A WORD ABOUT GROUP AIR
QUALIFYING FOR A GROUP AIR BLOCK
A minimum of 10 fully paying passengers is required for blocking a group with air carriers. In the event that your group falls under the 10 seat minimum, passengers will be considered as individuals and must be ticketed at the applicable fare. Any penalties incurred will be evaluated at the time of reservation.
A minimum deposit of $150.00 per seat is due on a specific date, usually within 14-30 days of blocking the space. The air carrier receives $100 of the deposit. Travel Overtures LLC retains $50 as a Service Fee. If you are using a credit card for making a deposit, you will be charged a 3.5% service fee for this transaction. If the deposit is made by check, the deposit amount will be applied towards the final payment.
The final name list, ticketing and final payment are due to the airlines 45 days prior to departure. Any changes after ticketing will result in a $150 penalty per name change, provided the same flights and dates are used. Travel Overtures LLC requires your group's final name list at 61 days prior to departure. In this way, we can be sure that you have all of your travelers Secure Flight Information and Payments collected on time.
Deviations are granted by the airline based on availability. The fare is subject to change without notice. The airlines will charge a minimum service fee of $50.00 for each deviation. The actual deviation charge may vary across carriers.
CANCELLATION DATES and PENALTIES
Seats cancelled 120 days or more prior to departure will result in no penalties. Seats cancelled 119 - 65 days prior to departure are allowed a 20% decrease from the total number of seats. Any seat greater than the 20% will incur a minimum of $100.00 penalty per seat. Again, the actual cancellation penalty amount may vary among carriers.
Seats cancelled 64 days or less prior to departure will result in at least a $100.00 penalty per seat. Tickets are non-refundable after ticketing.
Travel Overtures LLC charges a $50 cancellation fee per seat in addition to the air carrier's penalties for seats cancelled 64 days or less prior to departure.
PRICING OF GROUP AIR SEATS
Contrary to public opinion, in the majority of cases, group air is not less expensive per person than individual published fares (yes, exceptions occur, but I am speaking of normal day-to-day scenarios). That being said, because we work with air consolidators rather than directly with the airline, we can sometimes procure more favorable rates.
Three main benefits occur with a group air block:
1. Everyone travels together, allowing for camaraderie, ease of airport transfers, luggage pulls, and more;
2. Everyone pays the same rate;
3. If the airline offers a Tour Conductor credit per certain number of fully paid seats in the group, the Group Leader may receive his or her seat free with the exception of the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges. This is in no way guaranteed, however.
SELECTION OF INDIVIDUAL SEATS WITHIN A GROUP
Seat Requests: Seats are not able to be pre-selected with a group air block, but may be changed at the airport upon check-in pending availability. The airlines will no longer allow groups to pre-select specific seats. Therefore, we are unable to process individual seating requests. We do not block individual seats but will block a certain number of seats on the plane. Sometimes passengers in a group block can complete online check-in 24 hours prior to departure and request seats at that time. However, it should be noted that more often than not, recent changes in some air carrier's group policies no longer allow group members to check-in online. Passengers are encouraged to arrive at the departing ticket counter early for best seat selection.
FREQUENT FLYER ACCOUNT HOLDERS
Frequent flier numbers should be provided by the passengers themselves to the airlines at the airport. Persons with earned air miles can often upgrade their seat upon check-in if an upgrade is available.