Buying a flight on the day of travel


Jul 18, 2009
Have any of you gone down the route of not buying an airline ticket in advance and showing up on the day (and the day after, and the day after that...) to see if there are any very last minute bargains to be had? I need to fly to London next month and was hoping to return on a different passport (I have dual nationality - neither of which are Argentine), but a one way ticket is at the very least twice as much as a return ticket, but I wouldn't be able to return on my other passport if I bought a return ticket. So my questions are (!):

What type of price would I get if I was in Ezeiza on the day ready to fly if an empty seat was avaiable?
Is it possible to do this on flights to London (not sure if due to anti terrorism laws you have to be booked two days in advance so they can check you're not a Bad Person)?

I'd be glad of any advice and info from anyone who's recently managed to do this recently.

Generally airlines tickets purchased at the last minute cost more not less. Your best bet is to get a feel what prices are in the market. Start shopping 2 or 3 months before you want to depart. If you see a price that's looks like a deal buy it. Also keep in mind things like holidays where prices may be higher. Also the day of the week you pick can impact the price. Generally Fridays and Sundays are more expensive. Try mid-week flights at times other people don't want to fly to get a deal.
A few nights ago an Argentine was saying that there's no benefit to buying early on an Argentine airlines because prices don't go up, because Argentines always do everything at the last moment. I can not vouch for it, and you'd have to take Aerolineas, but who knows.
Why not go to travel agents and tell them that you want to go the next day and see what they say? Although I haven´t used a travel agent in years, I´ve heard that a reputable agent may have lower than internet prices. A friend of mine bought her tickets to Havana from a BA agent. The agent was able to get her back to BA during the swine flu fiasco.
Thanks for all your advice. I know the earlier I buy the cheaper it is, but I was hoping to hear from anyone who's tried actually going to the airport in the morning and asking airlines if they have a seat on a flight that day (ie with my bags packed and ready to go - a seat that would otherwise remain empty). I'd heard these were significantly cheaper but can't recall anyone reporting they'd actually done this. I wasn't sure if this is still possible what with all the security checks that have to be done on passengers these days. My main problem is that I'd like a one way ticket, but this cost approximately three times as much as a round trip so I was wondering if this would be a way to avoid paying over the odds for a one way ticket.