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How to get cheap last minute flights

Travelling on holiday or business, it’s always good to know how to find and book last minute flights. Knowing how to get cheap last minute flights can help make last minute travel go a lot more smoothly, whether you want to travel around Australia or to get last minute flights to an international destination.

Read our handy guide below on how to find and book last minute flights to domestic and international destinations. These are tried and tested tips from Skyscanner Australia to enhance your search for cheap last minute flight deals to destinations  such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Bali, London and hundreds of others.

Use the search panel to find last minute flights of your choice.

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  1. Standby flights aren’t as cheap as they once were
  2. Don’t settle for the first flight bargains you find
  3. Regularly check Skyscanner’s deals pages to find cheap flights from Australia
  4. Search for last minute flights to ‘everywhere’
  5. Sign up for alerts for last minute flight deals

Standby flights aren’t as cheap as they once were

These days, the best deals for standby flights (and all last minute deals) are found online.

Years ago, you could score yourself a cheap last minute flight 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 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.

Download the app

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 are traditionally when you can find the best deals on flights from Australia, but Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays tend to be cheaper than average days as well.

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.

Skyscanner App

Regularly check Skyscanner’s deals pages to find cheap flights from Australia

Checking Skyscanner’s deals pages can save you 20% (sometimes more!) on last minute flights from Australia.

While we used to have dedicated pages for our deals, we now update these every month. They are announced on the news section of our site, which you can visit for all manner of travel goodies. Alternatively, you can sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media to be among the first to see when flight deals are announced.  

International Flights for Less Than $500

Search for last minute flights to ‘everywhere’

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 the dates of your choosing.

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.

Sign up for alerts for last minute flight deals

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.

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.