Why Moving Groups is Getting More Difficult
Somewhere lost in the mists of time, airplanes rattled around the sky almost empty, with airlines chasing market share at the expense of profitability and some would argue common sense. In these bygone days, large groups were welcome to shore up all of that excess capacity. Tour operators would capitalize by entering into group rate contracts at significantly reduced rates, making large group air charters even more affordable than most airfares.
Enter deregulation, lots of bankruptcies, mergers, and investment in modernized fleets, the end result of which are lean, smart airlines that have become masterful at managing their fleet size and increasing their load factors (a percentage of how much capacity of a particular flight has been sold). The result? Airlines don’t need (or in many cases want) large group business. They are just fine selling full retail one or two tickets at a time.
You Can Get There From Here
So, what is a large group of 200-500 to do? Private large group air charter is not a luxury, even though the travel experience is superior to standard air travel. Moving large groups via private jet aircraft solves many logistical issues. The most important of the many benefits is that there is an aircraft available for almost any group size, from narrow body (150-200 passenger) aircraft to wide body (250+ passengers) aircraft. Many of our clients will utilize multiple aircraft from different locations, bringing together a large group to one location. This is far more efficient than booking passengers individually on literally dozens of flights, some with multiple connections. Then add the name change and baggage fees. All of this can be very taxing on the passengers as well as the travel planner.
The Easy Button
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of large group air charter is the ability to fly point to point – no stops in between, no changing aircraft. This exponentially simplifies the process of transporting a large group by air. Private air charter also can make use of thousands of airport sites that are not served by scheduled service. There is also no ticketing, no name change fees, and no baggage charges. All of the passengers are placed on a single manifest. Sports equipment, team gear, musical instruments, baggage? Load away, this is your charter, after all. If you need to add or drop a passenger? No worries, and no charge. You control who sits where. You select the menu. Charter is truly a customized solution for your large group travel needs.
So When is it Not the Best Solution?
Sometimes travel budgets are very tight. Although the gap is closing due to constricting scheduled service capacity, charter typically costs more than scheduled service. If the ticket price already looks too high, then a charter is not a good fit for your group. If you can live with connections, baggage fees, name change fees and flying next to strangers on a predetermined schedule in exchange for the lowest cost possible, airline travel is your best bet. Additionally, if you are willing to trade a bit on the cost to simplify and customize your air transportation, then large group air charter might be a good fit for you. Happy flying!