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Airfare on the rise

By Archives October 28, 2008

With midterms over, it may already be time to plan for the Christmas holidays.
But before relaxing at home or on the beach, students have to deal with the higher airfares and fewer dates to travel. According to Clara Soares, manager of Voyages Campus’ McGill and Concordia offices, some might not find what they are looking for so late in the season.
“Believe it or not, people that are buying tickets for Christmas should be looking at them in September,” said Soares. Even students taking the train to Ontario should consider booking early, she added. Soares acknowledged the difficulty for students to book before their exam schedule is out.
Jennifer Bieber, a student in international development at McGill, is one of the many students who will be leaving the city in December. “I am going back home to see my family and friends,” said Bieber, a Saskatoon native.
Like most students, Bieber and her parents have not made any travel arrangements yet. She said she was waiting to know when her last exam would take place. Although the McGill student is not afraid not to get a seat on a plane, she fears it might be harder and more expensive now.
Soares agrees, she said $600 flights across Canada do not exist anymore. She said students will spend on average $2,500 to fly to Africa, $1,700 to South America and between $800 and $900 to the West coast. She said taxes and fuel surcharges have made travel much more expensive.
One of the ways students could make sure to have a seat is by booking in early September and changing their tickets as soon as they find out their exam schedule, Soares said. “Sometimes it is worth paying that change fee of $200 to be able to go 10 days earlier if they are so lucky.”