Finding cheap student airfare can be complex. Most websites claiming to offer discounted airfare for students really only provide a similar fare search engine to those of top travel sites. However, while student airfare discounts often vary, there are a few websites that truly do cater to student travelers looking for the best deal. For some, you'll need to provide proof that you're a student in order to access their searchable fares. But others are more lenient, requiring no proof of identification to book.
STA Travel—the world's largest student travel agency—should be, undoubtedly, your first port of call. They offer a user-friendly search engine and plenty of resources for those heading out—either domestically or internationally—for the first time. Check out STA's weekly student airfare deals for the cheapest fares of the bunch.
Student Universe stands by their motto: "Students Fly Cheaper." And they deliver on it, too. The company is registered with the Better Business Bureau and includes thousands of testimonials, assuring that its' no fly-by-night affair. Signing up is mandatory, but it's free, and worth taking the time to do so. The website does include one caveat, however. Only college students and faculty can buy student airfare. Student Universe confirms that you are indeed a student and, therefore, eligible for student airfares before your enrollment status is verified.
Don't worry, though. The approval process is easy and shouldn't hold up your flight search. As an added bonus, Student Universe's airfare prices include all fees and taxes, so there are no nasty surprises at checkout.
Canadian-based Travel Cuts offers some unique features in addition to the usual flight finder. You'll find links to adventure tours and an easy-to-use festival and event search engine. Select from life-changing experiences, like Kenya's annual Rhino Charge, then book your itinerary to include this once-in-a-lifetime event. Travel Cuts also offer fantastic details on more than just flights. For example, students can score discounts on airfare, vacation packages, and travel insurance. It's definitely worth having a click around their site before you book.
CheapOair Student Fares
CheapOair has a special section on their site just for student travelers where you can often pick up a sweet deal that would be tough to track down elsewhere. When entering your destination and dates, remember to tick the box that says youth (ages 16 to 25) to get your discount.
Lufthansa operates Generation Fly, a site dedicated to offering the lowest possible student travel airfares. The program is for students in the United States, ages 12 to 25, who have a valid ".edu" email address. If you're fortunate to have that email suffix, sign up, as Lufthansa flies to 81 countries. However, the best deals are for travel to the European countries that Lufthansa's planes service.
Secret Flying isn't specifically for students, but it is one of the best-kept secrets in the travel industry. Every day the site lists fantastic deals on flights around the world, like San Francisco to Barcelona, Boston to Xi'an, Seattle to London, and Boston to Aruba. Sign up for Secret Flying's email alerts or check their site every couple of days for new deals on travel from North America. And keep your options open! It's one of the easiest ways to pick up a flight for far cheaper than a student fare.
On that note—be sure to shop widely for deals when planning your trip. Some airlines, themselves, may have huge sales that will net you a better deal than any student rate. Head to Skyscanner to do a broad search before you hit "confirm." While student deals will often land you the best fares, it's not always guaranteed 100 percent of the time.