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The 15 Best Websites for Cheap, Discount Student Flights [2024]

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

343 Published Articles 49 Edited Articles

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

32 Published Articles 3112 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 45U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Knowing the best website to use when booking a flight can save you a bundle of money. And if you are a student, you might be inclined to seek out websites that offer special deals to young travelers.

With so many options, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to find the best prices, so we set out to make the ultimate list of where to find the best student discounts on flights to save you time when it comes to booking a trip.

1. StudentUniverse

StudentUniverse offers flights, hotels, and tours to students.

You have to become a member to access exclusive discounts, but thankfully, it’s a free membership. However, if you don’t want to join as a member, you can still complete a booking as a guest. Many student deals require a membership and are only valid for students ages 16 to 34.

Student Universe flight search results
Many deals require you to log in to be eligible. Image Credit: StudentUniverse

Regardless of your student status, you’ll be able to access special promo codes that are occasionally offered right on the site.

You can also set up an alert on StudentUniverse that will track the prices for your selected itinerary and email you when there’s a price change.

Unfortunately, StudentUniverse sometimes charges fees, so be sure to check the details of your price to see if you’re actually saving money or not.

Pros and Cons of StudentUniverse

Pros

  • Plentiful promo codes are available right on the website

Cons

  • Booking fees
  • Many deals require you to be a student between the ages of 16 to 34

Bottom Line: StudentUniverse offers discounted flights to students. Keep an eye out for promo codes to save some extra money.

2. CheapOair 

Did you know that CheapOair has a special section dedicated to student travel? To access the student section of the website, select More in the top menu bar, then select Student Travel.

CheapOair Student section
CheapOair has a special section dedicated to student travel. Image Credit: CheapOair

CheapOair’s sorting and filtering features are good but you’ll want to keep an eye out for extra fees. In addition to a service fee of up to $35 on most flights (business class and first class ticket fees can be as high as $150) you may also run into “post-ticketing fees” that include things like cancellation and change fees.

Hot Tip: If you have to cancel your flight, CheapOair will charge a fee in addition to any airline fee you may be charged. You can avoid this fee if you purchase a “support package.”

Pros and Cons of CheapOair Student Fares

Pros

  • Available promo codes include discounts on the cost of a flight or service fees

Cons

  • Service fees of up to $35 on most economy tickets and up to $150 on other types of tickets, including multi-city, business, or cities with high fraud rates
  • Cancellation fees will be charged unless you purchase a support package

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our detailed guide to CheapOair.

3. OneTravel

OneTravel is a fairly typical online travel agency offering flights, hotels, and vacation packages.

Students will be interested in the student deals section of the website. You can access it by clicking on More > Travel by Theme > Student Travel.

OneTravel
OneTravel has a dedicated student section. Image Credit: OneTravel

Unfortunately, we didn’t find any extra student discounts or deals when searching for flights through the student section of the website.

While OneTravel has good search capabilities with nice sorting and filtering options, there wasn’t much that made it unique. You also could run into additional fees. OneTravel can charge a service fee of up to $35 on most economy flights, although the fee can be higher on some flights. Plus, you’ll pay additional fees if you need to change or cancel your flight.

To see if you’ll save money in spite of these fees, scroll down to our price comparisons section.

OneTravel also offers its own credit card. Students might be tempted to apply to earn points on their purchases, but there are better options out there.

If you have some established credit, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is a solid option that will work well for most people. If you’re looking for more of a first-time rewards card, consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. This card earns 1.5% cash-back on all purchases and occasionally offers an additional cash-back amount as part of a welcome offer, so you could earn even more cash-back.

Either of these cards will offer benefits above and beyond what the OneTravel card can offer.

Hot Tip: If you are looking for a credit card geared specifically toward students, check out our guide to the best student credit cards.

Pros and Cons of OneTravel

Pros:

  • No requirements for using the student section of the website
  • Promo codes offered

Cons:

  • Booking fees ranging from $35 to $150 per ticket
  • Student section doesn’t really offer discounts above and beyond the rest of the website

4. SmartFares

SmartFares is a little-known online travel agency that claims to have special student fares — but in reality, they appear to be the same as those offered on the non-student section of the website with the exception of an occasional coupon code.

SmartFares
SmartFares has a dedicated student section that often has coupon codes. Image Credit: SmartFares

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t save money. If you’ve got the time and patience to pick up the phone, you can call in to access lower fares.

Additionally, there are lots of extra fees that could get tacked on to your fare that you should keep an eye out for. SmartFares charges for a flexible ticket, for seat selection, and for post-purchase customer service. Plus, there are service fees on most flights of up to $30, although some tickets can have fees as high as $100.

