8 things you need to know for your student’s upcoming flight

Planning ahead can help ensure a smooth air travel experience. Below are some helpful tips and tricks for you and your exchange student.

1. Check in online

Students should check-in for their flight on the airline’s website 24 hours before their flight. For this, you will use the student’s name and confirmation code. That code will have a two letter indicator of the airline (“UA” for United Airlines for example) followed by the six-character code. The confirmation code can be found on the PDF in the flight email sent to parents and in the Hub for students and host families.

2. Confirm the name on your ticket

It is common practice for airlines to combine the passengers first and middle name(s) on their ticket. It is completely okay for a passenger’s name to appear on their ticket as LAST/FIRSTMIDDLE.

3. Don’t worry about special characters

Accents or other special characters are usually not included in the spelling of the passenger’s name. Additionally, some accents will be replaced with an “e”. For example, Müller would appear as Mueller.

4. Confirm luggage requirements

All students’ international tickets include one checked bag (as well as their carry-on and personal item). If your student will check more than one bag or any special luggage, reference the airline’s baggage policy on their website so they know what to expect.

5. Know the final destination for your luggage

Students’ checked luggage will be sent to their destination and will not need to be picked up on any layovers at connecting airports. This will be different if a student has “separate tickets” in their itinerary which is uncommon and will be communicated.

6. Arrive early to the airport

It is best to arrive to the airport 3 hours before the flight for international itineraries. Better safe than sorry!

7. Familiarize yourself with airline partnerships

Many airlines operate with “partner” airlines and are part of an airline “alliance.” If you are unfamiliar with your student’s airline, do a quick Google search for their partner airlines to avoid any potential confusion. For example, KLM and Delta are partners, as are British Airways and American Airlines.

8. Know who to contact for help

If students have flight issues, the quickest and best way to resolve the issue is for them to request help at the airline’s help desk. Of course, they (and you) can also feel free to call the Travel Support team at 800-634-8351 or email us at [email protected] for assistance.

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© EF Education First 2011-2021. EF High School Exchange Year is operated by EF Educational Foundation for Foreign Study, a non-profit corporation designated by the U.S. Department of State to operate a J-1 student exchange program. Note: Featured photo/videos do not include prospective students, and are representative of program participants.