1. Visit a website that specializes in last minute airline tickets.
11th Hour Vacations and Last Minute Travel offer excellent deals on last-minute bookings. These sites can help you secure a last-minute airline ticket at slashed rates, so book fast and save cash.
2. Get Tuesday or Wednesday flights.
Leaving and/or returning on a Tuesday or Wednesday saves you money. Try to arrange your trip itinerary so you can fly and return on these days; otherwise, you’ll pay significantly more for air travel.
3. Bid on flights
Travel sights like Priceline.com let you bid on last-minute flights. Bidding is a nice way of getting an open seat that is not hard on the budget. Last-minute airfares usually do not have an advance booking requisite. This allows you to book before you fly. Reserve an air fare you like as soon as possible, since last-minute deals are rare and sell out quickly. A fare flashed in the morning is sold by midday. Even if your trip is in the distant future, book it then and there. The time and price will not be there long.
4. Scour airline consolidators on the web
They are many and they are in the know. Airline consolidators can give you the low down on the best deal available; all it takes is a little imagination and patience. Do not underestimate your instinct. Most times the best deal screams off the page: Keep an eye on last-minute airfares that are published weekly for your city. Due to heavy competition, airlines offer last-minute rates on similar routes. Know which airlines fly to your city and which cities are flight hubs.
5. Pay up
If you need to travel in fewer than 24 hours, it’s better to pay right away. Online payment is certainly the fastest, but if you cannot do this then show up at the airport and ask to be put you on the next flight. Keep in mind that this is merely a back-up plan. If you pursue this, it will cost you more and you will lose your bargaining power.
6. Back up Plan 2
If your last-minute search for an available flight yields nothing, bundling air and hotel accommodations may. Today a number of websites offer last-minute vacation packages at discounted rates. Packages differ widely: two days and two nights, three days and two night, and five days for a week of air-and-hotel, air-and-car, or hotel-and-extras, local or international, are common. There are dozens of websites offering these last-minute packages, and there is one waiting just for you.