SPI Flight Booking Overview
Booking Your Flight
Welcome to SPI’s flight booking information page!
Every SPI traveler is required to book and manage their own flights within our specific arrival and departure guidelines below. Peak fares range between $600-1,200 for Latin America and $1,600-2,200 for Europe & Asia. You have the choice to book directly with the airline or through a travel agency of your choice. You are free to use miles or points to book your ticket.
Travel to the International Arrival City
Our on-site director teams arrives abroad several days ahead of students. Although 90% of our student body travel abroad independently or in small groups, we encourage parents to accompany novice travelers or students under age 16 to the international gateway airport (ie. New York, Atlanta, Dallas, etc.) Some parents may elect to travel with their child all the way to the program arrival city (ie. Madrid, Queretaro).
STUDENTS UNDER 16 – We recommend using an airline that does NOT require unaccompanied minor service. We also recommend parents travel with their student to the gateway or program arrival city. Please refer to the individual airlines for their current policies.
Airport Arrival Reception Abroad
All students traveling on our regular SPI summer programs will be met at the international arrival airport outside of customs by SPI staff holding an SPI sign (provided your flights are within our booking guidelines). SPI normally has staff at major hubs (i.e., Newark) to assist with connecting flights for our outbound summer programs although this is not guaranteed.
Families Wishing to Meet Their Child Abroad
Due to disruption from the immersion experience, SPI does not encourage parents to visit their child during the program. If you would like to meet your child AFTER the program has ended, please review our flight guidelines and deviations below for specific information on planning your “meet up.”
FLIGHT BOOKING GUIDELINES
Choose Best Flights & Airline
Book with 2-3 hours of Connection Time (Outbound Flight)
It is worth having more time at the airport to avoid missing your international flight!
Submit Your Flight Itinerary IMMEDIATELY to SPI Online or by email
Arrival & Departure Abroad Windows
Program start date is the departure day from the U.S. Spain, France, Italy & China – Students will arrive abroad the FOLLOWING DAY. Mexico & Costa Rica – Students will arrive abroad the SAME DAY. If you arrive from outside North America, please book accordingly.
|Program||Airport||Outbound Arrival||Return Departure|
|Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD)||7:30 -10:30 AM||9:30 AM – 1:30 PM|
|Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)||6:30 – 9:30 AM||9:30 AM – 1:30 PM|
|Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)
Extension Return Departure: Florence Airport (FLR) anytime after 9 AM
|6:30 – 9:30 AM||9:30 AM – 12 PM|
|Liberia Intl Airport (LIR)||11:30 AM – 6:30 PM||12:00 – 3:30 PM|
|Queretaro Intl Airport (QRO)||11:30 AM – 1:30 PM||12:00 – 4 PM|
|Guangzhou Intl Airport (CAN)
Extension Return Departure: Guilin Airport (KWL) anytime after 9 AM
|12:30 – 7:00 PM||11 AM – 3 PM|
Late Arrival, Early Release
Deviations That Require Special Handling
All students traveling outside of SPI’s Arrival & Departure Window (see above) are required to provide complete deviation details and sign the release form. Failure to do so by May 1, will incur an additional “late planning fee” of $150 charged by SPI on top of any additional deviation fees.
SPI provides an optional escorting service for students who require a staff member to physically accompany them to/from a specific point outside the booking guidelines. The $150 fee covers SPI’s staff time needed to coordinate the service. It does not include any transportation costs that are incurred by the on-site director such as a taxi to/from the airport.
> SPI staff cannot escort students outside of the program area.
> Specific hotel information is provided to all families that submit a deviation form.
> NO ESCORT FEE: Arriving outside of the Arrival Window and independently traveling to the first day hotel/SPI designated meeting point to meet group. You must be in hotel lobby/at meeting point waiting for group by:
SPAIN: 12:00 PM on arrival day
FRANCE: 10:30 AM at hotel on arrival day
ITALY: 10:30 AM on arrival day
COSTA RICA: 9:00 PM on arrival day
MEXICO: 9:00 PM on arrival day
NOT PERMITTED – ARRIVAL:
> Arrivaling on DAY 2 of the program to the gateway city (i.e., Madrid, Rome). Students arriving 1+ days late must fly directly to the homestay city, unless approved in advance.
> NO ESCORT FEE: Departing before the group and independently traveling to the airport by taxi, car, with parents, etc.
> NO ESCORT FEE: Parents picking-up students or students having been authorized to independently depart the program. (See Designated Program Release Points & Times for guidelines).
NOT PERMITTED – DEPARTURE:
> Flights departing earlier than the group’s scheduled departure (Siena-Rome, Costa Rica only). All Rome/Costa Rica flights must depart within the booking guidelines.
All students are released from the SPI program at the airport check-in counter in the gateway city (i.e. Madrid, Paris, etc.) on the program end date. Below are alternative program release points and times if students will not be departing as scheduled in program itinerary.
Stay Longer in Homestay City: Students meet parents at their hotel or an agreed upon place and time. Officially released from SPI on Saturday morning at 9 AM.
Stay in Rome, Paris, Madrid-Depart Night Before: Meet student at hotel the night before group flight departs at 9 PM for pick up. Officially released from SPI at scheduled pick up time.
Stay in Rome, Paris, Madrid-Meet Parents at Airport: Meet student at airport check-in counter of the group’s designated airline between 9-10 AM. Officially released from SPI on program end date when group is dropped off at airline counter.