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Airfare Policy


When should I book my ticket?

Students should NOT book airfare tickets until:
  1. They have been formally accepted by their overseas program
  2. They have confirmed the program dates with their program.
  3. They have completed all confirmation materials for the Center for Global Ed.
Students with a program starting in July or August are encouraged to book early in May for more availability in flights.

To ensure that Wheaton’s Center for Global Education (CGE) will cover the cost of international flights, students must book flights by:
July 1 for students going abroad for Fall only, or Fall & Spring semesters (All Year)
December 1 for students going abroad for Spring semester only
If students choose to book after the above date, they run the risk of their flight costs rising above the budgeted amount. In these cases, students are responsible for paying the difference in fares. Exceptions are made for students who have not yet been accepted into their study abroad program by the above date.
If students book their ticket before that time and are not accepted into their study abroad program (for whatever reason), they are responsible for the flight cost.
If students have any questions about their program dates or final destination, they need to check with their host program/university before confirming their ticket. All students are responsible for verifying the official start and end dates of the term --including orientation and exams-- and booking their flight(s) accordingly.
IMPORTANT: Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Low student fares can sell out for specific dates, so we strongly recommend that students book their flights as soon as they have been accepted by their university abroad and have confirmed program dates.

Do students need to book a round-trip ticket?

We strongly encourage students book a round-trip ticket, whenever possible, which means using the same airlines or partner airlines to avoid any rebooking issues if a student’s plane is delayed or a student miss a flight. Most country’s immigration laws require that students book a round-trip ticket, meaning that students need to book both an outgoing and return flight.

What transportation costs are NOT covered?

Students are responsible for the following expenses:
  • Luggage fees (most international flights allow 1 piece of checked baggage at no cost)
  • Upgrades above basic economy class
  • Travel insurance
  • Local transportation expenses (such as airport pickup or transfer services, expenses getting to or from the departure airport, or hotels in transit to study abroad location)
  • Any extra costs due to non-standard itineraries or desired travel dates (including earlier or later dates, stopovers, or location)
  • Any extra costs due to delayed purchase of the ticket
Be sure to have the travel agent explain the policies of all portions of a ticket prior to booking  This is important as tickets have different change fees and procedures and the CGE does not cover these costs. Also, pay attention to any fees as the domestic portion of a flight may have different policies than an international flights and CGE does not cover these fees.

Do students have to fly directly from Boston to their host city?

No, students may use any possible route for booking flights within reason. CGE will not pay for extra costs due to non-traditional itineraries.

What if a student withdraws from study abroad?

If a student chooses to book their flight, and subsequently does not participate in their study abroad program (whatever the reason), the student is responsible for any and all non-recoverable costs of that ticket.

How do students book their flight?

CGE has arranged to use STA Travel for all study abroad flights. STA Travel will bill CGE directly for students’ standard tickets. If a student chooses a more expensive ticket, they will pay the difference directly to STA Travel.

*If a student’s study abroad program offers a group flight, students should follow the instructions of the program and Wheaton will be billed directly.

To book:
  1. Contact an STA agent who is family with Wheaton College and CGE - you'll receive the contact info once you've confirmed.
  • Inform STA that you are a Wheaton student. STA has the list of confirmed study abroad participants. Let them know your travel dates and departing and arriving cities, as well as any other specific needs. 
  • An agent will respond and work with you to determine your best option(s)
  • Remember: the dates provided to STA are for pricing purposes only; it is your responsibility to check with your program for the exact arrival and departure dates and times
  • Some fares will require that you have an International Student ID Card (ISIC). If your ticket is one of those fares, your agent will tell you during the ticketing process. Once your flight has been booked, you will be sent an email with instructions to upload your picture and request a card be mailed to you. Remember to bring this card with you to the airport as you may be asked for it as verification when checking in for the flight
  1. You be required to pay at the time of booking for any costs that are not covered by CGE.
  2. The STA agent will send you an itinerary by email. It is very important that you respond to this email! Your flight will not be booked and charged to CGE until you respond to STA verifying the itinerary and confirming you would like to book.
  3. STA will send you a confirmation email once your ticket has been booked. Contact STA if you cannot determine for sure whether your ticket has been booked.

Who pays for date changes?

The student does. Once ticketed, students are responsible for any changes in the flight. All tickets have different change fees and procedures. Students should understand the policies on all portions of their ticket prior to purchase. Ticket availability at the end of the term can be limited, so students should plan ahead. 

Year-long student may have to change their return ticket sometime before they return. This is because many airlines will not allow flights to be booked that far in advance. STA will inform students of any applicable restrictions at the time of booking. CGE will pay up to $400 for changes to move a return flight to after the program end date for students on year-long programs only. Any cost above $400 will be the student’s responsibility, so it is important that student make the changes as soon as possible. Year-long students will have to contact STA travel directly to change the return ticket.