You would think that airlines would fill empty seats by slashing prices at the last minute. But even with a near empty cabin, airlines very rarely lower prices in the eleventh hour. If airlines lowered prices last minute, consumers would likely catch on and that's not exactly profitable for the airline. What airlines facing empty flights often do instead is increase the price of their flights once the takeoff date gets closer. That's because the consumers most likely to book a flight at the last minute are business people whose travelling is mandatory and their travel expenses are covered by their company. Fares on a particular flight will generally increase as the flight becomes more heavily booked but at certain points, fares may fall dramatically if a fare sale is launched or an airline determines that booking levels are below where they should be for a given departure date. Alaska airlines, Delta airlines and Air Canada offer special rates for those traveling due to a death in the family.