Air consolidators buy seats from an airline in bulk then resell them to travel agents. Think of them as a wholesaler like Costco or Sam's Club. Because they buy so many tickets, they can resell them for a lower fare than if you bought them directly from the airline. Air consolidators can have some great discounts on international travel.
Air consolidators have contracts with airlines to sell unpublished airfares at contracted rates. They often sell only to travel agents, giving you as an agent access to better airfares than travelers can find on their own.
Air consolidators are a great choice for long-distance international travel from the U.S., whether for a leisure vacation or to visit friends and family. Europe and Asia are common destinations for air consolidators.
For example, if you have a client who wants to fly from the U.S. to India to see her parents who still live there, that would be considered VFR travel, or "visiting family and friends," which is the perfect type of international travel to be booked through an air consolidator. It's a long haul, international destination from the U.S. and a perfect time to look into booking with an air consolidator.
It all depends on the consolidator, but yes, some do have restrictions. These could include non-refundable tickets and the inability for travelers to earn frequent flyer miles. Some travelers, however, are willing to overlook any restrictions in favor of the more affordable price.
Airlines may struggle to market to ethnic communities because of language barriers or general cultural differences. By selling tickets through travel agencies who focus on international travelers, airlines are able to overcome that obstacle and successfully reach that steady market of travelers.
Visit our Air Reservations page to learn more about the suppliers available to you when you need to book air-only reservations on VAX.