Group flights have become an increasingly popular option for travelers looking to explore the world together with friends, family members, or colleagues. These flights are specifically designed for groups of 10 or more, offering unique benefits such as discounted airfare and more.
These are beneficial for large groups such as family reunions, student trips, business retreats, and even sports events. In addition, they can also provide an enhanced, stress-free travel experience to group members.
If you’re living in the United States, you’ll find several major airlines offer services on booking flights for groups, with a dedicated team ready to help with flight bookings, itinerary planning, and special requests. Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United, and American Airlines are among the carriers that extend their group travel options to reduce the complexities involved in coordinating group trips. These airlines often provide exclusive amenities and tailored services to ensure a comfortable, enjoyable journey for all participants.
Here’s a guide on booking flights for groups for those looking to embark on a shared travel adventure!
- Group booking for flights: Pros and Cons
- Who are best suited for group flights?
- Tips when booking group flights
- Group flight experiences with different airlines
- Additional considerations
Group booking for flights: Pros and Cons
Group flights refer to a travel arrangement in which a group of individuals fly together on the same flight with a common destination. Typically, airlines consider a group as 10 or more passengers traveling together. These groups can include families, friends, corporate teams, or even event attendees who require similar flight itineraries.
Here are the main benefits of group booking for flights:
One of the primary benefits of group flights is the possibility of special pricing and flexible payment options. Depending on the airline, groups of 10 or more might be eligible for discounted fares as well as other considerations such as priority boarding or reserved seating.
For instance, American Airlines guarantees fare rates for groups of 10 or more, allowing booking up to 11 months in advance and making name changes up to 48 hours before departure. Southwest is known for offering impressive amenities to group travelers, including special discounts and versatile payment options.
Group flights also tend to have more flexible terms and conditions, which can be particularly beneficial for large groups such as business retreats, family reunions, or student trips. For instance, some airlines may allow you to hold seats without specifying the travelers’ names immediately, providing added convenience and flexibility.
Another advantage of group flights comes from the convenience factor. Organizing group travel can often involve coordinating multiple, complicated logistics. This can be streamlined by working with travel agents or specialized platforms that cater to group travel booking. These professionals can handle all the arrangements and ensure that everyone in the group arrives at their destination safely and on time.
- Higher individual costs: It’s important to note that getting a group deal from an airline is not always the cheapest option — the airfare per flight on a group booking deal can sometimes be higher. Therefore, it’s advisable to compare prices before making a decision.
- Limited flight options: Group bookings may limit your flight options as airlines often have specific flights designated for group travel.
- Inflexibility: Changes in group bookings can be challenging. For example, if one person in the group cancels, it might affect the entire group’s booking or rate.
- Payment complexity: Coordinating payments among a large group can be complicated and time-consuming.
Who are best suited for group flights?
Booking flights for groups is an excellent choice for various occasions and situations. They offer numerous benefits ranging from better coordination to specialized deals and pricing.
In this section, we’ll explore the advantages of group flights especially for certain passenger groups:
- Group Trips: Group flights present the perfect solution for group trips, such as family reunions, friends’ vacations, or organized tours. By booking flights together, everyone in the group can be accommodated on the same flight, reducing the risk of individuals being split across different flights. Furthermore, group flights provide a sense of companionship and enhance the overall travel experience.
- Meetings: Business meetings, conferences, and corporate events can benefit from group flights, as they allow for coordinated travel. This ensures that all attendees arrive at the destination simultaneously for better time management and organization. Additionally, airlines such as United Airlines offer tailored pricing and services for groups of ten or more, which can result in savings for businesses.
- Sports Teams: Group flights prove to be a cost-effective and convenient choice for sports teams. The team members can travel together, ensuring everyone’s schedule aligns, and the camaraderie amongst the team is maintained. Moreover, specialized group-based deals or discounts may be available, further reducing the costs of travel for team events and competitions.
Group flights offer numerous benefits to those who choose them. They allow for better coordination, potential cost savings, and strengthen the sense of unity and camaraderie among group members, making them an optimal choice for sports teams, meetings, and group trips.
Tips when booking group flights
Use a travel agency
When booking group flights, the easiest way is to call an airline directly. Airlines often have a specialized department that handles group bookings. However, dealing with this can be cumbersome, in which case you may opt to book thru a travel agency instead.
A travel agency can help you save a lot of time and money especially for large groups.
Book in advance
When planning group travel, it’s essential to book flights well in advance. Airlines often allow you to reserve group tickets up to 11 months prior to your desired travel date. This ensures that your group has access to the best possible fares and seat availability.
