Wendy, we’d like your help finding a reliable airline ticket consolidator for a July trip for five of us. We need two business-class and three economy tickets on the same plane. Thank you for any guidance you can give us. —Bonnie
Bonnie, for business-class consolidator airline tickets, you might try Blake Fleetwood of Cook Travel, a boutique consolidator with 35 years of experience and a high level of personalized service. Blake negotiates low fares with all the major airlines to just about every international destination, mostly in business or first class; his best deals are to Europe, South America, and Asia. Look to him when you have some flexibility in your travel dates, so that his team can peruse the options to find you the best deal.
Blake’s business-class fares save you between 10% and 40%, depending on how far ahead you’re buying them (three to four months is ideal, though you can sometimes find great deals at the last minute) and the time of year you’re flying. Business-class fares are relatively low during holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter. They’re relatively high from September through November and March through May, since those are the two peak times of year for business travel.
Blake’s team is available 24 hours a day, and they have an emergency hotline if your flights go awry en route. Beware of less reputable consolidators that may be reselling frequent-flier tickets; if you can’t earn miles on a ticket, that’s a likely sign that it’s fraudulent. Another bonus: Blake’s business- and first-class fares are almost always refundable, though sometimes minus a penalty of about $500 per ticket.
UPDATE: The company mentioned above, Cook Travel Inc (based in New York City), is not affiliated with Thomas Cook Group Plc (based in Britain), which went bankrupt on September 23, 2019. The company mentioned in this article is not affected by that bankruptcy.