I'll take that seat in coach!
November 17, 2005 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Super-last-minute-travel-filter: Two or three friends with nothing to do for the weekend and some spare cash want to fly somewhere random without spending too much money. How do we find inexpensive, truly last minute flights?

It seems like there must be some open seats on flights out of a major metropolitan airport, but the cheapest we can find are ~$300 and up. The airlines must have some vacant seats that they'd like to fill. We'd like to leave tomorrow (Friday) afternoon and return on Sunday night or Monday morning; we don't really care too much where we go as long as it's less than an 8 hour flight from the mid-Atlantic and cheap. We'll find fun wherever we go!
posted by maniactown to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
Last Minute Travel
posted by ericb at 7:46 PM on November 17, 2005

Are you between 18 and 22? There's always the super-inexpensive Airtran X-fares
posted by helios at 7:47 PM on November 17, 2005

I like Site59. Input your departure city and it finds you airfare/hotel deals for the upcoming two weekends.
posted by peppermint22 at 8:10 PM on November 17, 2005

peppermint22 - thanks, I've been looking for just that kind of thing.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:07 PM on November 17, 2005

Response by poster: I wish X-fares were open to older on-on-whim travellers... that's pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate the answers, but flights on the standard websites are getting more expensive as time draws near. I think we're just going to rent a car and see where we end up, but I still would love to find the perfect last second flight source if anybody comes to this question late.
posted by maniactown at 4:08 AM on November 18, 2005


Click on the Last Minute Travel icon.
posted by INTPLibrarian at 12:50 PM on November 18, 2005

Generally, last-minute travel is more expensive, not cheaper, as the people booking at the last minute are generally business travellers who can't wait for a better price. (And you pretty much never get a discount better than the one for buying 21 days in advance)

The airlines do have some last-minute deals on their web sites (e.g. American Airlines' Net SAAver fares or Air Canada's Web Saver fares -- check the web sites of other airlines for more). These are generally for weekend trips with restrictions arranged to make them useless for business travellers (e.g. announced on Wed, travel out on Fri or Sat, return on Sun or Mon)

Here is some good reading on how the pricing and discounting works.
posted by winston at 7:54 PM on November 18, 2005

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