When flying together with either Qantas or Virgin Australia, business travellers are often booked onto the same reservation as their colleagues to keep things simple.
However, savvy business owners should book journeys for their high flyers as separate tickets, saving some real coin in the process.
The secret lies in fare buckets – each passenger on an airline itinerary must be booked in the same ‘bucket’, so if there are more travellers than cheap seats, the higher price applies to everyone.
On Qantas, there are four levels of business class fares. J and C are the most expensive, and are treated as ‘Flexible Business’ under the revised Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
At the opposite end are the D and I ‘buckets’, which see travellers paying less to sit in the same business class seat.
Armed with this knowledge, let’s book business class flights from Sydney to Melbourne for a group of four colleagues.
By consolidating the flights together on the one ticket, you’d pay $930 per passenger on QF439, and overall, you’d burn $3,720 in 95 minutes:
Using our trick, let’s book the tickets separately instead. You’ll notice that the price drops from $930 to $796 for the first passenger:
On this particular flight, there are two of the cheaper D-class seats available, so we could even book the first two travellers together at the lower price:
Then, passenger #3 could book an $870 seat in C class, which is still less than the original $930 asking price:
Finally, our fourth passenger would cost the company $930, as the less-expensive seats have all been snapped up:
Overall, your company just shaved $328 – or nearly 9% – from its travel expenditure, bringing the total cost down to $3,392 for the four high flyers.
It’s also the smart way to keep a lid on your business’ travel budget: paying less for the same flights and seats, while still keeping your road warriors happy in business class.
The same principle also works when travelling with other airlines, and even for economy-class flights.
With a different ticket for each passenger, there’s nothing stopping your staff from using their points for a relaxing journey in business class.
Have you booked flights separately to slim down your business travel budget? If so, how much did you save?
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