The consolidators are the firms that buy in bulk from the airlines and act like wholesalers, selling the seats on to travel professionals. They specialize in the international rather than the domestic routes. However, a small number of the consolidators are prepared to deal directly with the public or to accept approaches from a member of the public through a travel professional. If you can find a consolidator prepared to deal with you directly, you can save up to 70% of the listed seat price. These really are cheap air tickets. However, the consolidators have to be careful. If they sell too many seats directly to the public, they are competing with the travel professionals. If the professionals take their business to the consolidators who are wholesale only, this will ruin the errant consolidator's business. For this reason, very few of the Google hits that come up for a search on "consolidator" are genuine. However, the hits for reputable travel agents offering seats from a consolidator are almost certainly genuine.
To be sure you are dealing with the right seller, you need inside information from a travel professional or you need a travel professional to make the approach for you. It's worth paying a commission to the travel professional to buy the seats for you at the wholesale rate. When buying, it's best to be flexible and ask for seats in the off-season. Even with a commission, you can save up to 60% of the listed seat price. However, note that these cheap air ticketsare not refundable and you can only change the flight if you pay a penalty. This can make it worth your while to buy flight insurance in case it's necessary to change the dates of travel or cancel. You will also find it very difficult to correct any mistake in the booking. For example, if you misspell your name or a part of your address, this can lead to you being refused a boarding pass and you will lose the ticket price. Contacting a consolidator and persuading it to amend a ticket is challenging. If for any reason you cannot fly, always give as much notice as possible. If the airport record you as a no-show, it will be very difficult to get any refund or claim on the insurance.