Flight Only / Airline and Airports

Discussions relating to flight only, airlines and airports.

I've heard of people doing that for flights, but not holidays. I know people that have gone to the travel agent in the morning with cases packed ready at home, booked somewhere, whatever was available and got a great deal and flown out that afternoon. I don't think it happens now though, or very rarely. You'd probably struggle in the school holidays as bookings seem to be strong so far this year. I think it's less common these days with reduced capacity making last minute deals less available and best prices often being available when booking in advance, and last minute deals (ie a few days to a few weeks before departure) advertised on the internet. You can always check out tour operator websites for last minute deals a few days before you want to go, you sometimes see some great deals. You'll also get them in local travel agents. You just need to be careful with allocation on arrival. I know some are really cheap and look inviting, and for some they work out perfect. But always bear in mind you could end up anywhere and have little argument with the tour company if the allocated accommodation is unsuitable for what you wanted.

I think there is a lot of myth around this sort of bargain, I can't say I've ever noticed a tour company even trying to sell at the airport that short notice. It may have happened in the days before the internet when they had no other way of reaching peple at short notice. But even if it does happen you would need to be quite close to the airport in case you don't get fixed up - there's no point gambling large transport fees against modest savings on holidays that might not happen. If you are close then why not have a few trips to the terminal in earlier school holidays and see what's happening.

Do you need school hols because you have kids or because that's the dates you're stuck with? Getting a cheap flight for 1 or 2 people will aways be easier than getting a suitable holiday for a whole family.
I think that the days that this was possible are long gone, with all the consolidation going around there is very little spare capacity.

As an example First Choice had around 25 aircraft and Thomsonfly 51 aircraft at the height of the holiday boom Thomson Airways now has approx 62 (off the top of my head) some 14 less than a couple of years ago with the combined operation. I work for the aforementioned company and we get a good deal just before departure and I have requested a few of these deals all to varying destinations this last 10 months and got no where due to flights being full.
You may be lucky with a flight on the off chance but I can't recall seeing anywhere at the airport where you can buy a package holiday.

I needed to get to majorca on the spur of the moment when my dad had a heart attack over there. We jumped in the car and drove the 2 hours to Bristol with the intention of getting the next available plane over. Luckily Easy jet check-in was just closing a flight but got me (and my niece) on the plane as soon as I'd explained the situation. I'm afraid that's the only experience of 'just turning up at the airport' that I've had.

As you're talking about school holiday dates, I doubt you'd get any last min bargains. Good Luck anyway.
Thanks very much for all your input :)

I think i'll just try and get a deal as late as possible from a travel agent or online.
Funnily enough many German airports still have "last minute" tour operators located together able to sell tours/holidays to people although I am not sure if that includes "on the day travel".

I suppose consideration also needs to be given to such things as Advance Passenger Information which more and more authorities of countries require...so maybe people are a little more restricted with regard to turn up, book, fly packages.

Last year when our Mexico holiday got cancelled 3 weeks before departure,which was the May half term we were lucky enough to get a really cheap holiday from Glasgow to Corfu so if you don't mind travelling up to Scotland it might be worth a look as it won't be their half term.The same holiday from Bristol was over £400 more so it was well worth our while travelling the distance.
We have twice travelled to meet friends and then all four of us have turned up at the travel agents with our cases all packed at our friends house, to see if anything was available that day. First time we ended up in a beautiful 4* hotel, full board for 2 weeks for £299 each. Second time we ended up in an awful hotel, much like a prison block same price for B/B. Never again!
I was going to say that Book and Go holidays are commonly found at German airports where there are often many consolidators offering packages as well as the major T Os. To a lesser extent this also applies at Basel as LTur have an office there.
Yes as Alsa stated it's still operating in Germany, when I was walking around Munich airport waiting for my flight to the UK last September I saw that some tour operators where still offering last minute holidays departing that day. I was very tempted.. a week in Greece sounded much more interesting than a week with my MIL in Sussex.
Doesn't help the OP though as I doubt her/his local airport is Munich.

Terminal 4 at Stuttgart even has a 'travel market' with at least 20 operators offering immediate departures and there are 4 or 5 at Karlsruhe Baden. It's always SO tempting!!!
Going back 3-4 years a friend told me he did this regulary and the best he got going to Thialand plus 4 star hotel for £229 but I cant remember how long
There is a travel agency at Glasgow airport just as you come through Arrivals.

luci :wave
Last time I had to pick up a ticket for a last minute booking out of curiosity I asked what the situation was regarding just turning up and trying to buy a ticket/holiday. I was told that if there was availability on the flight then they would sell me a ONE WAY flight ticket only. Where I stayed and how I got back was entirely down to me.
I think those days have long gone,sometimes I check the price of a flight day before I go,and they are still ridiculous price!,when we get on the plane the next day,there can be lots of empty seats!! they just wont sell them cheap at last minute. :(
I would start looking about 6 weeks before you want to go - that seems to be when the 'late deals' start to appear. Just be aware that this is probably the last week of the summer season in many places and you might find plenty of flights out, but the return flights are full with all the reps and seasonal workers coming home.

Maggiemay has a good point, we have seen and taken some good deals out of Glasgow for the October Half term week.

Why not post a topic in mid september and see what the HT bargainhunters can come up with ?

Good Luck

It would be foolish turning up at the airport (unless you have a lot of time on your hands) as the holiday company and airline desks always see to have queues of people trying to make a complaint!

This could make the basis of a new "Reality" TV programme

They could make a live tv auction to see how much the public would pay to send 'z' list celebs on a one way ticket :rofl

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