Top 5 Cheapest US Airlines for Best Student Discounts in 2024

As a student, one of the biggest issues when planning a trip is the expenses involved. And it’s totally understandable, as we all have been students sometime in our lives. Hence, it would be a great help for all the students out there if we apprise them of the US airlines for best student discounts.

But, before we proceed, one must know and understand what student discounts are, and how to avail them as a student, to eventually pick the cheapest US airlines for students.

What are Student Discounts?

Student discounts are made available so as to encourage the youth who are in the transition phase of becoming an earning individual in the near future. The airlines understand that students comprise a considerable chunk of their customer base, and the most common challenge among this strata of travelers is the ‘prices’. Hence the discounts to promote student travel, and eventually their own business.

As a student, when searching for an economical airline, you must try to Google Search with this phrase to get the cheapest airfare options - ‘US airlines for best student discounts’. 

Who is Eligible for Student Discounts on Airfares?

Generally, the students falling in the age range of 12 and 25 get this discount, but it differs from airline to airline, as many of them only permit this discount only for the age range of 18-23. Hence, it’s crucial to check the student discount policies on the official website of the airlines you are choosing to travel with. 

How Much is the Student Discount on US Airlines?

While looking for the cheapest airline for students in the US, a vital question that arises in every student’s mind is - how much discount can I get? 

So generally, you get up to 10% off on the base fare for select destinations and routes. And this also differs among varied airlines. Hence, it’s advisable to check for the same on the airline’s official website. It sometimes also depends on the category of seating you choose on the flight. 

How to Avail Student Discounts on US Airlines?

To avail concessions on flight fares as a student, or to search the US airlines for best student discounts, there are certain terms and conditions to be met. Firstly, you must hold a student ID card issued by a US college or university. Secondly, for international travel, you also need to possess a valid student visa. 

Thirdly, the educational institution  you are studying at must be an accredited one, and recognised by the government. And lastly, the original copy of the student ID needs to be presented before the airline representatives. 

Top US Airlines Extending the Best Student Airfare Discounts

When it comes to the best US airline for student discounts, there exist a variety of options to choose from. However, it depends heavily on how you search on the web for - ‘US airlines for best student discounts’. Further, it depends on which US airline is offering the cheapest student airfares at the moment. So, please be clever with the search.

American Airlines 

Being one of the top carriers in the US air travel domain, American Airlines does offer one of the most attractive and economical student airfares. Students with valid college/university IDs can get somewhere between 10 and 20 percent discount. 

You can avail it by directly visiting the American Airlines website, or can speak with an AA customer service personnel. 

United Airlines

United Airlines is considered a top reputed air carrier when it comes to ‘US airlines for best student discounts’. However, you get a little less compared to Americans. The reason for still mentioning it, being the reliability, service, and the comfort the said airline offers to its passengers. 

At United, the program runs by the name - 'Young Adult Discount’, which offers a 5% discount on Basic Economy and United Economy seats. To qualify for the same, you must fall in the age range of 18 - 23 at the time of booking, and should be a MileagePlus member. 

United Flights Offering the Young Adult Discount

  • United Express or United run flights being operated within the US.
  • United Express or United flights running to/from specific international locations. 
  • Flights being operated by specific tie-up airliners that are identifiable with a UA flight marking.

How to Avail the Student Discount?

When you have already chosen a United Airline as the best option among the - ‘US airlines for best student discounts’, you must understand how to avail the Young Adult Discount.

So, here are the steps to follow:

  • Leverage the United Airlines app to log in to the MileagePlus account, or one may opt to sign up for free for the same. 
  • Visit the ‘Book Flight’ console wherein you need to pick the ‘young traveler discount’.
  • Afterwards, whatever flight you choose to travel on, the discount will get applied automatically, in case it's available on the concerned flight, route, and seating type.

Emirates Airlines

However, it’s not a US headquartered air carrier, its flights do operate from the US, hence can be taken advantage of, to get the best student flight discounts for international destinations. Let’s briefly go through the student benefits that Emirates offer.

  • If you fall in the age group of 16-31, you get eligible for the exclusive discount.
  • The flight you choose must depart by March 31, 2025, and you must use discount code STUDENT to avail the benefits of up to 10 percent off on Business and Economy Class fares.
  • You can add 10 kg on top of the regular baggage allowance, or one extra piece. Additionally, you can leverage flexible options concerning flight changes. It’s advisable to read the T&Cs applicable on Emirates Airlines departing from US/Canada. 

Further, when talking about the US airlines for best student discounts, it is noteworthy that a valid student ID must be presented at the time of check-in to avail the said benefits.

Cathay Pacific Airlines

It is also not a US-based air carrier, but definitely an established player in the US airlines industry, having a plethora of international flights plying to/from the US. More importantly, for students in the US, it has got generous airfare programs. We would recommend visiting their official website to get detailed info on the T&Cs applicable. 

For Cathay, we would go as far as saying - it is among the top US airlines for best student discounts, and students must give this one a try!

Major student benefits with Cathay Pacific:

  • Extra baggage allowance, exclusive fares, & free modifications to your flight bookings with the student-only program.
  • Use discount code JP STUDENT while seeking flights on their site to get the discounted fares shown to you. 
  • Travelers who book student flights must present a valid student visa, or student number, or ISIC (International Student Identity Card), or an acceptance letter from the educational institution/school/college. 

Lufthansa Airlines

However, it’s a German airline, it does operate from the US, and students must take advantage of its highly-pleasing student discount program.

Please note that the student travel must originate within the US for this special program to apply. Lufthansa, being a German airline, still can be counted among the best US airlines for student discounts, because of its exceptional student discount offers. 

The program covers destinations such as Europe, US, India and many more. It’s recommended to check their official website for detailed info. 

Why Should You Choose Lufthansa as a Student? 

  • Rebooking and refund options
  • Announcement of special discounts from time to time. 
  • Baggage liberty of 1x23 kg

Important Info to Keep in Mind with Lufthansa Student Discounts

When seeking US airlines for best student discounts, Lufthansa definitely captures your attention for more than one reason. Let us explain. 

  • Firstly, you get to avail student discounts on multiple and diverse routes internationally.
  • We have already discussed the destinations above, for which Lufthansa offers discounted airfares for students, which, in terms of numbers, is significant. 
  • Secondly, the baggage allowance offered by Lufthansa to students is definitely a ‘luxury’.
  • You get one free checked-in luggage bag under 23 kg. 

Note: ‘Student discounted fares’ are applicable on select flights, dates, and seating categories solely subject to airline’s discretion. 

How to Avail Student Discount Fares on Lufthansa Flights?

  • Start by verifying yourself as a valid student by visiting the airline’s official website. 

  • Present or upload the college/university/institution’s ID, alongside necessary details like Date of Birth etc. 

  • Post successful verification, the web page will reload to provide options for student discounted flights. 

  • Don’t forget to select ‘student fare’ among the fare category options to avail benefits.

  • For more info on Lufthansa student airfare program, speak directly with Lufthansa's customer service team.

Summing Up

As a student, making ends meet is in itself a challenge many times, and it’s not even logical to spend a dime on travel. Therefore, seeking cheap airfares is always a wise option to consider. And that’s exactly why we are throwing this valuable information out there for students, so they benefit from it, and save on their finances. 

Hope the article gave you the information you have long been looking for as a student. That’s all from us on ‘US airlines for best student discounts’ until next time. Cheers!