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How Consolidator Fares Earn Award Miles and elite qualifying credits

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All About American & United Airlines Consolidator Fares

Earning award miles and elite qualifying credits

         American Airlines Fare Chart


Some fares (such as bulk or consolidator fares) earn award miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) at a modified rate based on a percentage of the distance flown as determined by the booking code.*

Special fares are often purchased through a specialized agent, third party or as part of a package including air transportation and lodging.


  • Bulk fares.
  • Cruise fares.
  • Consolidator fares.
  • Discounted or inclusive tour packages.
  • Vacation packages, including select American Airlines Vacations® packages. For Vacations, special fares are marked with an asterisk (*) after the booking code in the AAVacations.com booking path.
  • Other tickets where the fare isn’t disclosed, excluding bookings made through priceline.com or hotwire.com where the carrier isn’t disclosed before buying.

What is bulk/consolidator fare, and why it’s valuable to UA flyer

United Airlines Fare Chart

Q: What is bulk/consolidator fare?
A: Basically bulk/consolidator fare is a type of private fare that some travel agent who have special contract with airline were able to issue.

Q: What is the advantage of buying UA bulk/consolidator fare?
A: With bulk/consolidator fare, UA won’t know how much you paid for this ticket, therefore they won’t able to give out RDM base on ticket price. RDM earned on bulk/consolidator fare will calculated base on distance flown plus premier bonus.
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For a $500 SFO-PEK G class, 1k will earn ~12000 RDM on bulk/consolidator fare compares to ~4500 RDM on published fare.

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Another great example is $2300 YYZ-BKK P fare, published fare will earn ~ 22000 RDM, while 1k can earn ~55000 RDM (250% distance flown).

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Q: What is the disadvantage of buying UA bulk/consolidator fare?
A: First, you won’t earn any PQD, as UA don’t know how much you paid. Second, SDC before your flight is not allowed, but you can request agent to do SDC at a connecting point, except schedule change/delay/cancel. Last, RPU/GPU can’t be applied online, you need to call in and ask agent to manually attach instruments. Of course this won’t be an issue if you are buying non GPU eligible fare or P fare.

Q: How much does bulk/consolidator fare cost?
A: Those fares usually priced same as published fare for same flight.

Q: Will I earn 5x/3x bonus if I paid with a premium travel credit card?
A: Usually you get charged by air ticket consolidator instead of airline, so you will earn general travel bonus (i.e 3x with CSR), but not 5x with AMEX PLAT.

Q: Should I buy a bulk/consolidator fare?
A: If PQD is not a problem for you, i.e: cc waiver, foreign address, and you don’t care SDC, then bulk/consolidator fare will allow you earn much more miles compare to published fare, especially on dirt cheap Y fares to Asia.

Q: Where can I buy bulk/consolidator fare?
A: The everyone known way is to buy bulk/consolidator fare through CITI thank you point, and you can always ask your travel agent if they have those kind of contract. If you don’t currently have one, I am more than happy to help 

Q: How about other airlines?
A: Other airlines do have bulk/consolidator fares, but not as useful as UA RDM earning, I.E bulk/consolidator Y fare on AA earn 10% distance flown credit as EQD.

Buyer Beware of Whom You’re Working With

Several years ago I had read that 1st Air was using some questionable ticketing practices to get premium cabin airfares down.

Now, I have no problem with throwaway ticketing if a consumer is aware of the risks and how to handle them. But it was suggested that they were:

Issuing tickets where consumers would throw away the first segment of an itinerary, which could cause itineraries to be cancelled or consumers to be asked to buy up to the ‘correct’ fare.

Not telling customers they were doing this.

Have you still not chosen the best Air Consolidator for your business? We hope that the discussion made above will help you select the right consolidator.


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