Contrary to what most believe, travel agents do not always know best. They tend to steer you on the route of major airlines, which happens to be the most expensive. They neglect to inform their customers of the other methods of travel that are available to them, which makes sense because they will not make a commission if the customers go with a method that they are not affiliated with.
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With that said, why use a travel agent? Be your own travel agent. The following information will tell you how to be your own travel agent and book the cheapest flight possible.
Global Travel International provides all of the necessary resources for anyone to be an independent travel agent. As an independent travel agent, you can take advantage of the many opportunities you’ll have to attend educational and exciting workshops, seminars, events and conferences. You’ll learn the most fundamental rules of getting the cheapest flight possible. One of the rules is that flights leaving Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays are always more expensive. Try to leave and return sometime in the middle of the week.
You’ll learn the lowest possible fare might not fall under the economy or APEX fare rate. APEX (advance purchase excursion), is much lower than normal fares and is valid in specific sectors of economy class. It also must be purchased at least seven days prior to time of departure.
You can take advantage of deals that cater directly to travel agents. Travel agents are privy to a wealth of discounts due to their status.
You’ll learn the best deals for flights for major airlines are located and sometimes only valid on the company's website. As a travel agent you will be sent notifications of deals through email, which at most times are before they are featured on the site itself.
You’ll learn where and how to book charter flights. They, for the most part, offer fares that are much lower than major airlines. The reason for this is because charter companies lease an airplane for a specific route and allotted time. The already low price for tickets begins to decrease as the departure day approaches. However, if not enough seats are sold, the flight will be cancelled without notice, and other airlines are not at any obligation to accommodate you if such an occurrence happens.
Consolidators are the Price Club of airline travel – large brokerage houses which buy blocks of tickets from airlines at wholesale prices and then pass the savings on to individual flyers. Airlines sell to consolidators at reduced prices because they fear that the tickets would otherwise go unsold. Consolidators buy seats mostly on established carriers for flights that are headed to overseas destinations. Travel agents booking flights with consolidators can save anywhere from 20 to 50 percent off the price of a regular ticket.