Last-Minute Labor Day Flights – 5 Ways to Find the Best Deals

Looking for a last-minute getaway to take advantage of Labor Day? Since the holiday is this coming Monday – Sept. 1 – you have no time to waste. Check out these ideas right now.

LISTEN: Travel expert Rick Seaney has a few last tips.

1. Weekend Deals

Most of the legacy carriers offer some last-minute weekend deals including American*, United, US Airways and sometimes Delta. Find these deals on the airlines’ websites or on FareCompare’s Deals Blog. Here are the latest weekend deals (click the airline name for more info):

  • United: Labor Day Deals from $166 round-trip. Book by Aug. 29
  • US Airways: Labor Day Deals from $217 round-trip. Book by Aug. 30

Pros and cons: You usually have until Friday and sometimes Saturday (Aug. 29, 30) to book these deals. The downside is they may not include your departure city. As for destinations, it’s strictly potluck, but we notice that United usually has the biggest selection.

*In recent weeks, American has been listing fewer and fewer weekend deals but give them a try anyway.

2. Set Airfare Alerts

This is a must for travel year-round but can be helpful in case last minute deals crop up. Setting an alert is simple (and free) – sign up here.

3. Fly Cheaper Days

You’ll probably save some money by flying the cheapest days – Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday – which is important since last-minute prices can be very expensive and every little bit helps.

4. Fly Longer Routes

If you have the time, and don’t mind the inconvenience, check prices for connecting flights as well as non-stops. You can sometimes save as much as 60 percent by adding a stop (or two).

5. Hope for a Miracle

It doesn’t happen often – in fact, it’s extremely rare – but sometimes airlines make mistakes and publish insanely cheap fares. This happened less than a year ago when United mistakenly offered $5 and $10 flights, then announced it would honor the fares. If you sign-up for airfare alerts you may stumble over a miracle fare, and also follow bargain-loving friends on Twitter. If you find one of these fares, act fast – airlines get rid of them quickly.

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Published: August 27, 2014