Why does group travel cost more?

As a travel consultant for the Munckhof Groups Desk, I receive many questions from clients about the group rates set by airlines. These days, travellers go online to search for fun and affordable destinations for their group trips. Many people believe they'll receive a discount for buying multiple tickets at once. You can imagine their disappointment when they discover that group rates are often higher than the rates they found online.

Group rates

The reason for this higher rate is that airlines base their flight prices on different revenues (i.e. different booking classes that cover the cost of the flight). Many people think that airlines offer just two classes: economy and business. But economy class is also broken down into different sub-classes, each with their own rates. There are a limited number of seats available in each class, with more seats in the more expensive classes and fewer seats in the least expensive classes. You'll have a better chance of finding the cheapest available fare if you book early. It's not possible for airlines to offer groups the cheapest rate, as this would force them to raise the rates for other classes to ensure a profitable flight.

Group rates are therefore based on an airline's ability to book all members in the group. This is why the fare you find online may not be available for an entire group, resulting in a higher overall group rate.

Some clients find this hard to understand and expect to receive a discount on group bookings. Unfortunately, this is not always possible.

Are group tickets always more expensive?

Group tickets aren't always more expensive than individual tickets. These rates can be cheaper, as airlines often reserve a specific class for group travel versus individual travel. If the flight is reasonably full and the cheapest individual booking class is sold out, a group rate may be more favourable.

The benefits of group travel

While the specific rules and conditions vary per airline, most airlines offer more flexible conditions for group tickets compared to individual tickets. The travellers' names, for example, only have to be submitted shortly before departure, which gives you the freedom to add or change participants as necessary. The cancellation policy is also more flexible, which means you don't have to print your tickets during the booking process. The same rate applies to the entire group, making overbooking less likely.


The same applies to hotels. The cheap prices on hotel booking sites help hotels achieve higher search rankings and only apply to a few hotel rooms. Often, these prices do not include breakfast and require immediate booking and payment.

Fortunately, we have excellent agreements with a number of airlines and hotels, which means we can offer our clients affordable group tickets and attractive conditions. Feel free to ask us about the options. We'd be happy to help.

Ilona Brummans
Ilona Brummans
Travel Consultant
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