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A good way to get discounted tickets on Austrian Airways
Date: 21/06/00, updated on 09/11/00 (232 review reads)
Where is the best place to buy tickets on Austrian Airlines, both to Vienna and worldwide.
This is my best advice based upon 10 years experience of selling discounted airline tickets - but if you think you already know everything, and just want to find out the cheapest place to buy it for this airline, then skip to the last paragraph!
Lets face it, all airlines can get you from A to B, sometimes you have to change at C, sometimes you have to hang around at C, but if price is your main concern, read on ....
First, as an ex-travel agent, let me explain how the system works.
Nearly all airlines belong to a cartel known as IATA, which amongst other duties, helps to regulate the official prices between each pair of worldwide destinations.
My first piece of advice is, never phone the airline for the official fare, except as a last resort - their staff are trained to extract the highest fare they can get away with, and they are never going to tell you that one of their competitors has a better deal, or that you can save money going the next or previous day. Furthermore, they can only sell at the officially agreed price.
Luckily for us consumers, and unluckily for the airlines, they cannot sell all their seats at the official price, especially if a much better, more direct airline has the same price. For example, if the official fare to, say, Bangkok is £600 from airline A (non-stop in 12 hours) and the same price from airline B (19 hours with a 7 hour wait changing planes in Karachi airport) then it is obvious which will sell out first.
In order to generate market share, less popular airlines will unofficially discount their fares through wholesalers known as "consolidators" - these can sometimes save you more than half of the official fare. These consolidators appoint specialised agents, and sometimes you can even save more money if the consolidator will deal with you direct. You may be sur
prised to learn that, depending on the length of the journey, the consolidator is only charging you £10 - £40 more than the "factory" price given to them by the airline.
Contrary to popular misconception, it is not risky to deal with these so called "bucket shops" - If they let you down, they can be heavily fined or even jailed - everything is covered by the government ATOL scheme, so it is a lot safer than, for example, paying for a three-piece suite in advance to a High Street furniture chain.
To summarise, these are my recommendations:
Contact the airline for their best official price, on 0845 601 0948
Call the consolidator on 01892 533737 (Lupus).
For Vienna only, best prces are from Mondial on 01580 714714
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