College-bound? It’s time for Travel Deals 101

Heading to college or sending a kid off to school?

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Once tuition, room, and board bills are paid, there may not be much cash left over for actually traveling between home and the college campus.  But, as I write in my Well Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com today, some airlines offer a little help.

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Lufthansa, Air Tran, United, JetBlue and American offer some sort of perks for students.

Here are some of the more popular travel discounts:

AirTran Airways has a discount standby program not just for college students, but for anyone 18 to 22 years old. (College student or not: on your 23rd birthday, you age-out of the program.)  AirTran U lets young people fly standby for $69 on short segment flights and $99 on long-haul segments.  There are some blackout dates and a variety of restrictions, but during 2008, more than 83,000 young people took advantage of the program.

Lufthansa’s GenerationFly program offers any U.S. college student with a valid .edu email address discounted fares to Germany and most every destination the airline flies. As a nice bonus, part-time students, teachers, and faculty members are also eligible to participate in the program.

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Several other programs have special airline offers for students as well.

The discounts promised by the Student Advantage Card (about $20/year) include a 10% discount on American Airline flights. And on its Web site, American Airlines offer discounts on vacation packages to students at about two dozen participating universities.

JetBlue offers an 11% discount to students who have an ISIC card (International Student Identity Card), which costs $22 a year. Holders of that card can also book special discounted fares with STA Travel, one of the major discount student travel agencies, which offers tickets that allow changes for just $50.

And, while United Airlines United Airlines doesn’t offer any special discounts for college-age students, the carrier’s College Plus program gives students enrolled in both the College Plus program and the Mileage Plus frequent flier program a graduation present of 10,000 bonus miles.

The deals for student travelers don’t end at the airport. Amtrak and Greyhound and even some hotels also offer discounts to students who have either the ISIC or Student Advantage card.

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To find out more – and learn about some hotel deals for parents of college students, see the full column Travel Discounts for the college-bound on MSNBC.com.

 

2 thoughts on “College-bound? It’s time for Travel Deals 101

  1. Dan says:

    Good post…I’ll pass on the URL of this blog to students subscribing to our newsletter. I’d add just a few things to your article…when visiting colleges, ask if they have discount arrangements with local hotels and restaurants. Use websites like kayak.com which compare airline prices. Finally, check out Southwest, Jet Blue, and the other airlines which are not listed on kayak, priceline, expedia, etc.

  2. Cliff Kramon says:

    And for those with limited travel funds who are just starting the college search, one option is Collegiate Choice Walking Tours Videos at http://www.collegiatechoice.com . They have videotaped the student guided campus tour at over 350 colleges. Their tours are on DVDs and average one hour per college. Not bad for $15.

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