Are you a travel manager who’s fed up with the complexity involved in purchasing executive bulk airline tickets? While bulk flight booking can offer the potential for lower fares and better availability for business travelers, the process of booking bulk airline tickets can be an administrative nightmare.
Whether you’re responsible for booking business travel, company retreats, incentive trips, or corporate events for large groups, executive bulk tickets are a great way of keeping corporate travel costs down -- but knowing the best way to buy group airline tickets will help you save time and money, and alleviate the hassle associated with organizing large group travel.
Dive into this quick guide and discover how to buy multiple plane tickets seamlessly while still guaranteeing a first-class travel experience.
What are the challenges of buying airline tickets in bulk?
When purchasing executive bulk tickets, it’s likely that you’ll come up against time-consuming processes and complex logistics. From coordinating travel itineraries to accommodating the unique needs of individual travelers, you’ll often face the following challenges.
Insufficient ticket availability
Airlines have a restricted number of seats available for each flight, and when buying executive bulk airline tickets, finding enough seats to accommodate your group can prove challenging -- especially during peak travel seasons or when traveling to popular destinations.
While the advance purchase of tickets can help, it can still be difficult to find available seats for all passengers on the same flight, or even the same day.
Inflexible booking policies
Purchasing executive bulk tickets often means facing certain limitations on changes, cancellations, and refunds. Airlines have specific policies in place for group bookings, which can limit your flexibility when it comes to making adjustments.
This lack of flexibility can be inconvenient, especially when dealing with last-minute cancellations or changes.
As a travel manager, you want to secure the best flight deals for group travel. However, since airline ticket prices are dynamic and can fluctuate rapidly, you may face inconsistencies in pricing, as individual fares might differ for each ticket.
This can make it harder to negotiate the best prices for all tickets.
Coordinating travel requirements and preferences
Regardless of whether your passengers are frequent travelers, coordinating travel dates, preferred airlines, seat preferences, and other travel needs for each passenger can be incredibly complex to synchronize when making group airline bookings.
Many airlines will also charge additional fees for amendments that are made at a later date.
Communicating with a large group of travelers
Keeping everyone in the group informed about flight details, itinerary changes, check-in information, and even sending out boarding passes to the right people can be difficult when dealing with a large number of travelers.
4 Ways to purchase airline tickets in bulk
Depending on whether you’re organizing corporate travel or booking airline tickets for a leisure trip, there are several ways of buying airline tickets in bulk. To streamline the booking process and purchasing experience, let’s explore the best ways to buy airline tickets in bulk according to your needs.
For business travel: Use a travel management platform
When buying bulk airline tickets for business travel, emailing airlines or calling reservation desks to buy tickets isn’t practical. As well as being a waste of time, these methods won’t ensure you get the best deals on airfare.
Looking to secure the best prices for group air travel? Using a travel management platform like TravelPerk not only helps you save money but streamlines the entire process of purchasing executive bulk airline tickets.
As an all-in-one solution, TravelPerk offers a range of features to facilitate seamless business travel. In fact, our Group Bookings service takes care of every step of the process, leaving no margin for oversights.
With TravelPerk’s group booking solution, travel managers and travelers benefit from:
- Not switching between airline booking portals and accounting systems -- everything can be managed from the TravelPerk platform, including integrated travel policy and approval flows.
- Specialized and negotiated ticket rates based on your business needs, no matter where passengers are traveling.
- A consolidated booking and expense management process in one simple interface -- plus, air travel costs are automatically added to your expense sheet.
- Integrations with existing loyalty programs.
- Flexible and transparent cancelation policies.
- 24/7 business travel assistance for travelers with a target 15-second response rate from the 7* customer care team.
- TravelCare, a travel safety and alerts system.
- Trip Assistant -- a mobile app available on iOS and Android -- that stores all trip information in one place, even when passengers are offline.
