While the intrinsic value of the US flight is much more volatile (ie prices change more often), the price difference between the main tourist sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, and the airline often does not exceed 10-20%. Sellers domestic flights largely fall into two categories: (1) airlines and (2) the online travel agencies. There are some niche players, but they serve a very small market. Therefore, when buying on domestic flights are usually more important, if the "buy" rather than "where to buy".
On the contrary, there is a provision of an international deal on airfare. "If you need to buy" it is still important (as in the hope to wait until the last minute), but "buy" more important. This is because the cost of tickets to Europe, Asia, Africa, and South and Central America is somewhat less erratic (can not be changed so often), but the difference in price between different providers can sometimes reach 50% or more. The reasons for this are, but two main reasons – is (1) the type of fare that is offered, and (2) the number of players on the field.
Without getting too technical engineering, there are basically 2 types of international air tickets; published and unpublished. In the domestic market, 97% of tariffs on vacation are published (give or take). Published rate can be called retail tariff. Airline fares and create rules associated with this tariff, and then publish information through the clearing called ATPCo (Airlines Tariff Publishing Company). ATPCo then distributes the tariff for the global trading system. Online and offline travel agencies mode, in turn, get these published rates through one or more of these systems. Everyone has access to the tariff. Unpublished fares (also called conciliation rate) is still released through ATPCo, but part of the "fare rules" with the & # 39 is an indication of how the seller is permitted to receive and sell fare. This is essentially a special tariff. Another difference lies in the fact that published tariffs should sell at a price determined by the airline (with no extra charge and downs), while a private fare can be marked. That is why you see that online and offline agencies add a service fee of anywhere from $ 5 to $ 50 to the published ticket for travel. In agreeing fare airline will receive a fixed amount, and the seller can set the price (add your margin). Thus, the seller can agree on cost airlines $ 300 from New York to London with airline X, and then evaluate it and sell it for $ 345. Another visible difference between the agreed and published fares – the fact that for many (almost all) on reservations in the negotiations you will not see the actual price you paid for the ticket. Instead, you'll see a much better rate, or only tax information. The published rates for a ticket will show exactly what you paid for the ticket (excluding fees). As a rule, tickets to the treaty tickets are often cheaper than the published fares for tickets (there are cases where the airline may have a "sale of fire", which reduces the level of the tariffs at agreed rates), and therefore "much" more important than "when" when it comes to buying international tickets.
Sellers international airfare fall into the following main categories:
(1) major airlines
(2) Charter airlines
(3) Online travel agencies
(4) Stand-alone travel agencies
(5) global consolidators sell to the public
(6) International consolidators, which are not sold to the public
(7) Ethnic consolidators or specialists appointment
(8) Student travel consultants
This is the airline with which we are all familiar, for example, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM and many others. They offer air tickets through its own website, and many other vendors listed above. They can offer special websites on its own website. They do not charge a service fee.
In Europe, this type of airline is much more common than in the US. Charter, as a rule, if the tour operator "rents" or "charter" plane flying holidaymakers from the airport of departure to the destination airport. There are several airlines that offer service to / from the US, which have their roots in the charter business. They regularly offer year-round or seasonal service to / from a few select US airports in one country. Approved by FAA and must comply with all the rules and regulations of airline security. It differentiates their business model that allows them to sell seats cheaper than the specialty. Some of these alternative airlines – LTU, Condor, FlyGlobespan or Martinair. Usually, they also do not charge a fee for services.
Online travel agencies
Players in this category – Travelocity, Orbitz, Cheaptickets, Expedia, Priceline, Hotwire and so on. They sell published and unpublished flights. They charge a fee for the service. They also usually try to sell you other components for travel, such as hotel stays, car rentals, airline tickets and / or travel insurance. If you are going abroad for a vacation, buying a package (where the seller will set the air components with one or more components of the earth) can be an option and can save money. In future article I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of packages.
Autonomous travel agencies
Also called travel agencies on the brick and mortar, it is the traditional agencies, in which you have logged in, sit down and book a trip. Depending on the size of the target market and they can double as a consolidator ethnic or professional purpose. They also have access to consolidator fares that are not offered directly to the public. Brick and mortar agencies almost always charge a fee for services.
Global consolidators that sell directly to the public
Many times it is a travel agency that decided to "cut off the middleman" and go directly to the airlines to coordinate their private fares. This allows them to sell them back at a lower price, without losing margin. In order to get decent private fares, consolidator of the world has to offer $ 100 million + annual sales agencies. Most of the tickets are sold in the negotiations without a service fee. If the consolidator sells a published tariff, they are regularly added to the service fee.
Global consolidators that do not sell directly to the public
During the days before the Internet is very small travel agencies will act as a consolidator. Instead, they worked middlemen (consolidators), who negotiated with the airlines. Consolidator agree on most of the above-mentioned sum of investments in the amount of $ 300, add a margin and sell it retail agency. Then retail agent will add to her margin and sell it to the public. As soon as the Internet was formed, the agency can attract a much larger audience, and thus had the opportunity to conduct direct negotiations with airlines. However, still there are many agencies in the offline and online, including consolidator that offer brokers. Due to the net on the & # 39; volume consolidators airline can offer these rates may become profitable even after allowances.
Ethnic consolidators or specialists appointment
This is probably one of the least known (the public) low-cost airline sources. They are also some of the most difficult to find. United States – a nation of immigrants, and ethnic consolidators have traditionally serve her ex patriot or emigrant community. They were and remain the cheapest source of return tickets to their home country. In contrast to the global consolidator that can turn on sale of $ 250 million + a year, these outlets can alter as little as $ 2-5 million per year, but most can get 1 or 2 suppliers. They are highly specialized and have a long-standing relationship to their preferred carriers. These long-term and reliable relationship with the & # 39 are the reason that some ethnic mom and pop operations can provide rates on airline tickets, which are 20-30% lower than in any of the online mega agencies. Intended experts like ethnic consolidators in size and style. They have become real experts in a particular country or region and built up a relationship. The difference lies in the fact that they often natselvayutstsa on foreign independent traveler (FIT). As I mentioned, some of these outlets airfare can often win, but it's hard to find them. Google and Yahoo or any other search engines often do not find them.
Student stray consolidators
As the name implies, is an agency focused on students (and in some cases, and teachers). Just as the global consolidator, they approach the airlines and negotiate special discounts or private fares. The difference lies in the fact that according to the agreement with the airlines they are sold only to bona fide students (and teachers). Often, students must enroll in an accredited college or university and high school students are not eligible. The same goes for teachers. Some agencies are better than others ensure that the person who bought the ticket, really a student.
Tour operators – this sub & # 39; sites that sell vacation packages, such as "all-inclusive", etc. On occasion, they will sell only the tariff for the price (prices from the bottom), to fill the empty seats on the plane. Since they have a fixed price they have to pay the airline, any empty space – it is a missed opportunity. The best chance to get one of these cheap places are usually in the Caribbean or Mexico.
Sources of international transactions for many flights. Stay the right at the right time can make a difference, good or tariff. Getting deals for airline tickets in the domestic market often & # 39 is the result of (lucky) timing of large international deals often result in order to know where to look.