Which is Best: Individual or Group Airfare?

If you’ve ever wondered the difference between individual vs. group airfare deals then this post is for you. We hope it will shed light on the many benefits of both individual and group airfare and which is best for you and your upcoming trip.

Many people believe there are some amazing discounts with a group airfare agreement compared to buying tickets individually. While that can be true – with caveats – there are many other factors to consider.  Not just a group’s size but also how far out you book your mission trip airfare matters.

How soon do you collect deposits from your team?  How far in advance do you plan to raise enough money to secure your international missionary flights?  There are many nuances to decide which is best for your particular missions team.

Here are some pros/cons comparing individual and group airfare:

GROUP AIRFARE:

  • Secure up to 11 months in advance without names
  • Team size must be a minimum of 10 or more travelers
  • Maximum flexibility and convenience in planning
  • Hold confirmed seats with a small deposit of ~$100-200/person at a specially negotiated price*
  • Final headcount not due until ~90 days prior to departure minimal or no deposit (plus ability to further reduce)*
  • Final passport names + final balance due ~45 days prior to departure
  • Ability to apply your deposit toward final payment, no need to wait for the airline to refund your deposit, which could be up to 8 weeks after your team’s departure
  • Ability for name changes or cancelled tickets even after full purchase*
  • Airlines allow for limited group space on flights. It is highly recommended to secure your flight plans as soon as you are able.  We’re busy securing dozens of 2017 group contracts for our clients this month already.

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS:

  • Secure up to 11 months in advance; full purchase with names
  • Block up to 9 seats, depending on the carrier they may allow more.
  • Special fares, luggage allowance, reduced change fees and cancellation penalties available on some airlines for qualified Missionary and Humanitarian travelers.
  • Cheapest fares come with highest restrictions; normally non-refundable, non-transferable, costly change fees
  • Sometimes greater savings than group airfare but limited seats
  • Immediate purchase required with all final names & full payment

*Each airline has different rules.

Consult with one of our expert travel advisors for additional details and which airline and option will be best for your specific trip.

 

By: Chris Niemeyer