How to book group flight tickets with TravelPerk
- For groups of more than 10 people, travel managers can submit a request via TravelPerk’s concierge box. Our specialist team will then negotiate special rates for the group booking based on your needs and requirements.
- For groups of less than 10 people, you can book directly via the TravelPerk platform and benefit from preferential, negotiated rates.
For leisure travel: Use a travel agent
When making travel plans for leisure trips, travel agencies can help streamline the process of picking a date that works for everyone, deciding on a location, and booking group airline tickets.
Often, travel agents have relationships with various travel partners, including airlines, to help you make plans, find cheap business-class tickets, accommodate each individual’s needs, and buy bulk airline tickets that suit your requirements and fit your budget.
Buy directly from the airline
Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, you can also buy bulk flight tickets directly from major airlines such as Delta and British Airways.
Before you make a decision on which airline to travel with, get in touch with a few operators to compare prices and policies. While some airlines might provide bulk discounts, they may have stricter group booking policies. Some airlines also offer flat-rate tickets which can be used as frequently as you want within a limited time frame.
However, buying group tickets directly from airlines is an extremely time-consuming task, and they might not be as cheap as you were expecting. Plus, you’ll need to double-check that they can fully accommodate the group booking and manually add each passenger’s details.
Use a travel meta-search engine such as Skyscanner, Agoda, or eDreams
It’s also possible to use travel meta-search engines to find good deals on bulk airline tickets. These engines allow you to enter your desired travel dates, departure and arrival airports, and number of passengers, and some enable you to specify that you are looking for bulk airline tickets or group travel options. You can also enable price alerts via these engines to track fluctuations in ticket prices to help you book flights when prices are lower.
However, this option is also very manual, doesn’t guarantee that all travelers will travel together or at the same price, and may involve various surcharges. Plus, these platforms are third-party providers and lack the capability to assist with any problems that arise. This means that you would still have to reach out to the airlines directly, resulting in a poor customer experience.
See how easy it can be to book business trips for large groups
What information do I need to gather?
Booking executive bulk airline tickets with a travel management platform couldn’t be easier. But, to speed up the process and minimize oversights, collect the following passenger and travel information beforehand.
The number of passengers traveling
Before you start, verify how many passengers will be making the journey, and double-check whether all passengers will be taking both the outbound and return flights to make sure you buy tickets for the right amount of travelers and avoid any unnecessary expenses.
Travel dates and times
Before you can book executive bulk tickets, you need to ascertain fixed dates and times of travel. Keep in mind that if you’re booking international flights, you’ll also need to account for different time zones.
Request travelers’ full names and ask them to double-check that they match the names displayed on the identification they plan to travel with. Plus, for better communication about travel updates and information, ask each traveler to provide you with their phone number and email address.
Departure and destination information
Booking executive bulk tickets is simple when the entire group departs from and arrives at the same locations. However, in cases where some travelers have different plans, such as not making a round-trip, you’ll need to make a note of this before you purchase tickets.
Will you be booking business class flights, premium economy class, or first-class tickets for all travelers? Depending on who’s traveling, you might need to book several different executive bulk airline tickets.
Details of any special requirements
Request passengers to provide information on any special requirements they may have, such as accessibility needs, dietary restrictions, or the need for onboard assistance.
Decide on the method of payment for the group booking, and check whether any credit cards work with any frequent flyer programs. If you’re traveling for leisure, this may involve collecting payments individually from each passenger or assigning someone within the group to take charge of the payment process.
TravelPerk's group booking solution: The best way to buy group airline tickets
Want to put an end to the complexity of booking executive bulk tickets? Unlock the power of TravelPerk's group booking solution and enjoy the perks of special negotiated rates, ensure passengers can travel on the same day and flight at the same price per seat, and find peace of mind with a simple, unified cancelation policy.
Whether you’re booking a trip to Hong Kong, New Zealand, or New York, take the administrative weight off your shoulders and book your next group business trip with TravelPerk. Request a free demo and learn how to streamline group air travel with one of our travel experts today.