Take note that during peak travel periods, such as major holidays and popular vacation seasons, group flight availability may be limited. To increase the chance of securing seats and favorable fares for all group members, book flights as early as possible during these busy times.
Prepare the group’s information
Before booking for a group flight, prepare the group members’ information and documents in advance so you’re not scrambling during the process.
Once all group details are finalized and deposits have been paid, the airline will issue electronic tickets for each group member. Be sure to verify all passenger information, flight details, and travel itinerary before the ticketing deadline to avoid any last-minute surprises.
For international travels, each group member should individually ensure they meet the entry requirements for their destination, and it may be helpful to compile a list of necessary documents and vaccinations in advance to streamline the process for everyone.
Group flight experiences with different airlines
United Airlines offers a Group Desk service for group bookings of 10 or more passengers. The airline provides a dedicated group coordinator to assist with booking and travel arrangements.
The group booking experience includes options like flexible ticketing, priority boarding, and discounted fares.
United offers various amenities and services for groups, aiming to provide the best experience at the lowest price. Their GroupPlus program gives access to exclusive products and services tailored for group travel needs.
For groups of 10 or more, American Airlines offers Group Travel services. Their group travel experience includes fare discounts, flexible payment options, and dedicated support from their group specialists.
American Airlines provides various incentives, such as granting one free ticket for every 40 passengers booked.
With their customer-centric approach, they ensure a comfortable and convenient trip with their range of in-flight amenities and seamless group travel management.
Delta Airlines caters to group bookings with their Group Travel program, designed for groups of 10 or more. Their program offers flexible pricing options, dedicated customer service, and access to various amenities.
With Delta, it’s possible to secure seats at the lowest available price and receive incentives like one free ticket for every 30 confirmed passengers.
In addition to customized contracts for group travel, the airline provides an easy process for coordinating the group’s needs and preferences.
Southwest Airlines focuses on affordability and convenience for group travel bookings. They accommodate groups of 10 passengers or more with their Group Travel program, featuring negotiated rates, simple booking processes, and dedicated support.
Southwest offers a flexible experience with added benefits such as no change fees, unlimited reward seats, and reusable travel funds for canceled flights.
The airline also prioritizes group accessibility to their many amenities, such as ample legroom and free in-flight entertainment, ensuring a comfortable and pleasant flight experience.
Here are the things you should familiarize yourself with when doing group bookings for flights:
Special pricing and discounts
Airlines often offer special pricing and discounts for group bookings. Group pricing usually results in savings compared to individual ticket prices, allowing your group to travel more cost-effectively. Additionally, some airlines may provide additional perks, like upgrades or priority boarding, based on group size and travel needs.
Fare rules and deposits
When booking group flights, be sure to remain informed about the specific fare rules and deposit requirements. Each airline has its own policies and the minimum number of passengers required to qualify for group fares. In order to secure these fares, you may be asked to pay a deposit. This deposit can vary based on factors such as destination, group size, and other potential restrictions.
|Minimum Passenger Requirement
Name changes and flexibility
Group bookings often come with added flexibility in terms of name changes and cancellations. It’s not uncommon for airlines to offer at least one free name change per ticket, which can be particularly helpful in case any group members need to cancel or alter their travel plans. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific change fees and cancellation policies for the airline you’ve chosen.
Fees and charges
It’s important to be aware of the fees and charges associated with booking group flights. These may include booking fees, taxes, or any additional charges for services like baggage, seat assignments, and in-flight amenities.
Make sure to review the terms and conditions while planning, and communicate any applicable charges to group members in advance, particularly if they are responsible for handling individual payments.
Group contract and policies
When booking group travel, a group contract may be provided by the airline, outlining specific terms and policies for your flights. This may include information on payment deadlines, reservation changes, or cancellation penalties. It’s crucial to carefully review the contract and its corresponding policies to ensure a seamless and trouble-free experience for the entire group.
Getting a quote
To obtain an accurate quote for your group flight, consider utilizing the services of a dedicated travel agency like Golden Rule Travel that specializes in group airfare. Provide details such as travel dates, destinations, and desired number of tickets, and be sure to inquire about any potential group discounts or bulk rates.
Group flights have lots of benefits. We hope this article on group booking for flights helped you in deciding whether you should book individually or as a group for a trip.
If you have questions or suggestions, let us know in the comment section below!
This article is contributed by an expert guest author.