Are you a carefree student-type, looking to travel the breadth of our fair nation this summer? Check out Independence Air's new GLiDE Pass (www.flyi.com/specials/glide/default.aspx), which gives you unlimited flights between May 1 and August 31 (with restrictions) for $249, plus about $20 in taxes per flight.
The GLiDE Pass looks awesome, but let's put it in context. If you only intend to take two round-trips, that's $124 plus tax per round-trip -- you might be able to do better, especially considering Independence is selling many a-la-carte round-trips for $99 or less, and we're seeing other varied sub-$100 fares on JetBlue and Southwest at the moment.
If you intend to take four round-trips, the GLiDE Pass starts to really impress: $62.25 per round-trip sounds really good to us.
Of course, the pass has restrictions. It only works on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. You must buy your tickets less than 21 days in advance, the seats might sell out, and the "free" fares only apply to Indy's 30-odd destinations East of the Mississippi (you can see those at www.flyi.com ools/destinations/default.aspx). Because Independence Air is a hubbed airline, you'll probably also have to connect through Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia no matter where your final destination may be.
The GLiDE pass also gets you a 20% discount on other Independence Air flights, such as flights to the West Coast, but you'd have to fly like a maniac to make the economics there work for you.
If you're interested in the GLiDE pass, buy it as soon as possible: only a limited number are available, according to Independence Air.
Traveling before June 1? GLiDE won't work, but Independence Air still has a deal for students: 20% off all fares if you show a college ID at check-in. To get this discount, you must buy your tickets before May 15 and fly by June 1, and get your fares at www.flyi.com/specials/college/default.aspx). There doesn't appear to be an age restriction on this deal, so mature students should feel free to go for it.
Independence Air's deals right now look a lot better than the other usual student airfare discount, AirTran's X-Fares program. X-Fares lets students between the ages of 18-22 stand-by for any flight at the last minute, for $59 or $79 per segment. But unless you live near Atlanta, Baltimore or Orlando, you'll probably have to connect, which could mean $118 or $158 each way for a two-segment flight. You'll probably find lower fares through conventional means unless you insist upon traveling on the spur of a whim.
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