Consolidator tickets are tickets on airlines that are for international travel. Flying with consolidator tickets is pretty much the same as flying with standard tickets, with the primary difference being that consolidator tickets are cheaper. This is because consolidators get discounts from airlines for buying tickets in large volumes.
This is how it works: The airline sells empty seats to consolidators to fill up the flight. If the plane flies with empty seats, it is lost profit for the airline. Consolidators market these “cheap seats,” and the airline returns the favor by giving low contract rates.
How Consolidator Tickets Help You
Air travel consolidators help you to compare flight fares between airlines for a specific flight route during the same period, allowing you to save time and money. You can also decide which airline and flight schedule suits you best. Securing a consolidator ticket generally cuts between 10% and 70% or more off the airlines’ selling prices. At airfare sales, you can get a cheaper ticket with a published rate, although this does not happen all the time since fares go up during the summer and holiday seasons.
Consolidator tickets normally do not have the same restrictions that airlines have on advanced air fare purchases. By using a consolidator ticket, you can fly into one city and exit from another. Moreover, consolidator tickets do not require advance purchase and are refundable with little penalty.
How to Use Consolidator Tickets
1. Find an online consolidator you trust, because the relationship counts a lot. When you work with a consolidator you trust and who trusts you back, it is possible to get a fair deal. Inquire about the yield management system that is used to calculate your airfare. A yield management system computes the selling price of an airfare based on factors such as season, point of departure, time, local and international events, and market forces.
2. Make sure to find out the rules before you buy your ticket. Consolidator tickets are treated the way standard tickets are treated, but there may be special rules that apply in certain situations.
3. Ask about the details of the seat and the flight in general. When you fly with a consolidator ticket, you are supposed to get meals and other benefits you would normally get with a standard ticket.
4. Buy your ticket as early as possible. The population of online travel consolidators is growing, and the result is a vibrant online travel industry. Because of this, there is pressure on offline travel consolidators to go online as well. When you use an online air travel consolidator’s service, you can compare air fare prices between airlines and consolidators as well. This will allow you to get the best deal to suit your needs.
Where to find consolidators
Most Sunday travel sections of big news newspapers publish consolidator contacts and links. In the United States consolidator centers are located in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Portland, Honolulu, Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, Boston, and Minneapolis. International consolidator hubs are also based in England, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Israel, Australia, Thailand, and Canada.