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Business Class Consolidator

#1
Anyone ever done any business with a company called Business Class Consolidator? http://businessclassconsolidator.com/ They advertise on Facebook, I know that does not make them legitimate!

I am planning a business trip through West Africa in a couple weeks, and their pricing came in about two thousand dollars less then I could get booking directly with the various airlines. That is a big savings but only if they are "for real".
 
#2
Please, read their rules. They sell business class 'lights'. Tickets are non-refundable, changeable only for $450 + fare difference. If you have to cancel, you have one year to use the credit (minus $450) - but only for tickets from them (not from the airline), etc.
The biggest problem: if you have any problem during your trip (delay, cancellation, schedule change), you are on your own. (On the other side of the world, in the middle of nowhere.)

I would not recommend them.
 
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Neil

Moderator
Staff member
Advocate
#3
Google "complaints about " and the name of the company. As a travel agent I have never heard of them and so don't do business with anyone I don't know.

Make sure you understand the rules of consolidator fares. Most ate totally non refundable and some are problems if a flight is changed or canceled. There are very different rules for consolidator fares so you need to know what you are doing.
 

jsn55

Staff member
Advocate
#4
Risk tolerance, Philip! How much risk are you willing to take for the $2K? How flexible are you? How calm are you in the face of adversity? Don't make this decision until you've followed my colleagues' excellent advice. Some of these trips go off without a wrinkle, others can be a complete disaster, leaving you blubbering over in the corner in some airport nobody ever heard of. Please let us know what you decide and all the details. We need to know this stuff.
 
#5
Not sure if it applies to these tickets, but there are quite a few of these companies that offer discounted business class who are actually selling frequent flier tickets. They buy the miles from passengers, and then book the tickets. Needless to say, this is completely in violation of the airline's Terms of Service, so if the company gets caught, those tickets could end up voided, leaving you stranded (and out your money). Caveat emptor.
 
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kenish

Staff member
Advocate
#7
Is it possible to identify the discount business class ticket merchants. I'm considering using one, but....
You can, but we do not recommend or discourage specific companies on this site. @Neil posted in #3 to do a google search on the company(s) you're considering. Do thorough due diligence and decide which (if any) fit your risk thermostat. The potential downside to conso tickets are in the thread above...and I will add to post #5 that tickets using re-sold frequent flyer miles have led to cases of people having their own mileage accounts cancelled and even put on a "no fly" list by the airline.
 
#9
No we cannot make any recommendations here.
We recently went to a recommended consolidator to purchase business class tickets to India. All was going well. The price was great. When we went to finally purchase them we had some questions for the consolidator. When we asked him if he issues an eticket when we press the Submit button he told us that he gives us a confirmation number and that we'd be able to check in with that. We were not comfortable with that. He had also asked if we had frequent flyer miles to sell. We knew this was a red flag. We wound up purchasing from Air India and can now sleep at night knowing we won't be turned away when we go to check in!
 
#10
We recently went to a recommended consolidator to purchase business class tickets to India. All was going well. The price was great. When we went to finally purchase them we had some questions for the consolidator. When we asked him if he issues an eticket when we press the Submit button he told us that he gives us a confirmation number and that we'd be able to check in with that. We were not comfortable with that. He had also asked if we had frequent flyer miles to sell. We knew this was a red flag. We wound up purchasing from Air India and can now sleep at night knowing we won't be turned away when we go to check in!
You are flying Air India ?? Pray that the pilots or cabin crew or ground staff won't go on strike on the day of your flight or a day or two earlier. This happens too often for comfort. So much so that my wife and myself do not fly Air India any longer. We use Jet Airways or any of the many international carriers.

Of course, if there is no strike, Air India is great. The service is good, the fares are competitive, the flights take off and land on time.
 
#11
Thanks. Air India was not our first choice. Emirates or Qatar or Etihad was BUT we're landing in Chennai and going home from Cochin. US airlines had too many stopovers until we reached our final destination. When the TSA announced the electronics restrictions I was between a rock and a hard place. I'm a photographer and there was no way I was going to put my camera equipment and my iPad in my check-in luggage. What would you have done? Now I have to worry until we leave in January!
 

