Charter or scheduled flight?
May 15th 2012 - Bernard Prince
The travel industry often seems very complicated for those of us who planning vacations occasionally. Like it or not, the price of airline tickets account for much when it comes to shopping for a trip. One question that comes up frequently from travellers on this is the difference between scheduled and charter flights, as well as a good time to buy in order to have the ticket as lowest as possible.
Elyse, travel agent here at VarVacations answers some questions on the subject:
- What is the difference between a charter and scheduled flights?
A scheduled flight is offered by an airline on a regular basis. These flights are sold directly through the airline or through a travel agency. Air Canada, West Jet or Delta Airlines offer, at times and at a fixed frequency flights to any destination. No matter if flight is full or that there is still available seats, the journey will be completed as planned.
The charter is for its part provided by an airliner (Canjet, Air Transat etc.) at the request of tour operators (TMR, Caribe Sol etc.) Operator buys a block of seats from airline and sell them either to the individual (flight portion only) or in all-inclusive package. These flights are not sold directly by the airline but rather through the wholesaler.
- How to go about having the ticket the cheapest for a charter or scheduled flight?
Unlike the charter flight, scheduled flight offers different class; the ideal is to buy in advance as possible because it is generally the economic classes that are sold first. The rates do not change according to supply and demand.
In another hand, the charter will offer a cheaper rate depending of seats demand. There’s a simple reason: the wholesaler who bought a block of seats to the airline, he wants to liquidate all the places. Conversely, if demand is high, prices will rise. The ideal is to buy when the price fits your budget, knowing that rates may move upwards or downwards.
This area is uncertain and it is difficult to predict the ideal time to purchase a package or a ticket for a charter flight.
You have other questions? Write them in the comments below; Elyse will be happy to answer them!
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