One of the benefits of working with air consolidators (like Centrav or Virtuoso Air) is that sometimes you are able to take advantage of low-priced bulk/contract/net airfares that are priced well below the lowest available published rate. This allows you to “mark up” the net fare, similar to marking up commission on a net tour operator booking. It can be a true win/win for both you and your clients, since you are able to make commission and the client’s ticket is still below the best price they could find without you. Here is an example:
Let’s say you look on Kayak.com or Google Flights and find that the best airfare you can find for your Charlotte to Rome round trip is $1565 per person on your client’s travel dates. You check on Centrav and see that there is a great bulk/contract/net air on those exact dates & flights for $1065. That means that you are able to secure the same flights for $500 less per ticket than the client could find on their own. So, you can mark up the net airfare by $400 and charge the clients $1465 per person and be a hero because you saved them $100 per person, all the while making a nice commission for yourself. Fabulous, right?
However, many travel advisors are hesitant to do this because they don’t want the client knowing how much they are making on the transaction. The good news is that they won’t, as long as you mark it up correctly. I double checked with Centrav today and this is their position:
“If your profit went into the Commission Markup box it will be included with the airfare as one charge. If your profit went into the SERVICE FEE box it will show as a separate charge on the client’s credit card.”
And other air consolidators usually work the same way, although I recommend verifying with them before you charge the card to be sure you are doing it correctly.
So, don’t feel guilty about making a profit as long as your clients are also getting a good deal! Mark up commission in the “Commission Markup” box and then get up and do a little happy dance! Own your value…and Congratulations on a great booking!