Travel is all about the journey, and that usually requires a flight or two.
Flight Buying Process
Learn more about our flight lingo
Our team arranges optional group flights on every trip via our regional hubs; these are usually chaperoned.
In order to achieve this supervision and keep prices as reasonable as possible, we do not always choose 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 require you to check in with our Operations Team. If you prefer TFT to assist you in choosing and booking the domestic flights, we are happy to help you out with it. There is covered by our $100 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.
*We charge a booking fee as it takes extra time for us to research and book flights on a case by case basis. With this fee, we will also take care of any flight change from the airline, or help you to make any change in the reservation.
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 chaperoned 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.
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 will be an “independent flight fee” that is dependent on local costs per person, per each direction of travel.
Before making any reservations, it is important that you contact our International Operations 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 does have access to student fares for most flights and will 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 $100 booking fee added to your financial statement if you book through us.
The flight prices are subject to change until the ticket has been paid for and officially booked. You can pay us by overnight 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 Operations Team with the (usually nominal) 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.