Our Pauper loves to save money using an airfare consolidator. These consolidators contract with airlines to get tickets at cheaper rates than the general public. Because they buy large blocks of tickets the airlines love them. Though you can get really good deals by knowing how to use consolidators, remember they are not structured for great service. They’re playing the quantity game not the hold-your-hand game. If you need personal attention use your travel agent instead.
The best time to use consolidators is during high travel times of the year. Other than these peak travel times consolidators don’t really offer much better rates than those offered in the lowest advertised fares. Yet, you can enjoy 20-30% off when you decide to travel during Christmas, for instance. The other good time to turn to consolidators is if you are traveling on short notice. Unlike the airlines, they don’t penalize you for traveling on the spur of the moment.
Always use a credit card with consolidators. Some consolidators can charge high fees if you change your plans and/or cancel your flight. So make sure you understand what the policy on cancellations and refunds is. In this article I’ll give you a list of consolidators that are available to you directly or through your travel agent. In addition I’d recommend you purchase a copy of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, which is available at most libraries or you can subscribe for $39. Write to: Consumer Reports Travel Letter, 101 Truman Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10703-1057. Let’s get started: Cheap Tickets sells more than 500,000 tickets a year for domestic and international flights. Now they even help you with hotels and cruises. Call 800-AIR-PLUS (800-247-7587) and visit http://www.cheaptickets.
com Council Travel Service offers super fares in the USA and mostly all of Europe for cheapskates like you and me. They also package individual travel packages for vacations, car rentals, rail passes, paid internships, and work programs. 800-226-8634 And visit: http://www.counciltravel.com Far Eastern Travel if your plans include a visit to China. 800-275-3384 Fly Cheap has my favorite name among the known consolidators. They do a good job on all kinds of flights to all manner of destinations. 800-359-2432 and visit: http://www.flycheap.com.