We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

Berea, Ohio
2 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

My friend and I thought it would be fun to do an "instant" vacation, where we would go to the airport with an overnight bag packed, and see what flights were available cheap. Wouldn't matter where, any flights that were undersold that the airline just wanted to get another paying passenger on.

Has anyone ever done something like this? Is it even possible, with heightened security? I fly 4-5 times a year for vacation, but I always plan my travel. Leaving at the last minute, with no idea where we're headed, sounded like a hoot.

Any input would be appreciated!!

South Pole
Level Contributor
15,381 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

yes, buy a one way ticket with cash.

and see u on the news!

but seriously, i dont think last minute flights will be all that cheap.

and what ever happened to 'mystery flights'? i guess the new age of security put a damper on those.

Edited: 23 January 2011, 00:22
Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
6,033 posts
218 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

This was possible years ago from our local airport in the UK, there was a travel agent with a board outside advertising deals, but as said with security etc, don't seem to see it nowadays

Chiang Khong...
Level Contributor
4,720 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

HI

You could do an internet search the night before.

that way you could cover so much more ground.

once you find something you like buy it on line

then show up next day at airport and fly out of town.

check for charter and package deals for last min deals.

just showing up will limit your options and put you into possible time constraint's

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
8,797 posts
90 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

Most airlines have "last minute" deals that you can subscribe to. They come out on Tuesday for the weekend. Other than that, if you show up at the airport for a last minute flight, you pay the most expensive fare there is... even if there is space available.

There are more people that "have" to fly with short notice than there are people who can be convinced to fly on short notice... ergo prices are high if you don't book ahead.

An exception to this are Jet Blue and Southwest. If they have low fares left, you get them. They might not be the lowest possible, but they aren't the highest either.

Grand Rapids...
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

Yep,

You can do this with cruises not airlines. If you want a adventure book

a cheap late night flight to afganistan, Kubal. But don't line up your hotels ahead of time. That will burn a brain cell.

I just got back from Mexico via San Diego. Had a fight delay so I missed

the group going in so I slept in the San Diego Airport until sunrise and made a run for the border on the Blue Trolley. I lost my ticket so this one

Mexican told me what door the ticket checker was at and we both bail.

Luis, my new found friend took me across the border and took me too

the bus station to get a bus to Ensenada.

O by the way, I speak no Spainish. I wasn't planning to.

Have Fun

australia
Level Contributor
2,551 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

I have heard they have mystery weekends in Amsterdam. You just rock up at the airport and away you go!

Down here any last minute fares are top dollar, gone are the days of standby cheap fares (they are reserved for staff and they'd be lucky to go anywhere!)

UK
Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

<any flights that were undersold that the airline just wanted to get another paying passenger on.>>

It doesn't work that way any more and hasn't for at least 10 years, well before the security issues. The airlines now figure anyone turning up wanting to fly right now will pay top dollar.

Look for deals available online the week preceeding.

Edited: 23 January 2011, 09:58
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
831 posts
104 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

<and what ever happened to 'mystery flights'? >

Lien, my first and only experience of the mystery flight was in 1976 on East-West, when my parents paid $25 per person for the 'mystery' flight.

It helped that my mother's cousin was the wife of the chief pilot of EW... so off we went on the 'champagne' flight to Maroochydore, piloted by the cousin-by-marriage. And Dad got to sit in the cockpit for the landing at KSA. For those of us aft, 3 hours each way in a Fokker-27 Friendship is an interesting introduction to air travel. Yes, I'm still flying, despite the scars :-)

Berea, Ohio
2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

Thanks to everybody for your responses! I get the Tuesday emails from Continental with weekend fares, so I think that's where we'll start, and pick a city we've never been to before. It'll be an adventure, and that's what it's all about! Thanks again.

MERSEYSIDE
Level Contributor
4,001 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Showing up @ the airport last minute, no destination in mind

the latest we ever booked was tyhursday evening for saturday morning flight, picked the tix up at the airport and off we went, extra legroom seats cos no one had paid for them...enjoyed that bit even if it was only a 2 hour flight, nice to get a bargain!