Last-minute — Good Deals or Not?

We’ve always believed you could find some of the best travel deals at the last minute. Fill up the empty seats in a plane, berths in a train, staterooms in a ship, right? Now we’re not so sure.

About 10 days ago, we were were checking out flights because, unexpectedly, we were making “last-minute” plans. Five days before flying, the best fare was $171, one way. As the day of departure got closer, the price went higher, ending our plans when it climbed to $381, one way.

On the weekend, the same thing. On Sunday, the best fare available for a September flight was $289. Yesterday, it was $313.

What’s happened to last-minute bargains?

Most of us have to fly before we cruise and in these regressive economic times every travel dollar saved is important, so these “stock-market-like” prices for flights are important.

What about cruise prices?

We’re planning to track some last-minute cruise prices in the days ahead to see what the research demonstrates. In the meantime, what’s been your experience in booking cruises at the last minute; in particular how you think it has changed…or if it has.

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