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booking air travel

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  • booking air travel

    For those of you that have experience at booking Scout air travel -- any recommendations? We have an April 2014 Seabase trip planned (likely BOS-MIA, or FLL) and I'm just now looking into air travel. I did contact one airline about group travel, and their quote was almost 70% higher than what an individual could get by booking via their website. I understand paying a premium for the service, but I think 70% is kind of overboard.

    Just thinking out loud -- I see three options:
    - talk to a travel agent about group travel
    - check group travel with other airlines, to see if I can get a lower cost
    - book multiple smaller groups (airline websites usually limit bookings to two adults and four kids -- our Seabase contingent is now four adults and eight Scouts) via the website

    To hold costs down, we're going to try to minimize checked bags, and travel with appropriately-sized carry-ons.

    Any other ideas, recommendations, cautions?

    Thanks,
    Guy

  • #2
    The option I have chosen, which completely solves most of the problems I've had in the past, is to tell each person (scout, student, etc.) what the travel itinerary is and then give them personal responsibility for arranging (and paying for) their own travel. I tell them to get on the same flights that I'm on if they want to travel with me. If they want to travel independently, I tell them where to meet and what time the van will leave. If they don't make it, they're on their own to get to the next destination. Most opt to match my flights.

    I admit, as I board the plane I try to make sure that the ones who are supposed to be there ARE there. But if they get caught in traffic, or if their connecting flight is late...not my problem.

    On the other hand, if a parent or a boy asks for me to 'guide' them through the experience, I'm happy to do that too. Their choice, their responsibility.

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    • #3
      Simple fix...hold a booking night....everyone go show up at your house or CO with their credit card and book everybodys flight at the same time on the same flight.

      I wouldn't pay another couple of hundred bucks each for a group reservation.

      While I like Packs solution, I don't know if I could do that to a 14 year old.

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      • #4
        We did option #3 (multiple smaller group bookings via websites) when we went to Philmont last year with 22 participants. Be warned, however, that you will not get the same price for everyone. The airlines seem to use real-time price manipulation based on demand for their particular flights. So when you book one block of 6 reservations (usually the max allowed), the next block of 6 will be a higher price when you try & buy them. You can try & delay booking a few days between blocks, but then you run the risk of getting split up with different flights. We just paid the extra costs and reserved all at once, and then averaged the prices to determine what everyone should pay, regardless of the actual ticket cost. Cost a little more, but still WAYYY cheaper then group booking or even using a travel agent.

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        • #5
          Thanks guys -- this really helps. My default position would be to economize every way possible, so a combination of all three might be the way to go --

          Guy

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          • #6
            I have have never needed to book group travel. That is the craziest thing I have ever heard. What other industry charge a bulk premium.

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            • gsdad
              gsdad commented
              Editing a comment
              The restaurant industry.

            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              I am not familiar with that practice. How so? Mandatory gratuity, I get and understand. I have never been charged more for a large gathering. Private room yes, just as I would expect for a private jet.
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