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Last Minute Fares Cheaper Than You Thought

Aug 17, 2007
Travel plans can change with the snap of your fingers. Family and business emergencies can arise with little notice and needing attention directly. Your spouse could suggest a weekend getaway to destress after a long week. Whatever the reason, you may be in the market to find reasonable last minute fares. This is not always an easy proposition!

Fares can rise dramatically as the date and time of a flight draws near - sometimes reaching prices that you would rather pay to charter a flight, instead of getting stuck in coach class with two hundred of your nearest and dearest traveling companions. But by following a few easy steps, you can greatly improve your chances of finding terrific last minute fares.

First, consider the route you are looking to fly. Is it a popular route, serviced by multiple carriers flying many flights per day? Or is it a less popular destination, serviced by fewer carriers and flights? Either scenario can work to your advantage as you seek to find reasonable last minute fares.

If your route is serviced by multiple carriers offering multiple flights, competition may be your greatest ally. Although seats may be dwindling on a particular flight or through a particular carrier, they may still offer great rates in order to gain or retain you as a customer.

If your route is less popular, they may have a fair (no pun intended!) number of seats left, even close to departure. In that case, airlines will often offer greatly discounted rates in order to have some revenue through a filled seat than no revenue with an empty seat.

Second, always be aware of the of the fare rules that govern the route you will fly. Certain types of fares require purchase to occur a certain amount of time in advance and this will obviously not be to your benefit, as you will be interested only in last minute fares.

Other types of fares require a certain length stay in your destination, or a stay that includes a Saturday night. This may work for your plans, but then again, it may not - so take special care to be aware of all fare rules.

You will also find that travel on certain days is more reasonably priced than others. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays tend to have the highest fares, while Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays can be quite reasonable.

Next, consider all alternatives. Your instinct may be to buy the first ticket on the first discount site you find, but that may not be the least expensive solution you can find. Some discount sites buy seats in bulk at a lower price, allowing them to resell at a steady value even close to departure. This can greatly help you to find reasonable last minute fares.

You should also check, however, to see what details the airlines are running directly through their own websites, as they can sometimes offer rates not offered through discount sites.

Finally, remember that even though your travel plans have come up at the last minute, you need to spare at least enough time to intelligently research your options. Impulse buying will not benefit your pocketbook in this case. When you look around and remain flexible, you are more likely to find reasonable last minute fares.

The next time you are in the market for last minute fares, be it business, pleasure or emergency, remember to follow these easy steps to find last minute fares cheaper than you thought!
About the Author
Get all of the latest in last minute fares insider secrets and tips from one of the best last minute airfares resources at http://www.lastminuteflightsadvice.com/ Be sure to check out our last minute fares pages on our web site.
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