In some cases, booking a group flight for your guests will be more cost-effective than having everyone buy individual tickets. It also means that you can fly together as a group, which is SO much fun with your crazy family and friends.
Some airlines position group flights more expensively than individual tickets, however, so shop these flights well. We ended up choosing Norwegian Air for our group flights. The cost per ticket was the same as buying tickets individually, except that we were allowed 2 checked bags each instead of 1. (This came in handy when Mike and I ended up having 4 checked bags because we had to bring speakers, wedding dress & suit, shoes, a ton of make-up, clothes for 17 days, and more!)
The flights required the most coordination out of everything else on the trip. Since Mike and I were taking a separate flight home (after the honeymoon), we had to book our tickets separately. Yet, in seats next to the rest of the group, even though we wouldn’t know where the group seats were arranged until 30 days prior to take-off. Then, because the seats were somewhat arranged for us, we played musical chairs on flight so that friends could sit with friends and young children could sit with their parents!
Not to mention, wire transferring over $11,000 without any instruction was a weeklong chore in and of itself!
I was so nervous and unsure about the flights that I created two 3-ring binders with every email correspondence, confirmation number, and telephone record I could muster up. I assigned my best girl, Kim, as the main contact for the group flight because Mike and I were technically not in the group. Kim is super organized and a woman who means business, so we were in good hands with her in charge.
The flights went smoothly, even after an error on their end held us up in ticket lines for almost 45 minutes.
Word-to-the-wise: Arrive at the airport incredibly early. We arrived 2 hours early, even though international flights only require a 1 hour advance arrival. If it hadn’t have been for our 2 hours, however, we wouldn’t have had time to be delayed by the airline clerks’ error at check-in.
Even on the return flight, our friends didn’t heed our warning to arrive 2 hours early to the airport. They were coming back from a 1-night stay in Galway and had a long drive to Cork in the morning. They filled up their car with the wrong type of fuel and had to call a mechanic to meet them at the garage and siphon out the bad fuel. They literally made it to the airport within 3 minutes of the gate’s close.
Be EARLY for everything. You can organize every iota of your wedding week with the greatest care and attention but in the end, car drop-offs, bathroom breaks, breakfast stops, broken luggage, late aunts, your sweet old grandmother and the 15 others in your group flight will all work against you.
You can’t beat the national rhythm of life, but you can show up early.