How and Why You Can Save Money by Buying Your Airfare Online
Let*s start with an explanation of Online Airfares. It is
important to note that in the airline business, as well as with
most any another business enterprise, there are three distinct
tiers of sellers in the marketplace.
First of course is the major domestic and international airline
Next, you will find the airfare wholesalers, who are often
referred to as consolidators. The consolidator buys empty seats
from the airline, and they resell those seats to travel
Unless you buy a seat on a flight directly from the airline, then
you are often buying from a travel reseller, which sometimes
takes the form of your local, neighborhood travel agent.
Of course, the airline would prefer to sell you your seat
directly, because they will get to keep all of the markup for
themselves, thereby increasing their profit margins. But the
system has been set up in this way to assure the airline that
they will be able to fill all of their seats.
Let*s face it, empty seats generate zero revenue. The airlines
figure that they would rather discount some seats than to fly
half full. When the airlines sell seats to consolidators, they
often do so for as much as 70% of off the regular published
airfare prices! Since the discounts are so deep, there are a lot
of consolidators willing to jump in and sell seats for the
airlines. Imagine that.
This means that the person in seat 2B might have actually paid
twice as much for his ticket as did the person in seat 2C! This
is because the person in seat 2C was willing to shop around for a
better price, whereas the person in seat 2B just called the
airline and bought his ticket at the regular rate.
It actually happens everyday where a shopper will find a ticket
for half of what they would expect to pay for the ticket, but by
the time they get to the checkout screen, the ticket has already
been sold. In some cases, the shopper had the chance to buy
directly from the consolidator instead of from the reseller/agent
who is trying to beat them to the punch.
This is also the reason that if you shop for an airline ticket
online, you might find the same ticket at five different sites at
five different prices. Let*s face it, all of the consolidators
have their own defined markup on the tickets they sell, and each
of the resellers/agents also have their own markup on your
ticket. Everyone needs to make a profit, right?
But, some companies charge a higher markup, while others charge a
lower markup. Whereas the big consolidators might charge a $150
or $200 markup on the tickets they sell, there are other
consolidators like http://www.worldcheaper.com that charge only
a $50 markup on a resold ticket.
Before you actually buy your ticket, we would stronly suggest for
you to shop around and try to see all of the sites that resell
airfare, be it consolidators or resellers, and see for yourself
who has the best prices.
We believe that you should always get the best price you can get
for airfare; that is why we wanted to share with you how the
system works. The more you know, the more likely you will be able
to save your hard earned money for the really important things
such as extra gifts, shows, and other activities.
One last word on this topic. Some websites that you visit might
actually be affiliate resellers. The hard lesson about affiliates
is that they do not always have quick and efficient customer
support, and they may not be able to change or cancel your
ticket, if you need them to do so.
There are many quick and efficient ways you can check a site to
see if you are on an affiliate site. I am listing two of those
methods below. Be aware of these things when you are ready to buy
from a site, so that you don*t buy your airfare from an affiliate
1. If you mouse over a link, you will see the URL of the link in
the bottom of your Internet Explorer browser window. If it is
different from the URL that appears in your Address Bar at the
top of your Internet Explorer browser window, then you will
know that you are on an affiliate site.
2. If you mouse over a link, and you see the URL in the bottom
of your Internet Explorer browser window and that URL has a
question mark in it, then you will know that you are on an
In conclusion, we do encourage you to shop around and find the
best rates on airfare. We only ask that along the way, you stop
at our site to see if we can actually beat our competition on
airfare prices. You might be glad you did.
About the Author
Online Airfare Consolidator.