How to Find Cheap Student Flights

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Despite the world being in an economic crisis, the cost of flying seems to be as expensive as ever (presumably due to rising oil costs and the risk of airlines going into bankruptcy, among other things).

This is bad news for students, who are typically poor by definition (as they’re too busy studying to be able to work a full-time job).

A great time to travel is while you’re a student, as it’s unlikely that you’ll have all of the ties holding you back that you’ll accumulate later on in life (such as a mortgage, a wife and children).

The key to finding cheap student flights, it seems, is to exploit the hidden secrets within the travel industry.

Here are a few tips for finding the cheapest student flights possible:

Book Your Flights Early

This is an obvious one, but is something that needs to be mentioned. The earlier you can book your flights, the better.

If possible, book them as soon as you know when you’re going traveling. Delaying even a few weeks can potentially cost you hundreds of dollars.

Be Flexible with Dates of Travel (and Fly Mid-Week)

The price of a flight changes depending on the time of day and the day of the week it departs on. You might be surprised how much ticket prices will fluctuate throughout the week, and how being flexible on the days you fly can help you to find cheap student flights.

The cheapest time of day to fly is usually early in the morning or late at night. Why? Because most people would rather not fly at those times. It’s simple supply and demand.

The best days of the week to fly (by far) are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as most people like to fly out at the weekends.

In addition to this, if you’re in country where there’s a major holiday coming up (such as Christmas or Thanksgiving in the USA), it’s a lot cheaper to fly out directly AFTER this holiday than before. Use this to your advantage when planning trips.

Cheap student flights

Make Use of Student Discounts

Being a student, you’ll naturally have a whole host of discounts available to you – many of which that can make finding cheap student flights a possibility.

Some travel companies (such as STA Travel and Student Universe) are designed with students in mind and offer great rates on bookings (flights, accommodation, tours, etc.)

In addition to this, getting yourself an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) for the price of around $22 allows you to get access to over 40,000 discounts in over 120 countries (according to their website).

For more information about getting student flight discounts, check out this post on cheap student travel.

Sign Up to Mailing Lists

I hate having my email inbox filled up by spam as much as the next person, but signing up to price comparison websites’ and airlines’ mailing lists you’ll receive up-to-date information on last minute flight offers and special promotions.

Yes, it can be a bit of a chore having to sift through all of these emails, but if it means saving a couple of hundred dollars it’s surely worth it.

Note that many of these last minute offers only last for around 24 hours, so you’ll need to continually be checking your inbox to find them.

Know Which Comparison Search Engines Are Best

When looking on price comparison travel websites, realize that they are not all the same.

Two of the most popular at the moment are Orbitz and Expedia. Although these websites are excellent and can help you to find cheap student flights, most low-cost carriers (LCC’s) aren’t listed on them as they can’t afford to pay the commission fees required.

Sites such as SkyScanner and Kayak are better in these circumstances as they make money from displaying adverts rather than booking commissions. This means that attract LCC’s and the cheap ticket prices they offer.

Check Out Airlines’ International Websites

When booking online, once you’ve found an airline who you want to book a flight with, have a quick check on any other version of their website that you can find.

For example, Australian airlines will often have an Australian website (which normally end in “.au”) and an American version of their website (which normally end in “.com”).

You might think that it doesn’t make a difference, but occasionally you’ll find that the price of a flight is lower on one of their other websites.

Note that when booking on a foreign website you’ll be charged in the local currency. The fluctuations of different currencies’ exchange rates will therefore have an effect on the price you’ll pay for a ticket.

Fly to Secondary Airports

Most major cities these days have (in addition to their large, primary airport) a smaller ‘secondary’ airport (E.g. London has Heathrow and Gatwick, Los Angeles has LAX and Long Beach airport).

Because airports charge airlines a ‘landing fee’, it is cheaper for low-cost carriers (LCC’s) to fly into secondary airports because the landing fees are much lower (meaning they don’t have to charge as much for tickets).

Most of the time these budget airlines are great for cheap student flights, but if you are flying into a secondary airport it’s a good idea to find out how far away it is from the city, as it might be cheaper overall to pay more for a flight into an airport close to the city than to get a cheaper flight and pay for an expensive taxi journey.

Related posts:

  1. Cheap Student Travel – How to Do It
  2. Do Kids Need ID to Fly?
  3. How to Travel on the Cheap

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