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Cheap Student Airfares: Where To Find Them?

Aug 18, 2007
If you are a youth and want cheap air travel, you should exploit at least the status fares in the airline industry.

Just like other so-called status fares in the airline industry, student airfares are one way of getting a cheaper ticket airfare in the industry.

Typically, student airfares apply to student travellers under the age of 26 who are still enrolled in school.

This is one avenue of cheap air travel especially for youths. For the airlines, they could offer such cheap air travel discounts without worrying that they would be abused by other passengers looking for alternative way out to pay the normal high-published airfares in the industry, given the restrictions on age and student identification.

Apart from the discounts which could be 20%-30% cheaper, student airfares are also generally far more flexible than regular airfare tickets.

Still, if you are looking for cheap air travel tickets via this route, note that student or youth airfares tickets may not typically be available from your regular travel agents.

This is because such student fares are not usually included in the computerised reservation systems (CRS) used by the airlines.

As such, it is easier for you to search for such airfare options from those specialised travel agencies that deal only in student airfare markets.

Remember that not all airlines offer student fares as a cheaper air travel option, and also that their rules and requirements varies from one another.

The most important requirement is normally proof of age (identity card or driving license) and also that you must be holding a current and valid International Student Identify Card (ISIC) at the time of ticketing and when travelling on a student airfare ticket.

Further note that student airfares will not necessarily be the cheapest airfares option that you can find even if you as a student can take advantage of it.

Nonetheless, for a cheaper air travel alternative, they will still beat the usual regular published airfares hands down.

However, if you are looking at cheap air travel options for international travel, you may find that consolidator airfares are often cheaper than student airfares, especially to a country serviced by ethnic-based travel agencies.

Further, there are less student airfare options than consolidator tickets, and the airlines are less likely to offer cheaper student airfares if they can sell them already under the radar as consolidator fares.

If you are picky and a real cheap air travel fan, then note all the alternatives above.

For the airlines, to offer student airfares is good publicity gimmick at the least and also a way to at least sell these status fares at whatever higher fare they could.

Further, much of students travel is non-discretionary and also time-limited and predictable or in other words around their holiday semester break.

Some of these periods like during the year-end and summer period are high-demand period (you won't get other cheap air travel tickets options much during these times also) and as such, airlines are not likely to be too generous on discounted fares then.

Further, some thinking in the industry is that nice parents are more likely happy to pay higher airfares for their little darling children to go for their holiday breaks.

All the above reasons partly explain why the market for discounted student airfares are served mainly by travel agency specialists who use techniques such as bulk buying, charters and even consolidator tickets itself for such cheap air travel fares.

Still, for a cheaper air travel bill, student airfares are excellent value on their own although you should still compare their fares with other types of cheap air travel options for the reasons given above.

Here are some specialised places that you could start your student airfare searching and research from.These sites list special discounts and deals that are limited mostly to student airfares only.

It is possible also to locate student airfares that are discounted directly through the airline, or through a travel agent, but as mentioned earlier, the ones that are devoted solely to student airfares will often give you a lot more cheap air travel options on this aspect.

Further, if as student and you are thinking of travelling to Europe or other holiday breaks places for the summer, or for a full semester, or for just spring break, these specialised student airfare sites often offer great cheap air travel deals on such itineraries.

These specialised student airfare sites also have automated booking and ticketing of student and youth fares on their site and are a good place to start your search from.

Alternatively, you can search more of these cheap student air travel options through the Internet search engines:

a) Council Travel (www.counciltravel.com) - This is the travel agency division of the Council on International Education and Exchange (www.ciee.org) and has long been the largest student travel specialist in the United States.

College students will find here the biggest cheap air travel bargains on international carriers, which typically offer student fares to Europe on a standby basis. If you're under 26, you can also take advantage of low-fare charter and consolidator flights that are made available by CIEE.

b) STA Travel (www.sta.com) - This is one of the world's largest student, youth and budget travel organisation. STA Travel specialises in cheap student airfares, hotels and hostels, student travel insurance and international student identification cards and you are likely to find a host of options here and their affiliated agencies.

c) Student Universe (www.studentuniverse.com) - Student Universe is an online private travel service that specialises in students airfares. By negotiating with the major airlines on their behalf, Student Universe is able to provide students with exclusive and significantly cheap air travel fares catering to them.

At the end of the day, remember that irregardless of which cheap air travel options you choose, always compare prices between sites and their requirements before deciding on the final choice.
About the Author
Steven Liew
Travel Research
Cheap Air Travel Club (CATC)

#The CATC club is comprised of like-minded free and fun travellers who just love to save on airfares and holiday bills. For more free tips and strategies on cheap air travel, just join us at http://www.cheapairtravelclub.com
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