Booking marine flights is a tiresome process. We are familiar with the hustle of searching between travel agencies to find the best possible deal. That price difference is key for many crew managers to sign with a particular travel agent.
Marine flight prices are constantly fluctuating. And with the fast pace of supply and demand, finding the cheapest seats on a plane can be a little overwhelming.
How to compare prices between travel agents
Comparing Prices – Why Is It So Important?
A lot of maritime businesses rely on travel agents for marine flight booking. Some travel agencies offer full logistics for getting crew members on/off the vessel. This includes hotels, meals, busses, or any other necessities needed to get them on board.
Adding these expenses together can set back companies thousands of dollars.
Saving a few bucks on a marine flight ticket is enough to persuade maritime businesses to devote themselves to a particular travel agency.
At the end of the day, finding the cheapest solutions will end up saving companies a lot of money in the long run, especially when it comes to working with a substantial amount of crew members.
To ensure you are getting the best deals for marine flights, we’ll talk about a few practices you can use to compare flight prices, or as it’s commonly called in the industry, “benchmarking.”
What Is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is a simple exercise commonly used by travelers and travel agencies to evaluate flights and their costs. By benchmarking flights, you directly compare offers from two or more travel agencies.
But this can get tricky very quickly if you don’t do it the right way, resulting in accidentally increasing the airline fares without realizing it. Let me explain to you why.
Understanding seat availability
There are multiple classes of seats with different price tags inside an airplane. In the image below, you can see the different classes in different colors.
Even if we only talk about marine fares, they still have different classes. Some are cheaper, and some are more expensive. On top of that, when you’re benchmarking, some classes can be unavailable as some other travel agent might have already bought them.
What happens when you ask a travel agent for a quote
When you want to compare prices with multiple travel agents, you will request, for example, two seats on a particular flight on a specific date.
To send you an offer, they have to actually book the seats to secure the price. So, the first travel agent makes a reservation for two seats and sends you an offer. These two seats won’t be available anymore.
When the second travel agent wants to send you an offer, they also make a reservation. But they’ll send more expensive options as the cheaper options are no longer available.
And prices start getting more expensive from here. The airlines are continuously tracking the demand of the market. When they see that several travel agents are booking the same flight faster than usual, they’ll change the class distribution on the aircraft. Meaning that the prices may increase, which is not favorable for you.
So, what to do about this?
How To Compare Flights Properly
To benchmark flights more accurately, consider using some of these practices:
Use Identical Criteria
To properly compare flights, you need to do it at the exact moment, choosing the same day of travel, the same time, and the same route. You can’t expect to get accurate prices if the flight options are different.
If you check ticket prices today and try to compare them with prices you received a month ago, you’ll undoubtedly notice a big difference. This is why it’s recommended to compare ticket price offers received within a day.
Don’t Use More Than Two Agencies
To receive a ticket price from a travel agent, they need to make a reservation in advance with the airline company. The more travel agencies you contact, the more reservations are made. This can trigger airline reservation systems as an increase in demand.
Once an airline tracks an increase in interest from travel agencies, this results in a ticket price increase which you would essentially want to avoid. So, just stick with two travel agencies.
Comparing Flights With C Teleport
If you’re using C Teleport, we strongly encourage you to check prices on the platform before checking in with other travel agents.
C Teleport uses a different approach when offering marine fares. It doesn’t require reservations with airlines to show you a price. Instead, you can instantly view real-time fares and compare prices before consulting other travel agents.
It’s more of a fair play towards other travel agents. Airlines can’t spot an increase in demand that easily, so it’s pretty likely the fares won’t increase.
C Teleport also searches within its multiple sources and gives you the lowest price. It’s like benchmarking with multiple travel agents at the same time. You can see the price comparison between sources right before booking.
The importance of finding the most cost-effective solution for crew managers can’t be stressed enough. Comparing flight prices comes down to a couple of principles. The industry standards are rapidly changing. Following these principles will maximize your potential of getting the best possible deals for marine flights.