Airfare Consolidators have been saving Travelers hundreds of dollars on airline tickets for years. The big question for most consumers is: "Where do you find these Consolidated Airfares?".You guessed it, your Travel Agent.
More and more travel agencies are developing a relationship with Consolidators. It is up to you to locate a trusting Agency that will purchase these tickets for you without adding a huge markup. These fares are called "unpublished airfares" and not all travel agencies provide these types of tickets to their clients.The Consolidated airfares change from minute to minute and are based upon demand. It's like an "Airfare Stock Market".
Very few companies take the time to up date the Consolidated Airfares online through out the day. It's just too time consuming. So when clients need a ticket, the Travel Agency calls the Consolidators, gets the rate directly from the wholesaler (in many cases they are the wholesaler) and relay the information to the Travel Agent. The Travel Agent then relays the information to the consumer. Any delay in the purchase results in a lost of the airfare at the quoted price. This process can take a half a day to complete.
Most consumers want their Tickets NOW. When dealing with Consolidated Airfares, patients is a virtue.Of course you want to locate a Travel Agent that you can trust. The credentials that you would look for when searching for a reputable Travel Agent are:.
1) Does the Agent have an ARC Number? ARC stands for the Airlines Reporting Corporation ? This is an airline-owned company offering travel products and services, ticket distribution and settlement through a variety of channels in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.2) Or, Is your Agent a member of THE INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES TRAVEL AGENT NETWORK? IATAN's mission is to promote professionalism, administer meaningful and impartial business standards, and to provide cost-effective products, services and educational programs that benefit the travel industry.3) Or, does your Agent have a "TRUE" Identification? TRUE (Travel Retailer Universal Enumeration) System's sole purpose is to help provide sellers of travel with the assignment of travel industry numeric codes that are recognized by the travel supplier community, including cruise lines, tour operators, hoteliers, and car rental companies.4) As of the date of this article, if you live in California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia or Washington, your Agent would need to be registered with the State's Attorney General's office as a Seller of Travel.
5) And/Or is a member of OSSN, (Outside Sales Support Network) The International Association for Independent contractors and Home Based Travel Agents.The highest standards in the Industry for consolidators are set by the United States Air Consolidators Association. (USACA) However, many of the Consolidators only sale to Certified Travel Agents with any of the qualifications listed above..This article is written by Cassandra Ingraham, webmaster for travel360degrees.com "Travel is Education at Its Best" A travel site with "choices" for discount travelers.
The site provides e-Travel Alerts, Airport Codes, and access to the "See What the Travel Agents See" an e-Catalog of Vacations. No cost to you, so go to: http://www.travel360degrees.com and sign up today.
By: Cassandra Ingraham