One frequently asked question is whether booking a flight with a travel agent or online is cheaper. The most challenging aspect of planning a trip is sticking to a budget, which means finding more affordable flights.
Here’s whether travel agents get discounts on flights
Yes, travel agents get discounts on flights. Travel agents establish and maintain relationships with air travel and have specific tactics and methods of obtaining low-cost tickets, e.g., consolidation fares.
Let us take a look at how they go about it.
How do travel agents get a better discount on flights?
Travel agents understand how to maneuver and employ techniques that result in airline savings. The most significant factor that travel agents consider is developing relationships with airlines to obtain lower airfare prices.
Travel agents have access to the information necessary to acquire better deals. They get a lot of their information from the same sites everyone uses. Furthermore, they receive daily discounts via e-mails and fax that are not usually available on the Internet.
They get rebates on flights and discounts on flight rates and can easily upgrade from one class to another.
Here is how they get discounts
Booking consolidator rates
These cheaper seats on less popular flights allow travel agencies to get fantastic discounts. They are a reliable means to sell a percentage of fares, negotiate annual contracts, set revenue targets, and closely regulate sales via a particular booking class.
The fares are frequently referred to as “private” or “bulk” fares. When consulting with a travel agent, an established travel agency is your best choice for finding a consolidator airline fare.
Time to book flights
Searching for flights at the beginning of the week will result in higher savings. This is because, at the beginning of the week, fares are primarily regulated by algorithms. Humans influence sales in specific directions.
Travel agents suggest that buying trends can lead to flash sales at the start of the week. This time is your greatest bet for finding lower-priced tickets.
The “Open Jaw” strategy
Travel agents use this booking strategy that takes advantage of the fact that airlines periodically discount routes with stops over direct flights—for example, a flight from New York to San Francisco.
The open jaw technique would involve routing yourself from New York to San Francisco to Los Angeles but leaving the San Francisco to Los Angeles portion unused. This strategy may not work for the most cautious travelers.
If you employ this method in the middle of an itinerary, the sequential legs after the unused trip may be canceled by the airline.
Searching the airline websites directly
Travel agents know that airlines occasionally offer connecting flights via a codeshare agreement that does not appear while searching on flight comparison websites. Therefore, they buy multi-carrier or interline tickets that airlines will not sell on other flight comparison websites.
However, those interline tickets can only be purchased through a reputable full-service travel agency.
Book in advance
The ideal time to buy summer flight tickets is 3-4 weeks before the day you want to travel. Beyond that, prices are likely to be higher. Travel agents anticipate increased domestic round-trip flight rates due to regular seasonal demand.
Prices will rise through the summer period before beginning to dip during the winter season. As a general travel agent rule, it is always advisable to start watching pricing early to secure a decent offer.
Travel package discounts
Travel agents know the discounts that come with complete booking packages. They are known for slipping huge discounts into all-inclusive packages. This is commonly seen in hotels.
The same applies to air travel. If you book lodging, car hire, and flight together, you are likely to pay at a discounted rate than a person who booked all three separately.
Agreements with airlines
Some travel agencies have contracts with airlines and therefore buy the airline’s flights in bulk at reduced prices. The agents sell these flights to customers at lower prices than regular airfare. Travel agents also have access to coupons and codes that also offer tickets at low prices.
Connections with discount airlines
Most travel agents are well connected with airlines that offer discounts. Therefore, it is easier for them to earn deals on airfare.
Travel agents know when airlines offer specials because they constantly browse airline websites for the best offers. Specials are provided mainly as a last-minute deal to sell any leftover seats. Specials are way cheaper than standard flight rates.
Travel agents establish a price alert to be notified when the price of a ticket rises or falls. Ticket prices can change daily, and even a slight decrease might result in significant discounts, especially if you need to purchase a ticket for every family member.
Booking two-one way tickets
Rather than booking a return ticket, travel agents book two cheaper one-way tickets that offer even better route options.
Weighing all costs
Travel agents understand that the base price of a ticket rarely covers the entire cost of flying. Therefore, they go out of their way to find the best overall value in terms of ticket costs.
They thoroughly investigate add-ons such as baggage fees, overweight charges, WiFi, and other options. Costs are also significant to travel agents, especially regarding “use it or lose it” tickets.
If you miss a trip, need to rearrange your flight, or cancel a leg of your vacation, restrictions might rapidly become prohibitively expensive. They pay close attention to notes regarding upgrading using frequent flier miles because they may not always be able to use particular fare classes or even pay to upgrade to another fare class.
Searching for alternative airlines
Travel agents save hundreds of dollars by traveling through a different airport – even if that airport is in another nation.
Other cities may have a few airports within a few hours’ drive that provide lower-cost flights. To discover the cheapest fare, travel agents consider all available options, including the cost of parking, gas, and possibly a rental car.
Read more: Do travel agents get discounts on cruises?
In summary, travel agents get discounts on flights by having connections with airlines, having better access to information not commonly available on the internet, and booking in advance.
In addition, travel agents can buy tickets in bulk, resulting in discounted prices. Booking at the start of the week and in advance are also some of the ways travel agents get discounts on flights.