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How to find cheap last-minute flights

It's been too long since we've thrown our toothbrush in our hand luggage and gone on a last-minute trip. Skyscanner's search tools can help you bag last-minute flights without going over budget.

Years ago, the best way to get a last-minute flight was to turn up at the airport and ask for a standby ticket. Nowadays, so many people travel by air, the majority of flights sell out – and in some cases they get overbooked. And although recent travel restrictions have made it more difficult and anxiety-inducing to go abroad for a long weekend, the COVID-19 pandemic has actually increased travellers’ appetite for last-minute getaways.

With Skyscanner’s search tools it’s easy to find cheap, last-minute flights, often with flexible booking policies for peace of mind. Hello again, spontaneity.

Find cheap last-minute flights here:

Wizz Air + Wizz Air Abu Dhabi
Sun 17 OctIEV
    AUH
    Wed 27 OctAUH
      KBP
      From
      £70
      SkyUp Airlines
      Sun 17 OctKBP
        TIA
        Thu 21 OctTIA
          KBP
          From
          £168
          Lufthansa + Air France
          Tue 19 OctKBP
            SCL
            Wed 27 OctSCL
              KBP
              From
              £765
              Windrose
              Wed 20 OctKBP
                BEG
                Wed 27 OctBEG
                  KBP
                  From
                  £192
                  Lufthansa + United
                  Wed 20 OctKBP
                    BZE
                    Wed 3 NovBZE
                      KBP
                      From
                      £696
                      SWISS + United
                      Thu 21 OctKBP
                        GUA
                        Thu 4 NovGUA
                          KBP
                          From
                          £665
                          Air Arabia
                          Fri 22 OctKBP
                            KRT
                            Sat 30 OctKRT
                              KBP
                              From
                              £463
                              Austrian Airlines + United
                              Sat 23 OctKBP
                                SAL
                                Sun 31 OctSAL
                                  KBP
                                  From
                                  £642
                                  EL AL Israel Airlines + Israir
                                  Sun 24 OctKBP
                                    TLV
                                    Sun 21 NovTLV
                                      KBP
                                      From
                                      £160

                                      How to find last-minute flight deals

                                      1. Sign up for price alerts

                                      You won’t be the only person searching for last-minute flights. Get ahead of other spontaneous travellers by signing up for our price alerts.

                                      • Search for the flight you’re interested in
                                      • Click the ‘Get Price Alerts’ button on the top left-hand side of the search results page
                                      • Enter your email address to sign in
                                      • We’ll send you an email whenever the price changes.
                                      You can click on Get Price Alerts on the Skyscanner website as a helpful way to keep in touch with last-minute flights

                                      Read more about how to sign up for Skyscanner’s price alert emails

                                      2. Be flexible about where you’re going

                                      Ever wanted to just show up at the airport and get a ticket to anywhere? You can do the online equivalent with our ‘search everywhere’ tool. It reveals last-minute, cheap flights to random places around the world.

                                      When searching Skyscanner for flights, set ‘everywhere’ as your destination and see the cheapest destinations at a glance.

                                      You can set everywhere as your destination at the Skyscanner website and app

                                      Setting ‘UK’ as your departure point will give you even more options, as it takes every British airport into account, rather than just your local one.

                                      Choose the most convenient airport near you for your last-minute flights

                                      3. Be flexible with your travel dates

                                      Flight prices are all based on supply and demand: it costs more to visit beach destinations during summer, and it costs more to visit cities when big events are on. If you can be flexible with your dates, you’re more likely to bag cheap flights. Our ‘Whole month’ search tool can help you do just that.

                                      • Instead of selecting precise dates when searching for flights, choose ‘Whole month’
                                      • Choose ‘Cheapest month’ if you’re happy to plan ahead, or this month for last-minute flights
                                      • You’ll see a chart of the cheapest and most expensive days to fly
                                      • Click the day you’re interested in to start searching for flights.
                                      Use the whole month tool on the Skyscanner website to find super last-minute flights

                                      4. Download the Skyscanner app

                                      Track last-minute flight prices and see the cheapest days to book on our mobile app, which functions just like our desktop site. You can also filter for flexible tickets, free cancellation, airline safety ratings and hotel cleanliness scores.

                                      It couldn’t be simpler to bag a cheap getaway.

                                      Although you’re not always guaranteed to find cheap last-minute flights, having these tools in your arsenal will make it easier to bag a bargain. Remember to check the UK government’s latest FCDO travel advice before booking a flight, as well as coronavirus-related regulations in the country you’re planning to visit.

                                      Search for cheap, last-minute flights right now:

                                      Last-minute flights FAQs

                                      How can I get a last-minute flight deal?

                                      By using Skyscanner’s search tools. If you have a destination in mind, use our ‘whole month’ tool to see the cheapest prices this month at a glance. If you fancy a holiday but don’t care where, search flights to ‘everywhere’ to find the destinations with the cheapest return flights.

                                      Can I get last-minute flights during the COVID-19 pandemic?

                                      At the moment, it can be hard to plan far in advance as travel rules regarding COVID-19 can change quickly. But if you’re flexible about your destination, you can always find last-minute flights on the Skyscanner website and app.

                                      Why do airlines overbook their flights?

                                      Airlines make a loss on unsold seats, which is why many of them overbook their flights. This controversial practice is widespread, with thousands of passengers per year being ‘bumped’ from flights. There’s no real way for airlines to know how many empty seats they’ll have until a few hours before departure, and by then it’s too late for them to sell them off cheap.

                                      Discover where you can go

                                      Making plans to get back out there? Find out which borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.

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