Airline Consolidators

Destination for cheapest airfares

Airline consolidators sometimes also known as bucket shops, are a very good source for travelers to find air tickets at huge discounts. This is because these consolidators buy tickets from airlines in bulk and sell them to passengers at discounted rates after taking out their commission and other charges. The airlines hire consolidators to find customers who will be willing to buy tickets at low rates in order to make a full flight and leave no empty seats. There are offline as well as online consolidators available for travelers.

Online consolidators are the easier way to go around since they are just a click away. There are many websites that offer comparison of different flight prices across a range of airlines also known as airfare meta search engines. You will be able to find the cheapest of flights at any time of year you wish to fly and can also see fare graph to to plan your travel based on the cheapest fare months. Since the market has grown tremendously in the last decade, many competitors have entered the consolidator market to increase the number of online and offline consolidators and therefore more and more services are being offered to the customers to succeed in the race and the consolidator margins are also pinned to reduce to attract customers. The websites list all the benefits and features they have to offer to their customers in order to get more attention while educating and getting more and more transparency. But you need to be careful because sometimes there are fake consolidators as well. It is recommended that you check several options and consider reviews from fellow travelers before picking one.

There are major three kinds of air travel consolidators: wholesale consolidators, online travel consolidators and destination specialists. You may want to pick one of these for the kind of flight you are planning. If you hire a travel agent, he or she may get in touch with one of the wholesale consolidators to get you a possibly cheaper flight. These consolidators do not sell tickets directly to passengers. Online consolidators are available at websites such as Travelocity, Expedia, Skyscanner, Cheap Flights and many others. You just need to search on the Internet to find these websites. They will, in turn provide you with search options to find the best possible deals in your area. Destination specialists target only some popular destinations and bring discounted packages to their customers.

When you buy airline tickets through a consolidator you have to check a few things. First of all check the price of your package. See if it includes taxes and other hidden charges. Some sites list only the price of the ticket and do not explicitly state the hidden charges that are associated with it.

Consolidator airfares are sometimes as low as 70% of the original price fixed by a particular airline. In order to get the best consolidator package, tell your consolidator how flexible your timings are. If you can afford to wait, then they will come up with a very inexpensive flight on one of the off-peak days or seasons. Also tell your consolidator if you are enrolled into some frequent flier programs to benefit from a special offer if one is available.

Since there are many options available on the net, do not limit your search to a few sites only. Try to spend some time comparing different sites and reading their reviews and other details to get an idea of how popular they are. Last, but not the least, after receiving your tickets from the consolidator, check your details on them, especially the date of your departure. You don’t want to get into trouble when the departure time comes and you are at the airport waiting for your flight. So it’s better to check all things beforehand.

The United Stated Air Consolidator Association also known as USACA is a body managing the top tier consolidators. Many of these consolidators have their own site and they also sell consolidator fares through travel agents. Currently there are a total of 12 consolidators as part of USACA. here is the list and link to their websites:

    • Sky Bird Travel