Pros and Cons of SmartFares

Pros

  • Free cancellation within 24 hours

Cons

  • There are service fees on every ticket ranging from $30 to $100
  • There are additional fees for seat selection fees and post-purchase customer service

Airline-Specific Student Discounts

Many specific airlines offer student perks and discounts. Many of these programs have specific requirements and may require proof of student status, so please check with the individual program for details.

5. Cathay Pacific Student Discounts

Students flying Cathay Pacific can access fare discounts, extra baggage allowance, and free ticket changes by using the promo codes HKSTUDENT or HKSTUPLUS (expires March 31, 2023).

6. Emirates Student Discounts

Students who fly Emirates can save up to 10% on fares booked by September 30, 2022, with the promo code STUDENT. Additional perks like extra baggage allowance and flexible options for flight changes are also available (expires March 31, 2023).

7. Etihad Student Discounts

Students flying with Etihad can access discounts through January 31, 2023, with promo code STU10. Perks include a savings of 10% on economy tickets or 5% on business tickets, an additional checked bag allowance, and a free date change (expires January 31, 2023).

8. KLM Student Discounts

KLM offers discounted student tickets for students traveling to or from a university abroad. Benefits include 2 checked bags and a flexible ticket that can be changed up until the departure of the ticket’s first flight.

9. Lufthansa Generation Fly

Generation Fly is an exclusive program for students through Lufthansa that guarantees the lowest prices on Lufthansa flights. Student fares are only available from the U.S., Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea. A bonus of these student fares is that they include 1 free checked bag!

10. Qatar Student Club

Students who join Qatar Student Club will have access to perks like discounted fares, extra baggage allowance, date change flexibility, complimentary Wi-Fi, a student companion pass, and a Privilege Club tier upgrade as a graduation gift.

11. Singapore Airlines Student Discounts

Flyers who verify their student status in their KrisFlyer account will gain access to special student privileges, including discounted airfare, AN additional baggage allowance, and a fee waiver for your first booking change.

12. SriLankan Airlines Student Special

Students flying SriLankan Airlines can get 10% cash-back on the first ticket purchased and 15% cash-back on the second through fifth ticket purchased, plus extra baggage allowance on tickets purchased through March 31, 2023.

13. Turkish Airlines Student Discounts

Students looking for discounts on Turkish Airlines should create a Miles&Smiles student account. Once your student status is approved you’ll have access to benefits like flight discounts, 1 free ticket change, lower bag fees, 25% more miles earned through 2022, and an extra 1,000 welcome bonus miles.

14. United Airlines Discounts for 18-22-Year-Olds

United Airlines offers discounted fares for 18-22-year-olds by selecting “Discounted travel (18-22)” during the booking process (expires December 31, 2023).

15. Virgin Atlantic Student Discounts

Students can access Virgin Atlantic discounts using StudentBeans. After creating an account, students are eligible for discounts of £40 to £70 per flight.

Price Comparisons

Since most students are just looking for cheap airfare, the price is really the most important thing. Let’s take a look at these sites to see how they stack up in terms of cost alone.

We’ve also priced out these itineraries on Kayak, a metasearch engine, to get a sense of how other websites that don’t cater to students might stack up.

Example #1: Roundtrip flight for 1 from New York to London

Example #2: Roundtrip flight for 1 from Chicago to Miami

SCROLL FOR MORE
WebsiteExample #1Example #2
CheapOair$673.99$303.78
Generation Fly$1,082.27N/A
Kayak$570.29$281.18
OneTravel$899.99$301.78
SmartFares$630.77$312.18
StudentUniverse$895.47$291.18

In both examples, the prices found on Kayak were the lowest. While prices can vary so that won’t always be the case, students may want to look at some non-student-focused online travel agencies and websites to save money on flights.

Final Thoughts

With so many online travel agencies out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to look for the best prices on student flights. Unfortunately, there is no single right answer for every situation — it’s always smart to shop around for the best prices.

When looking for student discounts, start with websites that offer special student fares and coupon codes. You might be able to find a great deal that will get you traveling — even on a student budget!

If you also need to save some money on accommodations, check out these websites for student discounts on hostels and hotels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do airlines offer student discounts on flights?

Most airlines don’t directly offer student discounts on flights anymore. Lufthansa is one exception — they offer student flights through Generation Fly. The requirements to book through Generation Fly include having an official email address from a higher education institution.

Do I have to be a student to book a student fare?

It depends on the website. Some sites like Generation Fly require you to be a student with a valid email address, while other sites like SmartFares and OneTravel don’t require you to be a student at all.

Can you use StudentUniverse if you aren't a student?

Yes, StudentUniverse offers their services to any travelers, although some deals are reserved for students only.

Does Southwest offer student discounts?

No, Southwest doesn’t offer student discounts on flights. However, the airline’s low fares, free checked bag policy, and fee-free changes will make it a great option for students. Southwest Airlines flights won’t show up on third party websites so you’ll need to go directly to southwest.com to find flights.

Katie Seemann's image

About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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