The Truth About Consolidator Fares: Part One

Travelers with multiple destinations are particularly interested in saving money on air fare, and one way to save on domestic or international air travel is to take advantage of Consolidator Fares. These are airline tickets which are priced cheaper than normal published rates, and ticket companies which that offer these airline tickets are called consolidators.

Consolidators are able to offer cheaper tickets after negotiating the bulk acquisition of unsold international or domestic route tickets. Airline companies usually agree to this arrangement because they do not want to risk huge blocks of unsold airline tickets because it’s in their best interest to offer discounted airfares and have fully booked flights than to have unsold and empty seats. Due to this arrangement, consolidator fares are 30%-70% cheaper than normal published rates.

Sales transactions of consolidators are usually coursed through ticket retailers, and their services greatly depend on the Consolidator’s classification.

A “wholesale-only” consolidator typically deals with round-trip tickets issued by local airline companies. Being a wholesaler, the consolidator does not advertise its services to the general public; rather, it prefers selling to travel agencies and instead of directly to the traveling public.

On the other hand, a “destination specialist” is one which sells to both travel agencies and the general public and specializes in selling discounted tickets for a particular travel destination or route. Most often discounted tickets from this kind of consolidator are used for package tours. A destination specialist does not earn substantially from ticket sales, but rather is motivated by other incentives offered by airline companies. These include bonuses conditioned on achieving ticket sale targets.

The final type of consolidators is called “bucket shops.” Although the designations bucket shops and consolidators are often used interchangeably, they are not identical. Bucket shops usually aren’t directly connected with the airline company. These are retailers that specialize in complicated travel itineraries like multiple travel destinations.

Passengers who avail of the services of a consolidator are usually able to purchase discounted tickets even on short notice because most airlines do not want to risk reduced ticket sales near the date of departure and would rather sell their tickets to a consolidator that can offer the same as special ticket offers.

Another benefit of using a consolidator is less stressful travel. Passengers who avail of the services consolidator enjoy discounted air airfare for multiple destinations because most consolidators are experts in dealing with different airlines; thus, they know how to arrange the cheapest route.

The services of consolidators are also recommended for travelers on a long holiday or travel itinerary to exotic destinations. For such situations, an experienced consolidator who is familiar with a particular route can offer a cheaper airfare.

Lastly, getting a Consolidator to arrange cheaper rates for passengers traveling as a group is most advantageous because it is able to guarantee a uniform discounted rate. Airline companies normally do not give discounted rates for normal passengers, even if they are traveling as a group.

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