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How to get cheap last minute flights

Living spontaneously is one of life's great thrills, and sometimes when you need a holiday you just need a holiday. Knowing how to get cheap last minute flights can help this process go a lot more smoothly, whether you want to travel around Australia or to get a plane ticket to an international destination. Here are some tried and tested tips from Skyscanner Australia on how to find last minute flight specials.

Find last minute flights from Australia

1. Last minute flights aren’t as cheap as they once were

Years ago you could score yourself a cheap last minute deal by just walking up to any airport counter in Australia and asking about standby flights. These tickets are pretty much a thing of the past today though, thanks partly to more sophisticated computer systems, and code sharing agreements that see most flights at capacity.

Even if a plane isn’t full, the only way you can generally get on a standby list is if you miss your flight, if you have a full price ticket and you want to get on an earlier flight, or if you work for an airline (or are a close relative of someone who does).

Instead of fruitlessly rushing to the airport intent on getting a last minute flight, you can find cheap weekend getaway deals for the next four weekends, last minute flight specials and the top travel deals by downloading Skyscanner’s free travel app.

Skyscanner App
Download the Skyscanner app

2. Don’t settle for the first flight bargains you find

While standby tickets are not the same as they used to be, you can still find last minute flight deals in Australia if you keep your eyes and ears open. Try searching for flights on different days: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays tend to be the cheapest days to fly.

Monday, Friday and Sunday are more expensive because they’re prime flight days for business travellers, as well as families leaving or returning from a trip away.

Sign up to airline newsletters and the Skyscanner newsletter too, and follow your favourite airlines on social media. Social media is usually the most immediate way to find out about a flash sale. Follow Skyscanner on Facebook and keep your eyes peeled!

3. Regularly check our deals pages to find cheap international flights

Does a cost saving of at least 20% on international flights sound good to you? Bookmark and regularly check back on Skyscanner’s best last minute deals to popular international and domestic destinations.

Bookmark our International Deals and Domestic Deals pages.

International Deals Domestic Deals

4. Book last minute flight tickets to ‘everywhere’

Everybody knows that you need to be flexible when you’re looking for cheap flights. But when it comes to last minute flights, there’s more to being flexible than choosing anti-social flight times. It also means being flexible about your destination, and the airport you’re flying from. This way you could find yourself in a gorgeous city that you hadn’t thought about visiting before.

The best way to do this is to use Skyscanner Australia’s ‘flights to everywhere’ destination option. This way you can see which places are cheapest to visit on a short timescale.

5. Sign up for Skyscanner Price Alerts for last minute flight bargains

You can also find last minute bargains with Skyscanner Price Alerts. Just choose a destination and date and if the price of flights changes you will automatically be sent an email.

Skyscanner Price Alerts are free and you can change your alerts or unsubscribe at any time.

Find last minute flights

Searching for last minute flights, hotel deals or car hire? Skyscanner Australia will find and compare all the options available online so you can find the right deal for you. Check out our travel app when you are on the go.