Maybe your buddy from a distant city is calling for help, or perhaps you have a family emergency. Better yet, you just received an awesome last minute cruise deal. Whatever your reasons, booking a last minute flight is possible. You can actually get a flight ticket within a two-hour window before departure, whether online or from the airport. Below are some of the quickest ways of booking your flight.
Know your Options
The most crucial aspect of booking a last-minute flight is acknowledging that each airline has its own unique policies. For instance, one carrier might allow you to reserve a flight online with fewer than two hours’ lead prior to the departure time, while others strictly prohibit bookings within a couple of hours window. Most domestic airlines will, however, accept online flight booking for up to two hours pending departure, after which you can only get a ticket at the airport’s counter. You will, therefore, want to make your way to the airport hastily. Alternatively, try booking a ticket via your phone particularly if you’re not driving yourself.
Ask for Assistance
It’s not unusual to see a passenger getting a change of heart about their destination when already at the gate or even during a layover. In such instances, you will want to head to the airline help desk that’s located within the terminal and request the agents to help you with booking a last minute flight. You might be required to revert to the ticket counter and subsequently come back inside via the security screening point, which is totally dependent on the specific policies of the airline. In the event that you require booking a last minute flight due to a family emergency, ensure to alert your prospective airline reservation line. You will find that some companies provide discounted fares if you can show that you’re traveling under certain emergency circumstances.
Know What to Expect and Cooperate
Although hotels usually reduce charges on last-minute booking, the reverse is almost always true when it comes to airlines. In fact, most airlines will charge you double the fare paid by the other passengers traveling on the same flight who happened to book earlier. If you ultimately succeed in your quest to purchase a ticket in the face of imminent departure, scrutinize the boarding pass. If you find the TSA code SSSS printed on the pass in large letters, it implies that you might have to endure more elaborate screening as compared to the other passengers. This code is assigned by the TSA to travelers buying last minute tickets because there’s hardly enough time to pre-examine such passengers’ identity against a watch list among other databases.
As such, it is imperative to anticipate the TSA agents pulling you aside and thoroughly screen you if the code is printed on your boarding pass. While this procedure is quite frustrating especially when your flight is almost leaving, you will want to remain calm. This is the only way you can expediently get past the security.
Whether you’re contemplating traveling locally or internationally, the tips discussed above will save you a lot of time and a bunch of unnecessary hassle. Adequate mental preparation for booking a last minute flight will allow you to navigate the airport masterfully irrespective of your being late.