Neil

Moderator
Staff member
Advocate
#12
We recently went to a recommended consolidator to purchase business class tickets to India. All was going well. The price was great. When we went to finally purchase them we had some questions for the consolidator. When we asked him if he issues an eticket when we press the Submit button he told us that he gives us a confirmation number and that we'd be able to check in with that. We were not comfortable with that. He had also asked if we had frequent flyer miles to sell. We knew this was a red flag. We wound up purchasing from Air India and can now sleep at night knowing we won't be turned away when we go to check in!
You were very smart. Legitimate consolidators don't do that, you get an e ticket. We recently had a consumer who wrote in with a similar issue but she bought the ticket. I don't recall the outcome.
 

jsn55

Staff member
Advocate
#13
We recently went to a recommended consolidator to purchase business class tickets to India. All was going well. The price was great. When we went to finally purchase them we had some questions for the consolidator. When we asked him if he issues an eticket when we press the Submit button he told us that he gives us a confirmation number and that we'd be able to check in with that. We were not comfortable with that. He had also asked if we had frequent flyer miles to sell. We knew this was a red flag. We wound up purchasing from Air India and can now sleep at night knowing we won't be turned away when we go to check in!
"sleep at night" ... the operative phrase, Edna. That's the factor that good travel agents and financial advisors use when the client wants something out of the ordinary. If you can sleep at night after making this investment in ABC company with 15% annual return, you should. If you'd worry about it, even for 5 minutes, stay away.
 
#14
Thanks. Air India was not our first choice. Emirates or Qatar or Etihad was BUT we're landing in Chennai and going home from Cochin. US airlines had too many stopovers until we reached our final destination. When the TSA announced the electronics restrictions I was between a rock and a hard place. I'm a photographer and there was no way I was going to put my camera equipment and my iPad in my check-in luggage. What would you have done? Now I have to worry until we leave in January!
If I knew what your complete itinerary was, maybe I could help out.
 

Neil

Moderator
Staff member
Advocate
#15
You are flying Air India ?? Pray that the pilots or cabin crew or ground staff won't go on strike on the day of your flight or a day or two earlier. This happens too often for comfort. So much so that my wife and myself do not fly Air India any longer. We use Jet Airways or any of the many international carriers.

Of course, if there is no strike, Air India is great. The service is good, the fares are competitive, the flights take off and land on time.
This is not all that unusual in other countries. Look at Alitalia, KLM, Air France and a few others that go on strike at the drop of a hat. I hate booking anything other than US carriers.
 
#16
Are you a consolidator?
Why would you think that ?? Nopes, I am not a consolidator. I am not in any way related to the travel industry or the airline industry.

My offer to help Edna was in response to her question : "What would you have done ?"

I thought perhaps I could check and see whether there were airlines operating in India which did not have to abide by those stringent TSA electronics restrictions, like Air India.
 

Neil

Moderator
Staff member
Advocate
#17
Why would you think that ?? Nopes, I am not a consolidator. I am not in any way related to the travel industry or the airline industry.

My offer to help Edna was in response to her question : "What would you have done ?"

I thought perhaps I could check and see whether there were airlines operating in India which did not have to abide by those stringent TSA electronics restrictions, like Air India.
I understand. That's very kind of you. But she's already booked her tickets so she would have heavy cancellation fees to cancel and rebook.

It seems she did great research to find an airline to get her to where she needs to be that she doesn't have to put her cameras in her checked luggage and has the least amount of connections. It's too bad that these restrictions are in place for electronics.

Let's all hope no strikes for her. Air India isn't the only airline that does on strike fir no rhyme nor reason.
 
#18
The TSA electronics restrictions aren't airline-based, they're origin based. It happens that they don't affect US carriers, because they don't fly to the US from those airports (Amman, Jordan; Cairo; Istanbul; Jidda and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, per the NYT).

So, flying to the US from Mumbai would be fine, regardless of carrier, but Qatar/Etihad/Emirates would be out.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/us/politics/tsa-ban-electronics-laptops-cabin.html?_r=0