Traveling is hard enough in the best of times, but trying to find a decently-priced flight during any holiday season is essentially the result of someone saying, “Could traveling get any harder?” and Satan himself laughing in response. The usual strategy is to buy the tickets as far in advance as possible, but many freshmen leave home completely unprepared for the spike in prices around holidays.
The drive from Boise to Coeur D’Alene is nine hours, the flight is close to one. Freshman psychology major Peyton Reader has flown from Coeur D’Alene to Boise many times and usually it ends up close to $100.
When she booked her flight home for Thanksgiving, she met a nasty surprise; holiday prices.
“I came down this summer and the round-trip ticket was $100 flat, so when I went to buy my ticket for Thanksgiving and it was more than double that, I was shocked,” Peyton said. Her round trip ticket ended up costing $210.
For some students there is no “best price” and going home for the holidays isn’t an option. Jeannette Salfen, a freshman history major, is from Hawaii, which means traveling to and from her home, even when she tries to buy tickets far in advance, ends in spending upwards of $1,000.
It also means she won’t be able to spend Thanksgiving with her family. The prices came as no shock to Jeannette.
And while a large price tag may be expected when flying from the mainland to Hawaii, some flights are a little more surprising than that.
While Peyton’s $210 round-trip ticket may sound like small beans compared to Salfen’s $1,000 price-tag, when compared to the regular season price it’s a huge increase. Because of the price increase, Peyton won’t be able to go home for Christmas.
Many college freshmen find themselves being slapped in the face with these new found fees just to go home for the holidays. I know when I was looking for a way home, I was in total disbelief of the $400 price tag to fly from Boise to Pasco, WA.
While the price is the inevitable result of two stops, it didn’t shock me any less. My sister had flown the same distance at more than half the price when she was in college.
To make a super long, super uninteresting story short, I ended up compromising on taking the bus home for several reasons, including money, but also including that for some reason, flying home actually took two and a half hours longer than taking the bus.
As uncomfortable as a Greyhound may be, sitting in an airport for three hours waiting for a flight to come would certainly rank second.
In any case, I get that airline prices totally blow. If there was a guidebook for freshmen survival there would hopefully be a disclaimer a little disclaimer in on it right next to learning to register for classes.
In addition to classes and being homesick at this point in the semester, the shock of flying home being too expensive is just another stress for students in a long list of stressors.
Luckily, I had a plan-B this holiday season, but some students don’t and I can’t even imagine learning two months into the semester that you can’t go home for the holidays. But many students will find themselves stranded this holiday season.