How to get Cheap last Minute AirfareTo get a cheap last minute airfare
Airfare per minute is scarce, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try.
The last time I wrote I said a very cheap airfare that I found for $137 from San Jose to Boston, which enabled me to travel to San Francisco at the last minute to see my friend on New Year's Eve, using the example of cases where you would like to transfer your airfare to an air carrier other than the one you are using.
However, in fact I was not too amazed that I could find such a cheap rate at the last minute. Theoretically, one would think that airline companies would offer high rebates on last minute rates to maximise the chance of a full trip - e.g. if they have three places remaining, why not make them really cheap?
However, in fact this is not how it works, as anyone who has tried to make a last-minute booking probably knows. Firstly, if they did, everyone would be waiting until the last minute to make their last booking, which would be a catastrophe for the carrier in scheduling it.
Even more important, airline companies want to make sure that there are always a few places available to take advantage of the traveller's opportunity (usually a bus passenger) to arrive somewhere at the last minute and make as much payment as he or she needs (usually from a company account) to get there.
Or in other words, an air carrier doesn't want to be able to refuse a prosperous business man who has to come from New York City to Los Angeles at the last minute and pays $1,000 for it because he has already bought the last place on that plane for $100 to a collegiate child.
Take, for example, the lowest price for two persons travelling from New York City to Los Angeles today is a hefty $868, and that's not even non-stop! Well, are all these tariffs bought before the airplane takes off? Let us assume, however, that the trip is completed by a last-minute captured traveller who is willing to make one payment every eight trips.
In this case, the carrier will earn more than it would have if it had reduced this ticket price to 100 US dollars and paid eight each time. Obviously, the headline of this article is not about why you shouldn't look for last-minute rates, but rather about why you should use them - after all, they definitely are, as the price I found shows.
Air carriers have a tendency to refrain from low last minute rates due to the ability of imprisoned passengers, but there are certain seasons (and routes) where this type of last minute traveller is very unlikely to exist. Hawaii, which doesn't have much commercial activity, is another example.
Of course, this is not to say that you will find a cheap last minute rate to Hawaii, only that it does not differ so much from a regular rate (which is already expensive). Finally, this last-minute rate increase is generally less widespread when it comes to ultra-low-cost carrier such as Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant.
However, since many corporate travellers would rather miss an important meet than spend six off-road with Spirit Lines (although I don't mind), these carriers are generally less eager to maintain their last-minute carving capability. If you look at a last-minute plane from Boston to Washington early the next day (a very much loved bus route), Spirit is almost $50 less expensive than the next lowest cost carrier and sells the plane at a cost ($103), not too much more than a typically last-minute ticket on this one.
Almost every businessman I know would be able to afford the additional $46 to avoid flying Spirit, but for someone else who is more interested in the money and has to take this path at the last minute for their own needs, they can choose Spirit: If you look at the same trip exactly three week later, the price is not only lower, but also other carriers fit to Spirit (or come near it):
Remember, to find cheap fares, whether last minute or well in advance, I can' t posthumously enough suggest my first one.