|by Jason Steele|
One of the drawbacks of family travel is that you have to book several seats at once. What you will often find is that the lowest fare is not available for as many seats as you would like. These days, many airline and travel sites will even claim that you should hurry and make your purchase as “there are only 2 seats left at this price!” This seems ripe for a lawsuit as prices and availability fluctuate all of the time.
Families Making Multiple Bookings Get Screwed
Nevertheless, the number of seats available at the lowest price might be lower than the number of travelers in your party. When that is the case, the airline will actually quote the higher fare for every member of your group. For example, if there are three people in your group, and there are only two seats available at $500, a search for three seats might return a rate of the next higher fare, say $600, for all three seats. The unsuspecting travelers have just overpaid by $200.
How To Ensure You Get The Best Available Fares
When booking more than one ticket, try searching for an individual fare before making the final booking. If the fare for a single traveler is lower than the fare for multiple travelers, you should keep increasing the number of travelers until you find out how many seats are being offered at the lowest price. You can book those seats in a separate transaction from the higher fare seats, saving the fare difference.
Some Potential Downsides To Multiple Purchases
There is a very small possibility that having a group traveling on multiple tickets could cause a problem. For example, if a flight is canceled, the airline might try to split up the group when rebooking. To avoid this, call the airline after booking and ask to have your PNR’s linked. The PNR is the passenger name record. Basically, it tells the database that these people are traveling together. Also, it would be a good idea to include any minor’s on the same ticket as an adult, just to avoid even the slightest chance of a problem.
This Trick Works With Award Bookings To
With award inventory being incredibly scarce, and most airlines instituting multiple award tiers, it is very easy to get a quote for an astronomical amount of miles when trying to book multiple award tickets together. Just like when you pay for a ticket, you should search on the award individually to see if you get a lower rate in miles.
The airlines have an infinite number of tricks to separate you from your dollars and miles more efficiently. Once you understand how they price multiple bookings, you can use their tricks against them to ensure that you pay the lowest price.