Very often, we are asked about group airfare. In sporadic instances, group airfare may be the way to go, but for the most part, we’re not big fans for some significant reasons.
EVERYONE HAS TO FLY THE EXACT SAME SCHEDULE
Everyone must fly the same schedule without deviations if we reserve group airfare. That means Sally cannot fly in a day earlier, and Sandy cannot stay two days longer. It also means that Sally and Sandy must leave from the same airport and return to the same airport on the same flights, even if one lives on the West coast and one resides on the East.
EVERYONE HAS TO FLY IN THE EXACT SAME CLASS OF SERVICE
Sally prefers to fly in Business Class, but Sandy wants to fly in economy. We can’t do that with group airfare. Everyone flies in the same class, which generally means the entire group will fly in the economy cabin. If someone in the group insists on flying in Business, they are removed from the group and pay the published price at the time of the booking. This also can impact meeting the need for a minimum number of travelers.
THE GROUP NEEDS A MINIMUM NUMBER OF TRAVELERS
To confirm group airfare, there needs to be a minimum of ten travelers – flying the same schedule in the same class of service. This can be a disadvantage when you don’t meet the minimum and if anyone changes to published airfare to upgrade their seats.
YOU DON’T GET TO CHOOSE YOUR SEATS
Group airfare aims to secure space so that everyone pays the same price. Unfortunately, you don’t get to pick your seats…. period. Further, the seating available for group airfare passengers is the least desirable on the plane. The airline will seat you wherever they want to, even if it breaks up couples and families. We have seen many times where a husband is seated in the window seat of row 12, and the wife is seated in row 24 in the middle seat. Despite all efforts, the seats stand where they have assigned you.
GROUP AIRFARE COSTS MORE!
We have access to consolidator fares for international flights, which can save you a lot of money when available. We also know that many of our clients like to use points to purchase their airfare. In essence, group airfare is not a win for most of our trips, but we’ll be happy to help you get the best bang for your buck when looking at flights for you.