Cheap Flights for Valentine's Day – How to Find the Last-Minute Deals

Once again, you’ve waited until the last minute to surprise your sweetheart. Is a last-minute Valentine flight to someplace romantic totally out of the question?

No. But you must act fast.

Popular and Cheap Valentine Destinations

Tips for Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Deals

  • The number one way to find a cheap Valentine’s Day flight: Book now.

The longer you wait, the more you’ll pay for most flights. The large, legacy carriers typically have a reservations cut-off date for their best-priced fares of between 10 and 14 days before departure. Discount carriers usually give you a bit more leeway, from 3 to 4 days to a week before departure. After those cut-off dates, though, fares generally zoom.

But take a minute to check out these tips before booking:

  • Cheap destinations: Look for big airport hubs with lots of airlines for deals from your town, or look at cities known as cheap destinations.
  • Look for hour-long flights: Most prices soar during popular travel periods except when it comes to flights of roughly an hour or less. In other words, check out cities close-by.
  • Forget connecting flights (this time): Usually you can find cheaper flights if you add a stop (or two) but if your trip is short, consider paying the premium. If you’ll be gone for a while, connect and save money.
  • Check for last-minute deals: Forget focusing on Feb. 14 (a Thursday). If you can wait until the weekend to celebrate, several airlines offer last-minute deals to and from select cities. Most require you depart late Friday or anytime Saturday, and return Monday or Tuesday. See these specials on the Deals Blog.
  • Save on fees: If you’re only going to be gone a couple of days, don’t check a bag. It’s an easy way to save $50 in round-trip fees.

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Published: February 5, 2013