Explanations, Terms and Conditions for
Discount and Consolidator Airfares

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Most tickets issued today will have some sort of discount associated with them which carries corresponding penalties and restrictions per the contract terms of the air carrier.  Discounted tickets can get you to far-flung regions of the world otherwise inaccessible on most vacation budgets, but you must understand those penalties and restrictions.  Experienced travelers recognize that the most important thing to take on travel, particularly  to Africa, is a flexible attitude to deal with problems that can arise, and experienced travelers will be familiar with the information provided below. 

Your bargain with the airline, in return for the cost benefits on discounted tickets, is to accept limitations on travel flexibility and service provided by such tickets. We issue 1,000's of discounted tickets each year for travel to destinations all over the globe and our clients encounter almost no substantial problems.   As a consolidator, our service to our clients booking only airline tickets is to provide you with the cheapest available tickets we can find.  While $1500 R/T may seem like an expensive purchase, consolidator tickets will often be sold at a price that is less than  20% of the cost of an unrestricted fare ticket. For airline ticketing, Cape to Cairo works only as a ticketing agent to provide tickets to you on terms and conditions and contract provisions provided by the airline.  Cape to Cairo may, as provided by Department of Transportation regulations, charge additional administrative fees. 

Please understand that In this age of airline commission caps, no agency can afford to offer "full service" on airline only bookings. While we do not charge booking fees for international consolidator tickets, but if you cancel we will add a service fee to the cancellation penalties imposed by the airlines.


Tickets that we issue will be one of the following.  If you need complete flexibility in your travel, and cannot accept restrictions as to refund, date or time of travel or routing, then you must purchase full fare unrestricted tickets.

1. Consolidator tickets - These refer to "excess" seats and "promotional fares" sold under contracts with the airline outside of the IATA published fare system.  In return for very inexpensive travel your bargain with the airline is to travel on the agreed upon dates and times and to accept steep cancellation and change penalties as well as other restrictions.  Almost all tickets that we issue for international flights will be consolidator tickets on regularly scheduled flights and on recognized international carriers.  Once issued, a consolidator ticket is a contract between you and the airline, unalterable by us.  Only the airline can change the ticket, but only the originating consolidator may submit the ticket for refunds in the event of cancellation.  Do not purchase consolidator tickets if you are not certain that you will travel on those dates, or you will need quick access to the refund amount in the event of cancellation.

2.  APEX tickets - advanced purchase tickets are sold at IATA published fares, but discounted from the full unrestricted fare price. Cancellation and change penalties are usually at least $75, but may be as much as $200, but some are non-refundable once purchased.   We normally only use this type of ticket for regional flights within Africa or for domestic tickets.  With these tickets it is usually easier and cheaper to change dates of travel, but again, you must make changes through the airline.

3. Full fare [unrestricted or Y-class] tickets.  Tickets sold at full published IATA fares.  These tickets are refundable and can be exchanged at face value for travel on other routes (reroutable) and on other carriers (endorseable).    Because of the price of these tickets, as much as $6000 - $8,000 when traveling to Africa, we do not quote full fare tickets unless specifically requested.

Restrictions - discounted tickets ALWAYS have restrictions.  These restrictions are established by the airline and vary from airline to airline.  The full set of terms and restrictions and applicable regulations for each routing on each airline takes up  volumes to print and it is impractical to supply these with each quote.  You should assume that you have a right to nothing other than travel from your point of origin and arrival at your ultimate destination(s), with a reasonable expectation of flying on the flights on which you were originally booked.  If anything else is important, then you should ask.   The following terms and conditions generally apply to all discounted tickets.

1. Change and Cancellation Penalties - Consolidator tickets have special rules that are different from standard APEX ticket rules, and airline reservations staff will likely be unfamiliar with them as these tickets are not marketed by airline reservations staff.

2.  Discounted tickets do not allow for re-routing [other than changing the return date].  You may not travel on another airline.  Once you have departed, discounted tickets never have refund value even if you do not use the return portion of the ticket.

