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How do I find a reasonable airline ticket for an extended stay trip?

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How do I find a reasonable airline ticket for an extended stay trip?

Old Jun 9th, 2002, 11:52 AM
  #1  
Patty
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How do I find a reasonable airline ticket for an extended stay trip?

How do you find an airline ticket at a reasonable price for a 6 month stay? My son is traveling to Chile and we can't find an airline ticket under $2,500 for the extended stay. A friend suggested that we book a 2 week trip (about $700) and not use the return trip home and then do the same in December to get him back home. Any other suggestions?
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 12:00 PM
  #2  
Jim Rosenberg
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Well, that's one solution. Another might be to call the airline and see if they offer a student program of some type. This situation often comes up with students who spend a semester abroad and some carriers have fares to accomodate it. Good luck!
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 12:33 PM
  #3  
Patty
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Thanks Jim. I'll start calling. He is doing a study abroad program -- and we have heard of discount fares for students, but so far we have not been able to find the right conections. I'll keep trying.
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 01:17 PM
  #4  
Jim Rosenberg
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I have no first-hand experience, but I'm thinking that there may be travel agencies in cities with large universities that would have some special know-how in this area of travel. It might be worth a search.

The "buy round-trip and pitch the return ticket" is not a perfect solution because it technically leaves the traveler in violation of the airline's tariff. Even though it is probably infrequently enforced, I still hate to recommend it, if there is a way to do things "legally".

Just thinking out loud here, another method might be to buy the roundtrip, but then make a change after flying the outbound flight, but before the scheduled return. You would incur a change fee (up to $150), but then the remainder of the value COULD be captured and available for use on the return flight. (Retain the ticket and all records. Take notes when you do this. Get the name, location and telephone number of the airline reservations representive that you dealt with. These things have a way of getting "lost" on the airline end).

If you can get it done, you would still be on round-trip pricing -- though you do run the risk of the remaining half of the roundtrip fare being higher at that time and you're out the change fee, of course. Still, that sounds cheaper than two roundtrips. (We don't even want to talk about one-way pricing, now do we?!)
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 01:25 PM
  #5  
Jim Rosenberg
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Sorry to add, but there is no edit function here! My suggestion above involves leaving an open itinerary -- not actually scheduling the return trip at the time you make the change request between the outbound and return on the original ticket. (That would probably just put you back in that $2,500 range). Have I made this confusing enough yet?
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 01:45 PM
  #6  
aaa
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Do NOT buy the cheapie tkt and then do a change 6 mos.later--there IS an expiration date on the ticket and it has a 90 day MAX--

Your best bet is the 2 cheap tkts and using the first part of each and tossing the remaining part--

Or you can go an easier route and have your travel agent contact a Consolidator-they sell CHEAP one way and rountrip tkts--Since it will be for 6 mos- you may be able to get him a real cheap one way.
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 02:24 PM
  #7  
Jim Rosenberg
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I think the above varies by carrier and fare code. I did one 120 days out last year on a low-end ticket that had even incorporated a coupon on the original purchase. But the point is well taken: check the terms and conditions very carefully before buying, since some are more restrictive than others.
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 05:27 PM
  #8  
Don
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The best solutions are student ticket agencies such as www.studentuniverse.com or www.statravel.com, as well as airfare consolidators such as Flights.com and Justfares.com. Student tickets usually offer much cheaper change fees ($25 is typical).
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 05:37 PM
  #9  
Linda
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You might also try SkyAuction. They sometimes auction one-way tickets and they go pretty cheap. Just remember that the service charge has to be added to the bid amount. I think it is $80-100 when you are bidding on airfare as opposed to a hotel/air package. Good luck.
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 06:20 PM
  #10  
Gib
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After trying to research every option with all the popular discount sites on the web over the last 4 weeks, I just bought my international travel tickets through Priceline.com . They are non refundable, but I got them on my connection terms and over $400 less than the cheapest discount fare available. I chose to try them out of frustration of being "JACKED AROUND" by other reservation systemns and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome>
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 07:12 PM
  #11  
Nancy
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I think some airlines offer voucher tickets for students. I don't know if it applies to international travel. The vouchers come in packs of 4 and each can be used for one portion of travel. I believe they expire in 1 year.
 
Old Jun 9th, 2002, 07:46 PM
  #12  
Patty
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Thanks for all the info. We will check it out. Does anyone know exactly what airlines offer student discounts? Do any of the US major airlines offer this service?
 
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 04:30 AM
  #13  
Judy
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Do you have frequent flyer miles??? When you get a ticket using the miles it is an APEX (IE: "full fare") ticket and full fare tickets are good for one year, unlike the special priced fare tickets that are good only for 30 or 60 days max. You might want to use the miles in this case. We are currently in Germany on sabattical and csahing in miles was the only way we could get a ticket vaild for more than 90 days... and I tried every which way to get a cheap ticket for more than 6 months validity.

The student fares route would likely be best, but if not available, then try cashing in miles if you have them.

Judy in Germany
 
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 10:40 AM
  #14  
Patty
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Thanks for the info. I also found out that there are student/teacher airfare discounts at 1-800-2Council. So far they offer the best extended stay prices.
 
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