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Justification Of Chartering A Plane

Sat Oct 05, 2002 12:31 pm

Let's say I have a group of 130 people (enough people to fill a 737-300). If I was able to plan several weeks in advance, would I be better off making reservations on regular airline flights at the cheapest fare available, or would I be better off just chartering a whole plane for the group? and how much would each person's fare be? I realize there are many variable involved in this situation, but if I could get some of your opinions, I would appreciate it. We want to go from College Station, TX (Houston, TX area) and fly up to Denver to go skiing this winter break.
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RE: Justification Of Chartering A Plane

Sat Oct 05, 2002 12:40 pm

You aren't gonna get 130 cheap seats on the same flight, or even on the same day. Call an airline's group sales division and ask them what deals they can give you on charters vs bulk discounts. They are the experts at dealing with this kinda stuff.

My gut instinct says CHARTER though.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
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RE: Justification Of Chartering A Plane

Sun Oct 06, 2002 3:52 am

IMO, schedule flights would be easier and cheaper. With the charter you will be paying for reposition costs of the 737 and crew costs if the crew stays with you. If the crew does not stay with you, you will pay for the reposition costs of flying the plane back to its scheduled route, then pay again to have the plane fly to pick you up and again after the flight is done for another reposition flight.

Group sales are the best option. You may have to break the group up for the best deal since flights are book up to a year in advance (in other words, there are already tickets sold on the scheduled flights you will be looking at).

An example of our group's flight in 1996, we had 400 people that went from HNL-STL-BWI/DCA/IAD...drove from Washington DC to NY, then JFK-MCO on TW, then MCO-MSY on SW, then MSY-STL-HNL on TW.

The HNL-STL the group was on the same flight (747), at that point we were split onto four flights to get to Washington DC (MD-80s). Then we were again split on two flights to get to MCO (L1011s), and four flights to get to MSY (737s). Back on TW, we were split onto 4 flights over two days from MSY-STL (Md-80s), and split onto two STL-HNL flights over two days (747s). We paid per person about $875 for this entire routing. This was in 1996 and was a pretty good deal at that time.

Hope that helps!

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