Traveling could be quite simple if you didn’t have to go through the same air ticket booking process every other time. But is there a way to avoid this? Sure there is! This guide shows you exactly how to buy bulk airline tickets, whether it is for you or a group.
For people who travel a lot or those who want to travel as a group, buying airline tickets in bulk seems like a great idea, but is it even possible? The answer to this question is a direct yes.
In fact, bulk airline tickets can have several benefits, including saving you both money and stress. Whether you are booking tickets for a group, or a frequent traveler, buying airline tickets in bulk is a plus for you. But how do you do it?
Well, that is why we are here. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about bulk airline tickets, including how you can find them.
How to Purchase Bulk Airline Tickets
If you want to buy bulk airline tickets, you can access them either directly from the airline or through a consolidator.
Bulk buying offers access to incredible deals either for you or your group. To reduce stress, even more, the expertise of a travel agent can come in handy. This is because they have the necessary knowledge of the field and will help you in coordination, especially when dealing with a large group.
So, how do you go about buying these bulk airline tickets? These are the crucial points you should consider:
Write Down Your Travel Requirements
Before you can even start looking for where to buy your tickets, there are several things you must do. This includes things like:
Determine Your Destination
This is the first step when planning for any trip. Where are you going? Are you traveling to the same city for your regular business trips, or will it be multiple cities within different periods? Or still, will it be a one-time tour for a large group to one of your favorite cities? All in all, you must be clear about your destination.
For instance, if you frequently take business trips from New York to London, you might be planning to purchase 10 flight tickets between the cities to cover you for three months. Buying these tickets in bulk will save you the hassle of booking every time you’re traveling.
If, on the other hand, you want to travel to Amsterdam as a group of 30 people, you might need to purchase 30 tickets to and from the city.
Having this information in mind will make things easy when it comes to booking your flights.
See related: Travel Hacking 101
Determine the Number of People Traveling
Are you traveling alone, as a family, or as a group? Having the exact number of people you’re booking the flights for is a must. If you are planning a tour for a large group, it’s ideal to have this information well in advance.
You must be sure of the number before you can make any booking arrangements.
Determine Your Traveling Schedule
Now that you know where you are going and how many people will be traveling, it’s time to plan your time frame. When is your travel date, and for how long do you intend your trip to last?
This is quite important, especially when you are buying return tickets. You must know when your trip will end. This might be easy and straightforward for business trips, but for a group tour, you need to have the exact details before you book the tickets.
If especially, you are traveling to different cities, you’ll need to plan for your duration in each of the cities. For example, business trips mostly have planned schedules, and you may know that you always travel to Paris every first and third Wednesday of the month.
This is easy to plan for. For group travels, you may be planning to leave JFK for Minneapolis on the 27th of May for a 10-day vacation, before going to Thailand for another five days, and back to JKF.
With such a planned schedule, the booking will be quite easy.
Have All of Your Travelers Information in Advance
If you are traveling alone, you only need to have your information to buy your bulk airline tickets. If, on the other hand, it’s a group trip, you’ll need to gather each traveler’s information before you go for the tickets.
The necessary information here includes full legal names, dates of birth, and addresses of each person in the group. Make sure that you have the correct information, including spelling, to ensure that you don’t encounter any problems on the traveling day.
The names on the tickets must match the corresponding names on the identification/travel documents.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Thailand
Bulk Airline Tickets Booking Options
After you have all the necessary information and you know where you are going, you can now start thinking of how to get those bulk air tickets.
But can you purchase airline tickets in bulk from wholesale? Well, let us look at the various options we have here, as well as whether it’s possible.
Buy Directly from the Airline
The first option that comes to mind is to purchase your bulk air tickets direct from the airline. Although they might not be as cheap, they can offer reasonable prices for bulk purchases.
When purchasing through the airline, here are some tips you can follow:
- Directly contact the airline group reservation desk – This is ideal when you want to purchase bulk tickets for a group. They will guide you through the process of booking for a large group and offer you the best prices. Check out Etihad Airways as a global option.
- Buy a commuter book – These are coupon books that enable you to redeem a one-way ticket for flights between two particular airports on a certain airline. You pay once for the book, and you can redeem a coupon anytime you want to travel. They are ideal for regular flights between two specific cities.
- Find flat-rate tickets – Some airlines will allow you to buy a flat-rate ticket that you can use as many times as you want, but within a specified time frame.
- Make your flight reservation at the right time – For group travels, you might need to reserve the flights around eight to ten months prior to your travel date. Airlines will release group seats at varying times, and therefore you need to check the exact time frame.
See Related: How to Earn Airline Miles Without a Credit Card
Using a Consolidator
Who is a consolidator, and how do they work? A consolidator is typically a company that buys plane tickets in bulk from the airlines, at wholesale prices, and then resells them to travel agents and travelers.
Since they buy these tickets at wholesale prices, they are able to resell them at discounted prices. When you purchase tickets from a consolidator, you are likely to get a better deal than you would at the airline itself, or a travel website.
For this reason, if you want to buy airline tickets in bulk, finding a reputable consolidator might be your best chance for cheap tickets. Some of the popular consolidators we have around include:
One important thing to note here is that the consolidators don’t own airlines. They are just companies that have access to incredibly discounted airline tickets.
See Related: Best Day to Book Flights
What are Consolidator Fares?
Consolidator fares are the discounted ticket prices offered by consolidator companies. They are basically some of the cheapest fares we have in the market.
They are, in most cases, even cheaper than the airlines’ cheapest published airfares. However, you should not confuse consolidated fares with charter fares or standby tickets. This is because, although some consolidators also deal in charters, some significant differences occur between the two.
Consolidated fares are mostly for major air carriers, which are more reliable than charter operators. When purchasing bulk airline tickets through a consolidator, ensure that you do the following:
- Check their reputation: Check whether they are members of consolidator trade organizations like USACA (the United States Air Consolidators Association) or ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents).
- Check for any restrictions on bookings: For instance, you may be restricted from buying your ticket using frequent flyer miles.
- Always ask questions about the things you are not sure about: It is even good to get a contact number from the consolidator, which you can call in case you encounter some problems.
- Pay using major credit cards when booking: Using a credit card can help you to deny payment to the consolidator in case you don’t get a valid ticket.
- Always confirm the reservation with the airline: Before you pay, always confirm with the airline to ensure your reservation is in process.
Use a Travel Agent
Travel agents can also be a good source for buying bulk tickets. So, if you prefer using travel agents to plan your trips, you can also buy tickets from them.
However, if you’ve not done this before, here are some tips you should put in mind:
- Visit their offices in person – This will help you to see who you are dealing with and get to discuss your travel needs one on one.
- Check their credentials – Just like with consolidators, it’s wise to check if the travel agents are legit. You should do so by checking their memberships with professional organizations like NACTA (National Association of Career Travel Agents) or UFTAA (Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association). Online customer reviews will also be quite helpful.
- Always ask questions – if you are uncertain of any issue, never fear to ask questions. This will help to clarify some important issues.
See related: What is Travel Concierge?
At this point, it’s very clear that you can easily buy bulk airline tickets either for yourself or on a group trip. And, we’ve also seen the various ways through which you can acquire your tickets. But, it’s also good to note that some options are better than others.
For instance, when buying bulk international tickets, using a consolidator would be the best choice. They offer the best discounts on international flights. When it comes to domestic flights, however, consolidators are no better than travel agents and the airline, due to the stiff competition.
Also, when it comes to booking air tickets for large groups, travel agents might be the ideal choice due to their extensive experience. So, depending on your travel needs, you have to determine which option is best for you.