The Truth About Group Air Travel
Traveling with a group of people can be overwhelming and taxing. Eliminate unnecessary battles by understanding these common misconceptions about group air travel.
Airlines are not big box stores. Buying in bulk may not deliver the least expensive fares.
While lower fares may be available between time of purchase and time of travel, group ticketing ensures travelers within a group receive the best average fare and pay the same ticket price. Blocking group air space allows travelers to lock in fares eleven months prior to travel – often long before group leaders have all travelers’ details and final payments. It also allows group leaders to budget accurately.
Nothing in life is guaranteed.
Blocking group air tickets cannot guarantee a final total price. Taxes, fees and fuel surcharges are typically added to the traveler’s base fare. Groups must plan for these added expenses when developing a travel budget.
One size does not fit all groups.
If a group is within 90 days of travel, has all traveler details confirmed and money in hand, individual tickets may be a better option for the group.
All travelers do not have to depart from the same city.
While the group must typically travel on the same core flights, most airlines offer travelers the ability to add on fares from their home city. Which means, a group can block seats from one major hub city (i.e. New York, Atlanta) even if group members are traveling from and returning to other cities. This option makes connections easier, ensures overall less stressful travel and possibly eliminates domestic baggage fees.
All miles are not created equal.
Groups may be traveling half way around the world, but that does not necessarily mean individuals are going to earn frequent flyer miles. Rules vary depending on each airline, but most mileage accrual depends on the class of service in which a ticket is booked. Often, group tickets are not applicable for earning 100% qualifying miles. If earning miles is a deal breaker then it should be discussed with the travel advisor and taken into consideration at the time of purchase.
Group travelers can still be treated like VIPs.
Special seat assignments and upgrades may be possible depending on the airline and seat availability. Don’t hesitate to ask the travel advisor about these options.
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