had to make a trip to Chicago to meet with a colleague about a proposal we were working on, and because he lives in San Francisco and I live on the other coast of the United States, we decided to meet halfway. I figured that I was probably going to end up spending an arm and a leg to get out there.
I looked through some old Travelocity e-mails that I had in my inbox, and found one with a trip to Chicago that still had one day to book, as long as I traveled within a certain time frame. As it happened, I was traveling at the time that the deal was for, so I went ahead and tried to book it to get that last minute airfare deal.
Now, this is not always a sure thing, because I’ve tried it before where those tickets have all been booked, even though I was still within the window to order tickets. Since this was last minute air travel, I realized that I may not get them, but there were still tickets available, and at a good price. I ended up paying just under $300 for a a round trip, which was a quite a relief. In fact, I was stunned that it only cost that much. I feel in this case that I was lucky enough to get a great last minute airfare deal because that is probably the price I would have paid even if I planned the trip weeks if not months in advance.
On the other hand, when I was in college about 22 years ago, I spent a semester studying abroad in Spain, and I got a very good deal when I went because, number one, I was going to be there for a long time, and secondly, I was traveling at a rather unpopular time of the year to be visiting Spain and other surrounding countries.
I became very good friends with guy called Esteban while I was over there, and it just so happened that he and the girl he was going to marry decided to push up their wedding to two weeks after I had returned to the United States. He emailed me and told me that he would really like for me to be there, and because this was last minute airline travel, and international travel at that, I knew that I was going take a big hit to my pocketbook. I really did not think I was going to find any last minute airfare deals in this case for those reasons.
As it turned out, the bottom line is that it was about $500 more to go back than it had on my original trip to Spain just three or four months before. He offered to pay the difference, but we were friends and I knew he really wanted me to be there, so I told him not to worry about, but I was surprised there was such a huge difference in the airline ticket price.
Last minute air travel can be costly for sure, but you can also find good deals from time to time because not enough people are traveling on a particular flight. I have experienced both situations, and it really just comes down to how much you pay attention to the best deals possible. If you find that you often have to travel by air without a lot of notice so that you can plan well enough in advance and do your research to get the best possible fare, then you owe it to yourself to spend time each week studying the various travel websites to get a feel for what last minute airfare deal rates can be had.