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Airline Ticket Discounters and Consolidators

SPECIAL DIRECTORY ISSUE / SOURCEBOOK

April 18, 1999

Looking for a good deal on an air fare? Try an air fare "factory outlet"--a discounter or consolidator.

Airlines often sell large blocks of tickets at bargain prices to discounters (also called consolidators), which pass those savings on to passengers. The savings are more apparent on international tickets, but if you need to travel at a day's notice, the savings can also be big on a domestic flight.

Of course, such deals come with restrictions. You may not get the airline of your choice; you may get an inconvenient schedule. If your flight is canceled or delayed, the airline isn't always obligated to transfer you to another carrier. You may not be able to collect frequent-flier miles, and cancellation penalties often are high.

Discounters often sell seats on charter flights, which may have fewer on-board services. Although charters must meet U.S. safety regulations, they operate under fewer federal restrictions than regularly scheduled airlines when bumping passengers.

There may be service fees, too, usually about $10 to $15 per ticket, and monetary incentives to pay by cash rather than credit card. But most consumer advocates suggest that travelers absorb the extra expense and pay by credit card, because the built-in consumer protection will be worth it if the service and the ticket don't materialize.

Following is a sampling of air fare discounters in California culled from "Consumer Reports Travel Letter" and other sources:

1800FLYCHEAP, San Diego; tel. 1-800-FLY-CHEAP. Specializes in discounted domestic tickets.

Air Brokers International, San Francisco; telephone (800) 883- 3273, (415) 397-1383, fax (415) 397- 4767. Pacific and around-the-world tickets, and tickets to Africa, Asia, Central America, intra-Asia, Russia, South America.

All Continents Travel, Los Angeles; tel. (310) 337-1641, fax (310) 645-0412. Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, South Pacific.

Airbound, San Francisco; tel. (415) 834-9445, fax (415) 834-9447. Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, Russia, South America, South Pacific, U.S. and Canada.

Budget Traveler, San Anselmo, Calif.; tel. (415) 454-2111, fax (415) 454-0727. Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Hawaii, intra-Asia, Mexico, Russia, South America, U.S. and Canada. Also charters.

Cheap Tickets, Honolulu-based, with Southern California offices in Los Angeles; tel. (800) 377-1000, (310) 645-5054, (323) 233-6977, (714) 229-0131. Domestic and worldwide.

Cheap Seats, Los Angeles; tel. (800) 451-7200, (818) 717-8591, (323) 873-2838. The Americas, Mexico, Europe.

China Travel Service, San Francisco; tel. (800) 899-8618, (415) 352-0388, fax (415) 352-0399. Asia, intra-Asia, U.S. and Canada. Also charters, hotels, tours.

Continental Travel Shop, Santa Monica, Calif.; tel. (310) 453-8655, fax (310) 453-5093. U.K. and Europe, intra-Europe.

Council Travel, all locations (800) 226-8624. In Long Beach (562) 621-6603, fax (562) 621-6733. In Westwood, (310) 208-3551, fax (310) 208-4407.. Student tickets. Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Hawaii, intra-Asia, intra-Europe, Mexico, around the world, Russia, South America, South Pacific, U.S. and Canada.

Custom Travel, Daly City, Calif.; tel. (800) 535-9797, (415) 239-4200, fax (415) 239-0121. Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, around the world, Russia, South America, South Pacific, U.S. and Canada. Also charters, cruises, hotels, tours.

Discover Wholesale Travel, Irvine, Calif.; tel. (800) 576-7770, (949) 833-1136, fax (949) 833-1176. Asia, Europe, South Pacific. Also hotels, tours.

Discount Travel, Santa Clarita, Calif.; tel. (310) 641-5343, fax (805) 294-1063. Europe. Also charters.

Fare Deal Travel, San Diego; tel. (800) 243-2785 or (619) 282-8866, fax (619) 282-8868, Internet http://www.faredealtravel.com. United States, Europe.

Festival of Asia, San Francisco; tel. (800) 533-9953, (415) 908-6980, fax (888) 533-9953 and (415) 908- 6996. Australia, Asia, intra-Asia, around the world, South Pacific.

Flight Coordinators, Santa Monica, Calif.; tel. (800) 544-3644, (310) 581-5600, fax (310) 581-5620. Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, Russia, South America, South Pacific.

Pioneer Tours, Monterey, Calif.; tel. (800) 288-2107, (831) 648-8800, fax (831) 648-8300. Costa Rica and Central America.

K&K Travel, Fullerton, Calif.; tel. (800) 523-1374, (714) 448- 9678, fax (714) 525-4586. Asia, Europe, South Pacific.

Levon Travel, Los Angeles; tel. (800) 445-3866, (323) 871-8711, fax (323) 462-7410. Europe and Middle East.

SITA World Travel: Sun Valley, Calif.; tel. (818) 767-0039, fax (818) 767-4346. Africa, India, intra-Asia, Orient.

Skytours, San Francisco; tel. (800) 246-8687, (415) 228-8228, fax (415) 228-8229. Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Hawaii, intra-Asia, intra-Europe, Mexico, around the world, Russia, South America, South Pacific, U.S. and Canada.

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