3.  Pre-assignment of seats -  many airlines do not allow seat pre-assignment by the selling agent for consolidator tickets, and you must call the airline directly.  Some airlines will only provide seat assignments at airport check-in.  The airline always has the right to reassign seats, and a pre-assigned seat is a service, but not a right.

4.  Frequent flier miles - some airlines do not award frequent flier miles for consolidator tickets.  If this is important to you, then please check with the airline before purchasing tickets.  Please keep boarding passes as proof for frequent flier status as document searches on our part will incur a fee.  Please check with the airline to ensure they have your frequent flier numbers prior to departure.

5.  Baggage - Cape to Cairo has no information on the limitations and practices of individual carriers and if this is an issue you must contact the airline directly.  In general discounted tickets will normally grant you the right to carry the same baggage as allowed internationally.  From the U.S. this limitation is generally 2 bags of up to 70lbs each.  On un-conjoined tickets (one ticket on one airline and a separate ticket on another airline) via Europe, European baggage limitations may apply on flights originating in Europe.  Many airlines will not allow excess baggage and others will charge very high rates even if they do.  

6. Routing - Consolidator and APEX tickets cannot be changed by us once they have been issued, and any change by anyone other than the airline itself will result in charges being assessed.  Airlines frequently change their schedules and will reroute you themselves.  This is beyond our control, and we cannot fix a problem that the airline causes once this is done.  This may result in less convenient schedules and longer stops at intermediate points than you wished.  We cannot fix this.  This is part of the bargain you make for paying so little on a ticket.

7.  You must RECONFIRM  international flights outbound and return 72hrs prior to travel and establish required check-in time at the airport.  Failure to reconfirm or to check-in when required may result in denied boarding and forfeiture of that leg of the trip.


1.  Per IATA regulations, until tickets are issued, airfares are subject to change without notice, and price and availability are not guaranteed until tickets are issued.  If payment received at the time of issue is insufficient you will be offered the option of paying the difference or canceling and receiving a refund.  We cannot be responsible for cancellation penalties on other tickets that you might hold.

In particular, the price quoted for advanced purchase tickets [usually applying to regional as opposed to international flights]  is valid only on the date of quotation.  Prices will continually be changed by the airline increasing up to the date of travel.  In order to minimize the impact on your travel costs it is important to pay for such tickets by the ticketing deadline stated on the reservation.  If none appears or if you have questions, please ask.

2.  We will only accept payment against a written itinerary with a stated price, and terms and conditions of sale.  Your payment indicates that you have checked the following:

(1)) LAST NAME/FIRST NAME for each passenger spelled AS IN THE PASSPORT(S).
Flight coupons will be issued for the dates/times/flights listed on the itinerary only.  Additions or corrections  after ticketing  will require cancellation and reissue or the purchase of a separate  ticket at  full published fare.  Payment indicates that you have accepted that the ticket you are purchasing will have cancellation penalties and other restrictions.  No penalties will apply only if it so states on the reservation.  Airline coding on tickets and itineraries can be cryptic, and if you do not understand something, you must inquire.

You are responsible for checking all tickets that have been issued upon receipt and notifying us within 48 hrs after receipt of any errors.

Because of the time and effort involved in preparing itineraries for detailed quotation for individual travel, the itinerary we send you will be a  valid "booking" or reservation made with the airline through a standard electronic airline reservation system, unless we state otherwise.   Payment against that reservation constitutes permission for us to issue tickets against that reservation and acceptance by you of any resulting cancellation penalties and other terms and conditions.  There is no cost for canceling an un-ticketed reservation, but failure to cancel may result in the cancellation - by the airline - of all reservations if you are double booked.

