How can I search for cheap, last minute flights out of a particular city, but with no particular destination in mind?
April 24, 2008 2:01 PM   Subscribe

I often find myself with an open weekend and an urge to fly to no place in particular, just to go exploring. Whether it's Sioux City, Billings, or Biloxi, I figure I can entertain myself anywhere for a weekend. Are there websites that allow you to search for cheap, last minute flights from a given origin, irrespective of destination? Most sites require you to enter a destination, which makes the whole process a lot more difficult.
posted by decoherence to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 98 users marked this as a favorite
Farecast does deals from specific cities. Here's the page for flights leaving from DC. They also have a great Where to Travel section.
posted by zazerr at 2:10 PM on April 24, 2008 does not require you enter a destination.
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 2:12 PM on April 24, 2008

Travelocity has a section like that; just change the "Departure City" in the top left to what you want, then you can search for last minute deals, or based on a different criteria (national parks, etc.)
posted by inigo2 at 2:16 PM on April 24, 2008

Ah this reminds me of the two years I had unlimited access to Southwest standby vouchers. America was my playground every weekend. I wish I still had that hookup, but, I think flying standby these days is a total nightmare.
posted by trbrts at 2:39 PM on April 24, 2008

I like to check American Airlines Weekend Getaways.
posted by sulaine at 2:40 PM on April 24, 2008

on airfarewatchdog, just enter your city of departure.
posted by brooklynexperiment at 2:43 PM on April 24, 2008

Seconding, with whom I've had good experiences... but there are also others, such as the Last Minute Deals page at Most only need an origin city, then they offer you cheap destinations... I think that is exactly what you are looking for.

Also, most airlines (like sulaine's link for AA above) have their own "weekly deals" or "last minute specials" or somesuch, if you don't mind checking individual airline websites. Some send you an e-mail every Thursday or Friday for travel that weekend.

I have done many ~$50 cross-country and ~$100 international weekend trips this way, most recently a NYC-London return for $149, if I recall right.

Prices vary widely from day to day, and even from hour to hour. I've reloaded a page while in the middle of a purchase and received a lower fare many, many times.
posted by rokusan at 2:48 PM on April 24, 2008

Travelzoo is great - they put out a top 20 cheap fares list every Thursday, I think.
posted by Sophie1 at 3:10 PM on April 24, 2008

You've got a bunch of sites to try already, but there's also Fare Compare, which has a "cheap flights from a given city" feature too.
posted by letourneau at 3:38 PM on April 24, 2008

Kayak Buzz

Put in your origin city, set the time to "Upcoming Weekends" and choose "US" as the destination.
posted by smackfu at 4:27 PM on April 24, 2008

Doesn't Southwest's "Ding" do this? Unfortunately you have to download the software.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:28 PM on April 24, 2008

Check out Bestfares, specifically the "Snooze You Lose" and "Last Minute Deals." You don't HAVE to be a member, although the $60 membership definitely entitles you to some amazing deals-- in February they had round-trip flights from Boston to Munich for $250! Sign up for their emails; you won't regret it.
posted by veryhappyheidi at 8:26 PM on April 24, 2008 is the site I have used for years.

You can subscribe to any number of cities, and early in the week (monday through thursday) they'll e-mail you all the last minute fares for the up-coming weekend.

It's kinda cool, and very low-traffic. Some other services are very spammy.

I subscribe to the airports near me (SFO, SJC, Oakland) but I also subscribe to cities where friends and family live. If there is cheap airfare for them to come to me, I let them know.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:42 PM on April 24, 2008

sign up for the weekly specials for all the airlines, especially if you are near one of their hubs.

We used to do the Continetal specials all the time before we had kids. they send you an email on a tuesday with that weekends specials, you fly out on Friday or Saturday, return on Monday or tuesday.

they have some insane deals, like Newark, NJ to San diego for $128 round trip. sometimes you can do the same trip for 500 miles and $35 or something like that

i think you can just go to their website and look up the specials without signing up for emails
posted by Mr_Chips at 5:13 AM on April 25, 2008

Res99 has a feature for "Last Minute Vacations" where you can search by "this weekend" "next weekend", etc., for any deals going from your city.
posted by booknerd at 8:45 AM on April 25, 2008 is the best, but it focuses on airlins outside the normal networks, like virtually all low cost carriers in Europe.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:17 AM on May 6, 2008

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