With the economy as it is today every penny counts and people are looking to make savings wherever possible. One of the largest expenditures for Missionaries is the cost of the airfare to get to a destination in the first place. There are a number of tips we can go through to help guide you through the often complex world of airfares.
Having the help of an expert can be the secret to driving down the cost of a ticket. Often much time is spent searching the internet for flights to more unusual destinations and most people forget to enlist the help of the people who are doing this on a daily basis, saving both time and money. Diversity Travel is one such agency recognised by all major airlines as a charity travel specialist and they work closely with their airline partners to provide fares and products that suit your travel requirements.
The ability to hold flights is undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of using a specialist agent
The ability to hold flights is undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of using a specialist agent; a lot of agencies or online companies will ask that payment is made for flights within 24 hours of a flight being held, the specialist agencies however recognise that your plans can change and will more often than not allow flights to be held up to 11 months in advance without any commitment to purchasing the ticket. This allows for people to hold the availability on a plane until they are 100% certain that the trip will take place. As a general rule the earlier the flight is held the cheaper it will be so if you have waited for some time before making a booking as you were not sure on the exact dates of travel the fare might be higher than when you could potentially have held a flight with one of the charity specialists.
One of the largest expenses which can be levied to a passenger is the charge of excess baggage; this can be up to £75 per kilo and is often sprung on travellers at the last minute at check in. There are tickets available to missionaries which will allow for excess baggage to be taken, up to 3 pieces at 23kg per piece if you can carry it and these are available through the charity specialists such as Diversity Travel. Remember to ask if you do require a ticket with excess baggage.
a huge discount on full published fares without the normal restrictions that discounted fares usually impose
Charity contracts are designed specifically for charitable organisations and missionary passengers travelling on humanitarian missions. These fares are more flexible and offer more value-for-money than the standard contracts available to the general public. They provide a huge discount on full published fares without the normal restrictions that discounted fares usually impose.
The benefits of these fares are numerous and include:
- No minimum stay
- Maximum stay of one year
- One way tickets
- Inbound tickets, both return and one-way
- Lower cancellation fees
- Lower change fees
- Increased baggage allowance
- Ability to hold provisionally
- More flexible deadlines
- Better last minute availability
- Fares available in all classes of travel
In addition to charity fares it is also prudent to deal with an agency which has access to the full range of published and consolidated fares as well as low cost airlines. This allows for all fares to be displayed by travel consultants in price order at one time, allowing for a whole market search so that they may best assist clients whether it is cost or airline choice that is the most important criteria. At the point of ticket issue, the consultants should then be able re-check all the relevant options to see if a lower fare has become available.
With the recent ash cloud problems along with unavoidable schedule changes and other world events it is reassuring to have a real person to speak to at the end of a phone line. Often when booking via the internet you are left with an anonymous email address or being told to call the airline locally.
When making flight reservations, it is also prudent to check the agent has an IATA and ATOL licence to know that your money is in safe hands.
With the environmental issues related to travel also at the fore front it is also good to know that agencies are aware of their surroundings and are making concerted efforts to minimise the effect their operations are having on the environment. The best known schemes are the ISO Quality and Environmental standards (ISO9001/12001) which are constantly monitored with frequent audits and updates regularly carried out.
Diversity Travel is an independent travel management company with many years specialist experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Diversity is not a call centre but a full service agency used to working with customers travelling to both well-known and unusual destinations. They deal with both individual missionary and group travellers who may be travelling on religious or charity projects and are well aware of the complex needs that they may have. They understand the importance of individual requirements charitable organisations and missionary clients may have. Through their small but dedicated teams, they will assist you in any way possible whether it is with flights, transfers or accommodation. Their service has been designed specifically to offer low fares without compromising on customer service and whether your organisation is small, large or you are an individual missionary passenger, each client is valued as important.