Last Minute Fares Cheaper than You Thought
When your travel plans
change at the last minute, or a personal or business emergency arises,
you may find it difficult to find reasonable last minute fares.
Last minute fares are often very volatile. These types of tickets
can change rapidly in price as it gets closer to the day of the
flight. If you limit your options, you can find that the price you
are charged is extremely high or on flights that are less than ideal.
By considering all possibilities, it is still possible for you to
find reasonable last minute fares.
Airlines take stock of their remaining seating
inventory electronically as the date and time of departure draw
near and employ the theory of supply and demand in adjusting fares
for their flights. Because of that, last minute fares are often
quite a bit higher than fares purchase weeks or months prior. As
the supply of seats dwindles but demand remains for the remaining
seats, airlines have the advantage in being able to charge far higher
prices than when there are more seats than interested travelers.
Even though last minute fares are typically higher
than advanced-purchase, there are still bargains to be found. The
smart traveler will investigate all available options before purchasing
a ticket. On popular routes covered by multiple airlines, terrific
deals are often still available very close to the date of the flight
as carriers compete with one another for your business. On less
popular routes where airlines have a hard time filling up planes,
the best deals can sometimes be found right before the time of the
flight, as the carrier would rather make some money by selling you
a reasonable last minute fare than fly with an empty seat.
Travelers can also benefit by carefully studying
the fare rules for the flights being considered. A way to find reasonable
last minute fares is to purchase a ticket that does not mandate
a certain amount of time between sale and flight. Other conditions
to avoid when purchasing a last minute fares are tickets that mandate
a certain amount of time between departure and return, or a Saturday-night
Investigate both discount websites and airline
websites when you are purchasing your last minute fares. Discount
websites might purchase a block of tickets at a discount price that
they are then able to sell to you at a quite reasonable rate, even
very close to the date of departure. If fares like that are not
available, it may be in your best interest to deal directly with
the airline, as they often roll out surprisingly good deals closer
to departure that might not be extended through discount sites.
The most important thing to keep in mind when
purchasing your last minute fares is not to make an impulse purchase.
Do not assume that simply because you need to buy a ticket quickly,
you have to pay the first (and often highest) price you find. Check
around and work with any flexibility you might have. Even when time
is of the essence, you can find reasonable last minute fares.
Save money, save time and save frustration by
using remember these common-sense tactics to help you the next time
you are in search of last minute fares.
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