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Specialist Ethnic Travel Agents Discussion

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Specialist Ethnic Travel Agents Discussion

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  • I've checked JapanTravelCenter but they aren't undercutting Opodo.

    Anyone know of any others?

    Can anyone add to my simple knowledge of the airline industry...

    1. Cheap airlines like Ryanair don't share their flight data with anyone and you have to book through them

    2. Major airlines share all their flights on the Sabre database and one other database that all travel agents use, Expedia is basically Sabre with a web front-end.

    3. Opodo is Sabre but the airlines who own it receive some of the commission that a travelagent would get.

    4. package tour operators sell unbooked flights through various bucket shops and now on their own sites but not on sabre or the other one.

    5. There could be airlines not on sabre or deals not on sabre that we all need to know about as these are probably the gems.h

    Apols if some of this is wrong, please correct me
  • Hello Mark

    Comments on your points as follows:


    1. Most of the low-cost airlines (Ryanair, Easyjet, AirBerlin etc.) do allow some of the screenscraper websites to show their flights, www.skyscanner.net is good for these types of airlines. However you will ALWAYS get the cheapest fare direct from these airlines own websites, as almost all other ways of booking will charge a service fee.



    2. Most scheduled airlines (British Airways, Air France, BMI, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Virgin etc.) show their availability and fares through CRS (computerised reservation systems) that travel agents access. There are four main systems, Sabre, Galileo, Amadeus and Worldspan.


    When you check flights in Expedia (or Opodo, Lastminute or other online travel agents), the system basically goes through and checks the airlines systems via one of these CRS's to get availability and published fares. Most bookings made via www.expedia.co.uk are processed through Amadeus, while most bookings via www.expedia.com are processed through Worldspan.



    3. Travel Agents don't generally get a commission now for selling most airlines published fare tickets, although some of the larger agents (online and offline agents) will have a marketing agreement with the airline which pays based on amount of revenue, market share achieved etc. Most agents (online and offline) sell a selection of negotiated rate tickets (also known as nett fare or consolidated tickets these are deals the agent has either directly with an airline or through a third party agent) which will have a booking fee included in the fare shown, and published fare tickets on which they charge a booking fee where they little or no commission.

    Opodo is owned by nine of Europe's leading airlines: Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa and by GDS and travel technology provider, Amadeus. Not surprisingly, most of its bookings are also processed through Amadeus. It was originally started to give the airlines themselves some control against other large web based agents and was mooted to be going to offer better fares, although these days they seem to generally offer the same fares.


    4. Due to the cost of processing bookings via the CRS's most tour operators (and low cost airlines) do not have their flights listed in these systems (As always there are one or two exceptions, for example Easyjet, FlyGlobespan and Jet2 list their flights in some of the CRS's but they are not bookable). Most package tour operators sell flight-only through their own websites, and you will also find these through third party websites and agents too.


    5. There could well be both flights and fares that are not available through all outlets (be these the CRS's and both online and offline agents). The situation now is that there is no one agent or website who could realistically claim to offer every single flight and also the cheapest price every time.


    In general if you are travelling long haul at any time or within Europe at a peak time, or you need the security of travelling on a particular flight or date then you will probably get a better deal by booking as early as possible. If you are travelling within Europe off peak, or have lots of flexibility in your plans then you may be able to get a cheaper deal close to departure.

    Obviously this is not true in every case, as lots of things affect seat availability and pricing.. the weather, the economy, competition from other airlines, major events etc. etc.

    The best benchmark would always be ‘are you happy with the fare based on your circumstances?‘


    Any other questions let me know.

    Dr. Options
  • thanks! that was very inlightening.

    I did feel the "specialist" ethnic travel agent having special flights that only they knew about was possibly a red-herring. If flights are on the booking systems then any agent can find them

    the ones i've seen advertise low prices by not including the taxes.
  • 4. Due to the cost of processing bookings via the CRS's most tour operators (and low cost airlines) do not have their flights listed in these systems (As always there are one or two exceptions, for example Easyjet, FlyGlobespan and Jet2 list their flights in some of the CRS's but they are not bookable). Most package tour operators sell flight-only through their own websites, and you will also find these through third party websites and agents too.

    That'll be why I see flights advertised for £250 to Toronto and websites say £500+.

    So the question from that then comes - what specialist bucket shops are accessible online? - or a way of accessing offers not on the CRS?
    Order of events: Banks lose our money -> get bailed out -> were inflating GBP to cover it -> now taxing us -> next will grab your funds direct -> things get really desperate to balance the books. What should have happened?: banks go bust and we lost our money much quicker
  • Hi all!

    Can anyone suggest a good operator for Curacao - I need flights from Manchester and Marriott hotel in October this year.

    Serena
  • jamie304jamie304 Forumite
    109 posts
    China - www.omegatravel.net/en/ - I found British Airways flights to Beijing here cheaper than anywhere else but you need to phone them and ask what they can offer. It might help if you can get a Chinese speaker to do the talking!
    (not to be confused with omegatravel.co.uk!)
  • Hi Every1!
    I am going to Luxor, Egypt at the end of november but the prices I am finding are quite expensive, I am quite easy on the time I go (any day or time) but need to so from Manchester or another Midlands airport. I am using the comparison website but many don't find flights and the ones thats do are quite expensive.
    I have very little money, can someone tell me of a way to cut the costs?
    Thanks,
    Dan
  • How can all the Asian ( Indian, Pakistan etc) travel agents get the cheap tickets to India for far less than other agents or even from the airline web sites eg flights to Amritsar from B'ham on JET AIR, Turkmenistan etc for less than £400. They also do the same for travel to USA etc
    The Asian travel agents are still cheaper than any website or the main street travel agents. How ?
  • Blue264Blue264 Forumite
    1.6K posts
    kotewala wrote: »
    How can all the Asian ( Indian, Pakistan etc) travel agents get the cheap tickets to India for far less than other agents or even from the airline web sites eg flights to Amritsar from B'ham on JET AIR, Turkmenistan etc for less than £400. They also do the same for travel to USA etc
    The Asian travel agents are still cheaper than any website or the main street travel agents. How ?
    It's possible that they have a seat allocation with certain prefered airlines on the routes that they sell the most. These are bought subject to contract and often have longer cancellation policies than regular seat sales.
    Just as an example...
    Perhaps a certain specialist agent to a very particular part of the World buys up an allocation of 20 seats on every flight that a named airline flies on that route. If the agent has only sold 18 of their allocation to the public a week or two before departure, the airline releases the remaining seats for general sale at full price. That keeps the carrier in a win win situation.

    They have a guarantee that their partner agents will choose their airline and routes first over other carriers, but they also have the security of knowing that any unsold seats can be released back to them in ample time for them to be sold at the full fare.
  • vdhvdh Forumite
    37 posts
    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone know any local travel agents who may be able to offer better deals than those available online for a flight to Argentina?

    Thanks!
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