Airfare consolidators can be your good source in obtaining discount ticket deals. These consolidators enter into contract with airline companies whereby they get tickets at very low rates than what is usually offered to the public.
You might wonder why airline companies give cheaper rates to consolidators. The main reason for this is that consolidators purchase a large quantity of tickets regardless of whether they are able to sell them or not. Thus, airline companies are sure to have sold many seats through airfare consolidators.
You can find consolidators offering very good discount ticket deals. However, do not expect these companies to be service-oriented because they cannot afford the frills. If you are looking for personal attention and guidance, you are better off using travel agents instead of consolidators.
The difference between a travel agent and an airfare consolidator is similar to that of a stock broker and a discount brokerage company. A stock broker offers you full service, which includes giving advice on the best stock picks that you should buy and acquiring the selections you make for you; in contrast, a discount broker will only wait for your instructions on your stock picks and simply execute your orders. You will have to pay commissions to a stock broker, while you avoid this with a discount broker.
Shop around to get the best discount ticket deals among different consolidators. You will notice that in the off and low seasons, consolidator discount ticket deals do not really look any different from the lowest fares offered by the airlines; during these times, the airlines also offer their own discount ticket deals. However, during peak travel times, consolidators usually offer discount ticket deals of around 20-30 percent.
If you have to make your trip on short notice, you will probably find the best deals with a consolidator. They will charge you much less than airlines since consolidators do not impose advance purchase penalties that airlines commonly charge.
You have to choose a consolidator carefully, though. Make sure that you purchase the discount ticket deals using your credit card so you have the chance to cancel payment. Be aware that there are some consolidators who charge high fees in case you change reservations, and/or they will add 2-5 percent to the ticket price if you use a credit card.
Before you give out your credit card number to the consolidator, you must have understood the policies with respect to cancellations and refunds. It is also possible to book your reservations with a consolidator through your travel agent for a minimal fee.
You may also want to check the Yellow Pages, or make use of search engines to find consolidators who offer discount ticket deals. You may find on the Internet industry reports that do in-depth performance reviews of consolidators, including the regions of their specialization, such as Europe, North America, or South Asia.