Discount Student Airfare Basics
With all the options involved, purchasing student discount airfare can be overwhelming. However, buying student flights today is just as easy as purchasing regular airfare. You follow the same basic steps. The only difference is student airfare can save you a lot of money. To avoid any lack of confidence, here are four simple discount airfare basics to help you find the cheapest student tickets.
Rule #1 – Shop Around
It seems obvious, but sometimes people buy tickets after looking at only one website. We find a website we like and we stick with it. However, no company sells the cheapest tickets every time. Looking around can make the difference of over a hundred dollars.
The main difference between these sites is how they verify who qualifies. STA sells mainly to travelers under the age of 26. Student aged between 26 and 34 (and teachers too) must purchase an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) to qualify for special fares. The card cost $22 and comes loaded with extra discounts to make the card a good deal no matter how old the student is.
On the other hand, Student Universe has no age restrictions. Here, students and faculty must verify with a school-issued email address ending in edu. For students without a school issued email address, StudentUniverse provides alternate methods of verification.
Start with these two sites and save anywhere between $10 and $130.
Rule #2 – The Student Discount Price isn’t Always the Cheapest
Shocking, but true. StudentUniverse and STA can only offer student pricing on some, but not all, flights. To know if you’re getting the best value, you must also look at one of the other travel sites like Orbitz, which doesn’t charge any booking fees.
Remember rule number one. Anytime you buy an airline ticket, search a minimum of three websites for fares.
Rule #3 – Use Student Discount Cards for Bigger Savings
The smartest investment any student or parent can make is buying a student discount card. For less than $30, programs such as Student Advantage, ISIC and ISE provide savings that more than pay for the cost of the cards. These discount programs are great for getting extra deals on shopping, entertainment and yes, airline tickets.
JetBlue offers a whopping 11% discount for all students who carry a ISIC card. Not to be outdone, the ISE card saves $5 off any domestic airline ticket purchased from StudentUniverse. The discount jumps to $10 for international fares. If you combine this with the regular discount from StudentUniverse, the savings add up.
Rule #4 – Book Your Flight Yesterday
Student airline seats, the kinds offered by STA and Student Universe, disappear faster than other kinds of tickets. If you can, buy your tickets months ahead. If you know you’re flying home in December, book your ticket in August.
Check prices at a minimum of three different travel websites before buying a ticket. Start at STA or Student Universe, then look at one of the mainstream travel sites like Orbitz. Consider a low-cost student discount card like the ISE card for even bigger discounts. Shop early and use your savings to buy your parents a nice gift.
Enjoy your success. After this, you may want to stay a student forever.