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Kip Tips

Can You Still Find Last-Minute Travel Deals?

It's getting harder to find bargains on airfare by holding out for 11th-hour sales.

From the February issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

We had become accustomed to holding out for the big 11th-hour sales airlines would often offer to fill flights. But because many airlines are eliminating less-profitable flights, fewer tickets are available for discounts.

Airlines are keeping their best last-minute fares from the aggregators and online travel agencies and offering them on their own sites. Get those bargains by signing up for airlines’ free rewards programs to receive e-mails with promotional codes and special offers. JetBlue, for example, e-mailed subscribers about a one-day sale on November 30 offering one-way fares as low as $39 for trips taken in December.

What to skip: Over the past year, as airlines have increasingly highlighted last-minute deals on their own sites, has often come up empty. Time and again we’ve tried booking an advertised rate on the site, only to be told that the fare is no longer available (at which point a higher fare would be offered).