Last minute Airfare

Old Jun 1st 2007, 5:13 pm
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Default Last minute Airfare

My family were going to come to USA in this weekend for 2 weeks, but had to cancel due to a health issue. Nothing major, but the Doc wanted to get test results back before they travelled. Luckily my family had travel insurance - so they got their airfare refunded. My wife and I have already scheduled time off work anyway, so we hoped we could find a cheap last minute deal to fly to Scotland and visit them instead.

Does anyone have any info/tips on last minute flights? I've tried Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, kayak etc. etc. but can't find anything under $1000 at short notice. I've heard of airlines allowing you to be "on standby" for a flight. How does that work and is the ticket much cheaper than what you see on the websites?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old Jun 1st 2007, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: Last minute Airfare

Originally Posted by John Murray View Post
My family were going to come to USA in this weekend for 2 weeks, but had to cancel due to a health issue. Nothing major, but the Doc wanted to get test results back before they travelled. Luckily my family had travel insurance - so they got their airfare refunded. My wife and I have already scheduled time off work anyway, so we hoped we could find a cheap last minute deal to fly to Scotland and visit them instead.

Does anyone have any info/tips on last minute flights? I've tried Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, kayak etc. etc. but can't find anything under $1000 at short notice. I've heard of airlines allowing you to be "on standby" for a flight. How does that work and is the ticket much cheaper than what you see on the websites?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.
Anything booked less than 7 days in advance is going to cost you top dollar. June/July/August are the most expensive times to fly to the UK.

I asked Continental about standby tickets a while ago...they said they are no longer available. I guess this is because of terrorism...ie the security checks and having to forward passenger details.
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Old Jun 1st 2007, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Last minute Airfare

I know more about United,

Without status it can be quite difficult to get a standby, you can pay for a standby from another booking, but many flights now are flying to capacity.

Frontier has a similar policy.

We try and have on hand enough air miles (sometimes works) or better free flights you get for giving up your seat.

Probably best bet would be a fringe airline and a connection.
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Old Jun 1st 2007, 5:42 pm
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Default Re: Last minute Airfare

Originally Posted by John Murray View Post
....Does anyone have any info/tips on last minute flights? I've tried Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, kayak etc. etc. but can't find anything under $1000 at short notice. ..........Thanks.
I'm just looking into booking our summer flights - looked at all the usual websites, and the cheapest I could come up with was Air Canada and a Virgin + NWA mix through Expedia - both just over a grand.
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Old Jun 1st 2007, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: Last minute Airfare

We use wholesale fares for overseas trips whenever possible for our clients during high season. It is USUALLY cheaper. I just saved a client over 600 bucks off the published fare for him to make an emergency return flight from here to Thailand on Tuesday.
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Old Jun 1st 2007, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Last minute Airfare

You are going to have a rough go at it finding a 'last minute' fare over the summer. The flights get filled up fast and there is little incentive on the airlines to offer deals of any sorts.

Your best bet might be a bucket shop--a place that bought a lot of tickets at a flat rate and has to resell them. Sometimes Yahoo has tickets in a bucket, but more often you'll have to find some resellers in traditional places (travel agents, etc). Yahoo also has a 'flexible dates' search where you can find the cheapest price for a route and then pick the dates.

Personally, I avoid the Summer unless I buy weeks in advance (I have to fly between the UK and US nearly monthly) and the flights in the Summer always tax my travel budget.
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Old Jun 1st 2007, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: Last minute Airfare

Try Globespan, new airline flying from Boston or New York - very cheap flights at the moment, but they only fly into Glasgow.
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Old Jun 1st 2007, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Last minute Airfare

Originally Posted by RoB1833 View Post
Try Globespan, new airline flying from Boston or New York - very cheap flights at the moment, but they only fly into Glasgow.
Thanks for the tip RoB - I can get 2 flights from Boston to Glasgow for $882 including all taxes etc - amazing deal for those in the northeast! Getting to Boston from Houston should add another $600 or so, but this way will still be $1000 less than any other price I've found!!
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