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