If if wasn’t for our 75 airline partners who offer unique airfare pricing and terms to students and youth, we wouldn’t be able to carry out our mission of making global experiences possible for millions of students each year. We are incredibly proud to work with airline partners that go above and beyond for student travelers.
Once each year we plan a day to spend time with our airline partners to let them know how much we appreciate the partnership and reflect on the year in review and what’s to come in the year ahead.
This year, 31 of our airline partners traveled to Boston from 10 states and Canada on September 29 for our event. We were supposed to take a fast ferry to Provincetown (on Cape Cod) but mother nature had other plans for us. With 6-8 foot swells expected off of Boston Harbor, we had to shift gears and charter a series of limos and party buses to transport our 63 attendees to Provincetown. So, instead of going “two if by sea” we got Provincetown “one if by land.” With good conversation, local brews and lunch onboard, the 2.5 hour drive seemed to pass very quickly.
Once we got to Provincetown, we took chartered trolley tours with Mayflower Trolley to see more of this wonderful seaside town on the northern tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
From there, we enjoyed dinner and drinks at the Provincetown Patio. Our guests spent some time outside (under the heating lamps as it was a little chilly) having cocktails and a raw bar before dinner.
At the conclusion of dinner, we awarded the winners of the second annual “Best Airlines for Students” awards. Last year, we started the awards to recognize airlines who are best serving students for travel in specific markets, overall (globally) and for group travel. In addition to the five award categories we awarded airlines in in 2015, we introduced three new categories in 2016 – two new specific market awards – Europe and North America and Rising Star. In total, we gave out 8 awards to seven different airlines, 4 of which were repeat winners from 2015.
Our winners in the 2016 “The Best Airlines for Students” Awards by category were:
- The Best Airline for Students, Overall, Cathay Pacific Airways
- The Best Airline for Students, Trans-Pacific, Cathay Pacific Airways (repeat winner from 2015)
- The Best Airline for Students, Latin America, LATAM Airlines (repeat winner from 2015)
- The Best Airline for Students, South-Pacific, Virgin Australia (repeat winner from 2015)
- The Best Airline for Students, Group Travel, Delta Air Lines (repeat winner from 2015)
- The Best Airline for Students, Europe, oneworld
- The Best Airline for Students, North America, American Airlines
- The Best Airline for Students, Rising Star, Qatar Airways
Read our full press release announcing the winners.
The partners that we awarded as part of our ‘Best Airlines for Students’ awards program do more than just offer discounted flight content to students and youth, they truly understand how this segment travels, their preferences for travel at different times of the year and the kind of content that they need to offer student travelers as a result. These airlines cater their programs to suit the needs of students and youth.
More specifically, airlines were chosen based on the volume of bookings, year-over-year sales growth, the terms and pricing they offer to the student market and the extent to which they create special programs and fares that are conducive to the unique travel habits of students.
We want to thank Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air China, Air Europa, Air New Zealand, American, Avianca, British Airways/Iberia, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, China Airlines, Copa, Delta, Emirates Etihad, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, LAN, Lufthansa Group, Porter, Qatar Airways, South African Airways, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airways, United, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia for attending.
Congrats to each of our winners – we look forward another great year working together and reconnecting at our 2017 event.