Consumers mistakenly assume that the Internet is the sole repository of all things cheap! This myth continues to perpetuate itself partly because travel agents have never been particularly good about telling their own story and letting people know the alternative sources that they (the agents) have access to. A perfect example of this is consolidator fares. Many of the air fares that are displayed in the booking engines of countless travel web sites throughout the world generally fall into one of two categories:
1. Published fares (e.g. these are usually the fares quoted by what are now known as legacy carriers — i.e. airlines such as British Airways, Lufthansa, American Airlines, Qantas etc.)
2. LCC’s (e.g. Low Cost carriers such as Ryanair, Easyjet etc.)
There is, however, a third category of airlines fare that not everyone knows about and these are called consolidated fares — effectively discounted or wholesale fares. Sometimes the differences between these and their published fare counterparts can be quite substantial. Consolidated fares tend only to exist in respect of long haul destinations such as North/South America, Africa, Far East, Australia/New Zealand etc.