I would like to send my children (ages five
and eight) to spend their summer in France with their
grandparents. Why is airfare more expensive if you stay over 30
days? Is there any way around it, even if I book my tickets five
months in advance?
I really don't understand this rule. How can it be more expensive
for an airline company to have people stay over 30 days knowing
that a plane ticket for Europe in the summer is already
Thank you for your response,
This is one of those airfare quandaries that makes no sense to the
traveler. Airlines placed a 30-day cap on tickets because they wanted to
crack down on back-to-back ticketing. Back-to-back ticketing is when a
passenger buys two discount round-trip tickets that require Saturday-night
stays, paying less altogether than for an unrestricted ticket. For a
Philadelphia-Paris trip for example, one ticket would show the traveler
starting from Philadelphia and the other shows him or her starting in
Paris. Then the passenger uses half of each ticket to make the trip. Most
airlines prohibit back-to-back tickets and have created sophisticated
software to ferret them out. Airlines will penalize fliers who they catch
breaking the rules—although passengers who book back-to-back tickets on
two different airlines can't be detected…yet.
However, there is a way to avoid expensive fares for stays longer than 30
days: consolidator tickets, which are purchased by airline wholesalers and
then resold to travel agencies at substantial discounts to fill empty
seats. These tickets offer more liberal minimum or maximum stay
requirements, interline (airline to airline) ticket combinations,
stopovers, and cancellation fees, which are far below those of
non-refundable fares. Some airlines even allow frequent flier miles on
consolidator tickets. These tickets are also usually less expensive than
the lowest published fares.
Consolidator fares and conditions of sale vary since airfare market
conditions change constantly. You can buy discount tickets directly from
consolidator agencies or through a reliable local travel agent.
I hope I've been helpful. Happy travels!
Back to archive index