3.  Agency - Cape to Cairo acts only as an agent to supply tickets and vouchers for services to be provided by others, under the rules and regulations of the Department of Transportation, IATA, and the Airline Reporting Corporation.  We cannot be responsible for and cannot guarantee the quality of services furnished by such airlines operators and suppliers.  In particular, travel to Africa, and to other regions of the world, carry dangers and risks that you must accept, including risks of default by travel suppliers.  While we take every effort to ensure that you are booked with reliable and reputable operators and suppliers it is impossible for us to hold overseas operators liable for losses or claims, or to pursue claims on your behalf, though we will provide such assistance as we are able. We cannot take responsibility for any travel that is not arranged by us, or the impact of travel arranged through us on other travel arrangements.

4. Passports, visas, and inoculations:

These are the responsibility of the traveler.  Requirements constantly change, and therefore you must consult both the consulates of the countries that you will visit and travel advisories issues by the U.S. Department of State.  These advisories will also provide the traveler with information regarding safety concerns in the countries to be visited.  Some African countries will charge visa fees upon arrival, if you have not already obtained a visa, as well as airport departure fees that must be paid in US$.  You must have sufficient hard currency to pay these fees.  Please check State Department travel advisories for each country to understand these fees.  They constantly change and we cannot keep up to date with all of them. 

In general, passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your scheduled return.  You must have sufficient blank pages in your passport for visas and for entry and exit stamps. Visa and Passport services are available from Travisa Passport and Visa Service.

Health concerns should be discussed with your physician prior to departure. The Center for Disease Control provides comprehensive information. It is generally the case that a passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your planned return.  Furthermore, you must have sufficient pages in your passport for visas and entry/exit stamps.

5. Insurance:

International travel carries substantial risks due to delay, disruption and distance from medical care.  The traveler is emphatically advised to take out travel insurance covering trip cancellation/disruption and medical emergencies in order to cover nonrefundable tickets and prepaid land arrangements. We and all of our subagents and tour operators require that you have your own insurance and will not bear responsibility for costs due to any medical or personal emergency, nor will they or we take responsibility for costs incurred by disruptions, delays or defaults of operators beyond their control.

With heightened concerns about terrorism you should review  Department of State Travel Advisories and the terms and conditions of any travel insurance that you subscribe to which you have subscribed.  Insurance will provide some limited protection against default by operators as well as some protection against the impact of terrorism, but you must review the terms of the policy carefully.

6.  DOCUMENT RETENTION and frequent flier miles:  Please retain ticket receipts, which you will need for verification of frequent flier miles.  Document searches will incur a charge.  Although we are happy to enter frequent flier numbers, we will not take responsibility for failure of the airline to properly credit your miles, and you must pursue frequent flier claims with the airline.

7.  REFUNDS - airlines have very cumbersome accounting systems  [to protect themselves against fraud].  Refunds on consolidator tickets [in fact, most tickets] take a minimum of two months as a matter of course, often up to six months, and as much as one year is not entirely unheard of.   We can only issue a refund once we have received the refund from the airline.  Again, if this is unacceptable then we suggest the purchase of an unrestricted ticket.

8. LOST TICKETS  - Make photocopies of your tickets and keep them in a safe location separate from your tickets.  Never keep tickets in baggage that can go astray or in places where they can be stolen.  In the event of a lost ticket you will need to go to the airline and file a lost ticket affidavit, which will require that you provide the ticket numbers.  You may have to purchase a separate ticket and await refunds.  Refunds on lost tickets may take more than one year.

9.  E-TICKETS - Many airlines are now going to a system of E-tickets, meaning that no paper ticket is produced. Paper tickets can result, in these cases, in increased charges. If you are traveling by e-ticket, we will forward the passenger receipt when we have received it, but it is not necessary for travel.  Once we have informed you that tickets have been issued you can call the airline to confirm the flight and they will have a record of the ticket in their system.  For an e-ticket the only thing that matters is the airlines electronic record.

10.  RECONFIRMATION - You must RECONFIRM  international flights outbound and return 72hrs prior to travel and establish required check-in time at the airport.  Failure to reconfirm or to check-in when required may result in denied boarding.


Cape to Cairo, LLC
Barbara Levedahl
2761 Unicorn Ln NW
Washington DC 20015
800-356-4433 / 202-244-5954
e-mail: res@capetocairo.travel