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Consolidators for Biz Class - has any one used one?

Consolidators for Biz Class - has any one used one?

Feb 21st, 2017, 10:56 AM
  #1  
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Consolidators for Biz Class - has any one used one?

I was looking at some biz class tickets and the total for 4 people as $16K+. For the heck of it, I checked with a consolidator (and they quoted just over $11K for the same airline,flight, days). I looked the consolidator up and they have an A+ rating with the BBB.

I've never used a consolidator before. I've searched online and everything about consolidators in general is a couple of years old.

Does anyone have a good and/or bad experience they can share?
Miki2621 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2017, 11:49 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Many so-called "consolidators" are actually mileage brokers. They buy frequent flyer miles from people then use them to get award tickets that they then re-sell to customers.

This practice is against every airline's FF program terms and conditions, and the airlines are starting to crack down on the brokers big time. You run a very substantial risk of having the ticket canceled - sometimes right at the gate - and the sellers of the miles will have their accounts closed and their mileage balances forfeit.

18 months ago somebody hacked my frequent flyer account at American Airlines and stole over 300,000 miles which they sold to a "consolidator" who then used them to obtain 4 first-class tickets on Cathay Pacific Airlines for some customers. All the customers' tickets were canceled, and they were all out something like $3000 each. At least two of the victims were stopped at the check-in counters. How would that feel?

Believe me, this experience is repeated again and again, every day, around the world. The airlines are getting extremely aggressive in chasing these people.

(It took me three months to get my miles restored. The broker, "Fly Luxe" was still doing business under one of several fake names, all with good BBB ratings. By the way, BBB ratings aren't worth the pixels they consume.)

Who is the consolidator, where are you flying from and flying to, when, and most importantly, do you feel lucky?
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 21st, 2017, 12:02 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I think Gardyloo's post should be a 'sticky' at the top of the board. Too many people get taken by these scam artists.

That being said -- yes, which 'consolidator'. There are always exceptions . . .
janisj is online now  
Feb 21st, 2017, 01:00 PM
  #4  
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The consolidator is called business class consolidator. The flight is for a trip from ORD to VCE and then return from FCO to ORD.
Miki2621 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2017, 09:31 PM
  #5  
 
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I used one once thru my TA and they are bonded and insured so this one was ok. We got a good deal ORD-NRT R/T and all went well.

I recently priced another trip thru her and this time the price was on a par with what I could do on my own.

I have communicated with several of the biz consolidators like Gardyloo mentioned and was not impressed at all. I would never do business with them.

So try to find a consolidator that is reputable and not a mileage broker. The one I used was not available to the general public. You had to go thru a TA. You may get a good deal but you may not.


Good luck.
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 02:23 AM
  #6  
 
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The consolidator is called business class consolidator.

Here's a picture of their registered office. You be the judge. https://goo.gl/maps/djUed6PHKmE2
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 02:52 AM
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Wow! Hey they sell boxes too. Now thats diversification. .
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 03:03 AM
  #8  
 
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For the OP I can give you a contact name and number for my TA to see if the consolidator they use can help if you wish. Just let me know. Its safe really.

Last yr. they quoted me a price of 5k R/T ORD-SIN on emirates which is a 5* carrier and that was a good price. However we chose to use our miles instead and got it on a combo of ANA and Asiana but I do recall that this price beat anything else I found on my own.

Best of luck. .
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 03:16 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Take a look at vacationsbymarriott.com and see if they have a flight and hotel package that would work for you. You might need to purchase a separate RT domestic ticket to get you where you are going and you will need to choose at least one night in a Marriott hotel.

But the savings for Business Class was pretty good for the package I was looking at. We are flying ORD to VIE then HEL to ORD on return, so I am looking at the ORD to VIE RT package for 2 people and savings are about 50% or close to $6K.

I got this tip from flyertalk.

Good luck!
ovenbird is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 06:18 AM
  #10  
 
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BTW what form of payment do they want?

If they don't take a credit card and want a check or wire transfer then run!
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 12:50 PM
  #11  
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Thanks everyone - based on all the feedback I am not going to book with the consolidator. To answer Jacketwatch's questions, they say would accept a credit card.

Ovenbird - than you the vacationsbymarriott.com suggestion. I think that will be route we'll take. Although, I am a little worried about flying to FCO and then buying a separate ticket to VCE and managing bags (I usually have to check at least one bag when we travel to Europe). But I will figure that out.

I'm sure I'll have more questions about Italy as I move forward. Thanks everyone!
Miki2621 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 12:55 PM
  #12  
 
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No problem. Good luck with your planning!

Larry.
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2017, 02:13 PM
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I was looking on ITA (the gold standard for flight searches - http://matrix.itasoftware.com ) and while not knowing your dates, can see business class fares in July on Turkish Airlines from Chicago to Venice round trip for $2518, and round trip to Rome for $2537, so probably around $2525 for the open-jaw. Turkish's business product is quite good - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv1GiK2iDQo

Because the market has different dynamics I also looked at prices from Toronto to Italy. Round trip on TAP Portuguese Airlines from Toronto to Rome (same days) via Lisbon is US$1961; nonstop to Rome on Alitalia (using a KLM codeshare flight number) is $2064, and using British Airways via London increased it to US$2215 round trip. (A round trip in coach from Chicago to Toronto is around $250.)

So in any of those scenarios - depending on your dates - you could end up with legitimate fares at a total of under the $11K figure the consolidator quoted you. I checked for availability of all these on Expedia, and they're all still good. Obviously if you traveled via Canada on separate tickets, you'd need to give yourselves plenty of leeway between flights so that a no-show because you're late doesn't spell financial ruin.

So depending on your dates (what are they?) you could do okay using one of these approaches.
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 24th, 2017, 05:12 AM
  #14  
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Just an update... After all of the great suggestions and words of caution using a consolidator, I ended up using vacationsbymarriott.com to book 4 biz class seats and 2 rooms for 5 nights hotel stay in Rome at the Boscolo Exedra Roma in Rome (which was going to be our final destination in Italy anyway). While I will have to buy one-way tickets from Rome to Venice (which is where we are starting our trip), I feel like it worked out well.
Miki2621 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 05:38 AM
  #15  
 
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Good for you!

How were the prices for the biz class tickets compared to what you were previously getting?
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 07:07 AM
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>>While I will have to buy one-way tickets from Rome to Venice<<

I'd take the train . . .
janisj is online now  
Feb 24th, 2017, 08:48 AM
  #17  
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jaketwatch - The pricing was packaged. So in looking up the lowest hotel/room costs for the included hotel and factoring that out of the package price, I figure I'm paying about $2,400 per biz ticket.

janisj - We will be taking the train a lot while we are there. So after a 9+ hour flight, the thought of going from the airport to train station for an almost 4 hour trip to Venice, isn't very appealing. As it is, I am taking a chance that if my flight into Rome is delayed, I could miss the flight to Venice (which will be booked under a separate ticket number). So unless someone can make a compelling argument as to why we should take the train from Rome to Venice - the consensus is to fly.
Miki2621 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 08:51 AM
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Thats a great price. Glad it worked out well for you.
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 09:48 AM
  #19  
 
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Oh -- I didn't realize you were flying directly on to Rome (I was assuming you were stopping over in Venice for a bit) so yes, flying makes more sense.
janisj is online now  
Mar 12th, 2017, 06:18 PM
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