Yes, if a number of conditions are met. We understand that there are a variety of reasons for which participants may wish to book a flight separately: for example, if someone is unable to attend the entire trip, or a family wishes to use an airline credit to help fund their student’s travel, etc. We are happy to work with families requesting these unique arrangements, however please note that any time an individual or family makes their own separate flight arrangements from the group booking, there is the potential of delays or missed connections, and it is the family’s financial and logistical responsibility to join the group without interrupting the larger group’s itinerary.
1. Passengers wishing to fly with the group on one leg of the itinerary, and schedule a separate date/destination for the other leg, may inquire to do so. Each case is handled individually and rules vary by airline. Since many of our group contracts are roundtrips, canceling half of the ticket may not be possible; additionally, it can be expensive since one-way tickets sometimes cost just as much as a roundtrip. However, we can often book a deviation to allow staying on the group ticket for the needed leg. Please contact your Program Director about your situation, including your alternate travel dates & city/airport, and we will research deviation options available for your particular group’s flight contract — Note: the sooner the better as availability can be time-sensitive.
2. Booking your own flight – the SAME itinerary: ideally, please book the same flight as the group to eliminate concerns about meetup timings or needing an additional adult chaperone. This may seem simple enough, however with large groups we are often holding so many seats that it is unlikely that those same flights will show up as cheaper or eligible for rewards flights. If saving money is your intention, you may be forced to fly a different airline / itinerary and that could create problems for joining the group.
3. Booking your own flight – a SEPARATE itinerary. If you don’t purchase the same flight as the group, it is possible that there will be a flight change or delay preventing you from joining the group in time. The tour group is NOT responsible for waiting or going out of their way to connect with anyone who purchases flights on their own. You are responsible to rejoin the group at your own expense. Additionally, flights booked on your own are not eligible for coverage by the travelers insurance included with your tour. For these reasons, this option to book a separate itinerary is ONLY available for families: minors who are traveling with a parent or guardian. For unaccompanied minors, you are only permitted to book your own flight if it is the same itinerary as the group flight.
4. Please DO NOT purchase your own flights more than 3 to 5 months out. With group bookings it is common that our group reservation may change departure times and even airports. Consult with your Program Director before purchasing. Avoid becoming separated from the group due to booking too far in advance.
5. Most group flight contracts require submitting Final Names for passengers 2 months out. Ask your Program Director to confirm deadlines specific to your group. If purchasing your own flight before Final Names have been submitted and in compliance with the guidelines outlined above, we may be able to reimburse the group fare from your all-inclusive tour price. TBD for each school.