There’s nothing like scoring a cheap airplane fare but, with the holidays coming up, that is an increasingly rare occurrence.
Data averaged over several past years shows that flight prices tend to rise by more than 40% during the six weeks between Thanksgiving and the end of the year due to high demand — AAA numbers showed that nearly 115 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles from home in the last two weeks of December 2022. Particularly popular routes, such as flying from Los Angeles to San Francisco, have seen a hike of more than 111.4% during the holiday period.
Holidays are a traditionally busy and expensive time to travel.
College students can score one of 3,000 flights for $25, here’s how
College students with the Prime Student account can go onto its flight-searching website done in partnership with travel platform StudentUniverse and search for the domestic flight they want to take. From 9 a.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 5 and 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 7, Amazon will give away 1,000 daily flights for $25 each way.
The start of travel can be booked for the holiday period between Dec. 8 and 25, 2023 while the return flight booked at the same time can be anytime between Dec. 8, 2023 to Jan. 14, 2024. Once the 3,000 tickets run out, those who go on the site before the end of Dec. 7 will still be able to partake in the promotion with a $25 discount of any flight they buy.
“As a mom to a first-year college student, I am excited to have my son home for the holidays,” Amazon’s VP of U.S. Prime and Marketing Tech Carmen Nestares said in a statement. “And as travel costs continue to rise, we’re happy to help make flying more affordable for Prime Students who want to spend this important time with family and friends. It’s another way we’re delivering incredible savings, value, and convenience to our Prime Student members each year.”
Not a student? There are still ways for you to score cheap flights
The Amazon Prime Student account is a significantly discounted ($69 compared to $139 a year) version of its Prime membership. To be eligible, one needs to be taking at least one course at an accredited college or university and be able to prove it with a document or an .edu email address.
“Traveling during the holidays when prices surge can be tough, especially for college students on a budget,” Amazon said of the promotion. “Still, many are prioritizing travel home. In a recent survey, Prime Student discovered that 79% of college students are saving up for travel, with 43% of those students prioritizing a trip home to see family or a friend.”
For those who aren’t eligible for the Student Prime account, the best way to score a flight deal is to look out for fare-drop sales from individual airlines. While they are usually short and require customers to commit to a travel date several weeks or even months into the future, they can offer significant discounts — one recent Black Friday deal offered a cut of up to $750 on JetBlue (JBLU) – Get Free Report flight-resort packages to sunny destinations.