Travel is all about the journey, and that usually requires a flight or two.
Booking Independently vs Booking through Travel For Teens
You have the option to book your flight yourself or up until May 1st, 2024 book your flights through TFT for a fee of $200.
This fee covers the extra time for us to research and book flights on a case-by-case basis. It also gives us access to the booking so that we can deal with the airline on your behalf. We will assist with any flight change from the airline or help you to make any voluntary changes to the reservation.
If you decide to book airfare independently from TFT, it is important that you first refer to our group flight information and email or contact our team to make sure that the flights you are booking are correct. Booking on your own means you have complete control of the ticket can use points or miles to book and will receive notifications directly from the airline.
Contact Our Logistics Team
Flight Buying Process
Important Note For Younger Travelers
If your traveler is going to be under 15 on the day of travel, they may be required to fly as an Unaccompanied Minor, please click here to learn more about the unique travel rules for that age group.
Independent Flight Fees
If you would like your traveler to fly an independent flight path (i.e. not on the designated group flights), please let us know your preferred flights before purchasing any airfare. You may incur additional fees per each direction of travel depending on flight times and if your traveler needs staff supervision. We charge fees to arrange the logistics and transportation for a staff member to meet or drop off your child at the airport outside of the group flight arrival and/or departure. We recommend those booking independent flight paths to focus on arriving and departing from the trip destination airports as close as possible to the group flight times.
Here are the fees for extra staff supervision and cost estimates for private transfers (quoted case by case):
Seating on Planes
If a ticket is booked through Travel For Teens, the passenger can choose their preferred seat directly with the airline after booking, either via the airline website or airline customer service. Please note, some airlines charge for advance seat selection.
Travel For Teens and our ticketing agent are able to assist with seating requests that do not involve any payment for the seats themselves. If the airline charges for advance seat selection, families must pay the fee themselves directly to the airline or wait until check-in to select a seat for free.
Seats that do not require payment can be shuffled by the airline at their sole discretion prior to departure, TFT is not responsible for seating changes or any costs incurred as a result.
Learn more about our flight lingo
Our team arranges optional group flights on most trips via our regional hub airports; these flights are sometimes chaperoned. We always have staff in the departure and arrival hubs to assist students on non-chaperoned flights
In order to achieve this level of supervision and keep prices as reasonable as possible, we do not always choose to chaperone non-stop flights.
Domestic flights are any flights within the United States needed to meet the group at the departure or arrival airport. For example, if you live in Chicago and would like to join our group flight to Italy, you’ll need a domestic flight to New York City to meet up with our group.
Before making any reservations, if your child needs to fly from home to the departure airport and back, we ask you to check in with our Logistics Team. If you prefer TFT to assist you in choosing and booking the domestic flights, we are happy to help with it. This is covered by our $200 booking fee for any flight reservations made through TFT.*
Please note that we require all travelers flying into a departure airport to land 3-4 hours before the group flight is scheduled to depart. Upon return, please leave a minimum of 3-4 hours to clear customs, collect baggage and make it to a connecting flight.
Travel For Teens (TFT) staff offers a complimentary chaperoning service for the travelers on some designated group flights.
The vast majority of our travelers choose to travel on our group flights. Some other students either travel independently or meet us directly at the destination.
Travel on the group flights offers some real advantages, such as:
Travelers begin bonding with their group while traveling to their destination.
If you choose to have TFT book the flight, we will deal with any airline-imposed changes or cancellations.
You enjoy peace of mind knowing that your child is looked after all the way from point A to point B.
For a select handful of trips, we designate one specific flight path (usually non-stop in these cases) which will be the group flight, but we may not have a TFT staff member on the flight itself. In a situation like this, we provide a staff member at the departing airport to help all the travelers to check in and make sure everybody gets through security without any problems. The staff member will remain at the airport until the flight takes off in the event of any changes. At the destination airport, a TFT representative will be waiting for the students just on the other side of security and, after making sure everybody has collected their baggage, will bring the group to the hotel.
An independent flight is when your child flies on a path different than the group flight and not under the supervision of a TFT staff member. Some of our programs in North America may only provide a “flight window” for arrivals and departures, ensuring that all of the travelers on the trip will fly independently to meet our staff at destination.
As already mentioned, joining a TFT group flight is not required, but highly recommended. Flying independently almost always results in additional transportation costs for our staff and for your child when they arrive at the destination. For this reason, if your child is not flying on the group flight, there may be additional fees, dependent on local costs per person, per each direction of travel.
Before making any reservations, it is important that you contact our Logistics Team via email or phone and discuss your flight options. We are happy to advise you on how to avoid additional fees.
Group flight tickets are “priced live”, meaning that the price is determined only at the moment of purchase. TFT sometimes gets access to private fares through our agent and are always happy to pass these savings on to you.
You can decide to have us purchase the flight for you or, if you prefer, you can purchase it yourself. If you decide to book the tickets through us, you will need to provide us with your child’s passport information before we request a quote for you. Additionally, please be advised that there will be a $200 booking fee added to your statement if you book through us.
The flight prices are subject to change until the ticket has been paid for and officially booked by an agent. You can pay us by ACH, check or credit card on our payments page.
If you purchase the tickets through TFT and you need to cancel or change the reservation, we are able to assist you, but you (not TFT) are still subject to any cancellation or change fees the airline applies.
Some trips include flights during the trip between the different cities visited on the trip. These flights are called ‘intra-trip flights’.
All of these flights are chaperoned by TFT staff and are booked by our international Logistics Team with the fare charged to the student’s family. You will be invoiced for these flights at the time of registration or once the group flight information is finalized.
If you book a trip with intra-trip flights within 90 days of departure, these intra-trip flights are subject to fluctuations in price. Due to the volatility of airline fuel prices, occasionally the airline will impose a fuel surcharge at the time of ticketing: if this should happen, we will notify you in late Spring of any additional costs.
If your child is signed up for more than one trip, they most likely will be flying between trips (i.e. your first trip ends in Rome and your next trip begins in London). We call flights between trips ‘inter-trip flights’ and our Flight Coordinators will arrange and book your child’s flight between trips for you. You are responsible for the cost of these flights.
The vast majority of flights between trips will be chaperoned by TFT staff. If we don’t have a counselor available to chaperone one or more students from a trip to the following one, we will contact you to go through the different options. This usually happens in mid-May, once our staffing is finalized.
If there is a train between the two trips, we call this an “inter-trip train”. All inter-trip trains are chaperoned.