7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals


Pricey flights are the bane of every traveler's existence. But once you become a frequent traveler, you pick up a few flight booking tips that'll save you tons of cash.

But if you have the type of schedule that just won't allow you to plan ahead a few months, you might be in for sticker shock. In that case, it's smart to find the best sites for last-minute airfare. If you're flexible on where you travel, you can scoop up some amazing deals all over the globe. And even if you're not flexible, you may be able to whittle down the last-minute price tag tremendously. (See also: 20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel)

1. Hopper

Hopper is a mobile app that lets you search for flights, compare travel deals, and figure out the best time to fly. Search for your preferred flight dates using colored blocks. From there, you'll get predictions on the exact dates your flights might be cheapest.

You'll receive a notification to wait for a better fare if the app believes prices will drop, along with ongoing notifications when your fare hits the bottom. Or you'll get a notification to "buy" because your airfare is the lowest it will go.

While Hopper can work great for fares in the future, it can also help you decide when to pull the trigger on a last-minute trip. At the very least, it can show you the cheapest day to fly within your preferred range of dates.

2. Airfare Watchdog

Airfarewatchdog lets you save on last-minute travel in more ways than one. First, the website lists last-minute travel deals from your home airport or any airport of your choosing. If you're flexible on where you travel, this tool makes it easy to see the best deals from your airport within the upcoming month.

Second, you can set up alerts to notify you when a last-minute airfare deal you've been looking for finally appears. Lastly, Airfare Watchdog offers tips on amazing airfare deals via social media daily. By following them on Facebook or Twitter, you can get the inside scoop on airfare deals all over the world.

3. Secret Flying

Secret Flying is a resource that's perfect for the last-minute traveler who has some flexibility in where they go. The site, which uses software to find unbelievable airfare deals across the globe, unleashes an array of last-minute flight deals nearly every day.

On any given morning, you could wake up to find you can fly round-trip to Paris next week for less than $400, or to Bali for a flat $350 in coach. The catch? Secret Flying deals usually last no longer than a few days, and you typically need to travel within a few weeks of booking.

4. The Flight Deal

The Flight Deal is another site that rolls out unbelievable daily deals on airfare. On some mornings, you may find you can score a round-trip flight to New Zealand for $500. Another day, you might discover a crazy, cheap bucket-list trip to Maui or South Africa or Belize.

Of course, most of these crazy fares come with a catch, in that you generally need to book within 24 hours and travel within weeks. But they can be a huge boon to those who are flexible with destinations and dates.

The Flight Deal shares discounts on domestic trips, too. So if you're only looking for a last-minute trip to Florida or Colorado, you'll uncover deals on those destinations, too. You may just have to wait a while.

5. Expedia

Expedia offers a several ways to spend less on airfare, including a last-minute travel deals page that shows cheap fares from your home airport. Destinations vary depending on the date and your departure hub, but they typically include cheap, last-minute flight deals to some domestic big city hubs along with top vacation spots like Hawaii and Cancun.

Expedia also offers a selection of flight and hotel packages that let you save on both. For example, as I'm writing this, they're offering package deals to destinations like Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Las Vegas, Miami, and Los Angeles, starting at just $599 per person.

6. Last Minute Travel

Last Minute Travel offers exactly what the name promises — timely airfare deals on trips departing within the next few weeks. The downside here is that you need to join the site and purchase a membership to get the best deals. The upside is that they promise last-minute airfare deals worth up to 60 percent off.

Membership costs just $50 per year, and that gets you members-only rates on airfare, exclusive hotel deals, 24/7 assistance from travel experts, and a members-only rewards plan. If you don't save at least the cost of the membership ($50), Last-Minute Travel will refund the cost in the form of a travel voucher.

If you don't want to join, the site still offers competitive pricing on all of your travel needs, but especially on last-minute airfare and hotel deals.

7. Orbitz

Orbitz is a travel aggregator that makes it easy to shop for last-minute flight deals and compare prices across airlines. Like Expedia, Orbitz also offers a page with daily and weekly travel deals. These discounts can apply to airfare, hotel bookings, and travel packages.

Occasionally, special deals with specific airlines are available. For example, you may find discounts on last-minute travel with American Airlines or Delta Air Lines one week and Air France the next. Generally speaking, any included deals on special airfare only apply to last-minute fares taking place within the next 30 days. But if you're flexible, you can find round-trip airfare for less than $200 to select destinations within the U.S.

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