When you book your airfare through Road Scholar, we are available to assist when an emergency arises.
We can take care of your flights on nearly all of our international programs and select programs in the United States, making your experience hassle free. We’ve negotiated special rates with most major airlines.
Not all airlines allow preassigned seats. However, we’ll do our best to confirm seats according to the seating preference you indicated on your Personal Information Form.
Policies and time frames for assigning seats vary by carrier and the airlines reserve the right to change any seat assignments up to and including your day of travel. Depending on the carrier, preassigned seating may be available at an additional cost.
Accruing air miles in a frequent-flyer plan depends on the itinerary and your type of ticket. We can always apply your mileage numbers, but whether your reservation qualifies for accrual is up to the airline.
We have negotiated airfare from select airports throughout the United States. Select gateway air if:
Select custom air if:
Once you have selected the ‘Custom Flight Arrangements’ option, please select your preferred airport from the comprehensive list of airports in the U.S. If you choose the Custom Flight Arrangements option, we will not include the cost of your airfare in your initial purchase price. Instead, when it’s time to begin booking your airfare, we will confirm a preliminary flight schedule based on your preferences. Once this is done, the cost of your airfare will be added to your order and you will receive an email alerting you to review your flights through your Road Scholar account for approval.
Once we have confirmed your flights you will receive an email directing you to view your itinerary in your Road Scholar account. We can generally begin booking air approximately four months before departure for international programs and three months before departure for programs in the United States and Canada.
When it’s time to begin booking your airfare we will contact you by email. We can generally begin booking air approximately three months before departure, and will book your flights based on your program schedule, best routing, and personal flight preferences. Remember: Flight preferences, like cabin upgrades, for participants who booked custom air should be listed in the Participant Information Form within your Road Scholar Account. Once your flight is confirmed, the air costs will be added to your program. We will monitor your reservation and notify you if there are any airline schedule changes.
To make any changes, just give our Travel Team a call at 1-800-241-1404. We try to keep fees to a minimum, but there are certain reservations where an airline fee may be charged for itinerary changes. Change penalties, baggage fees, and preferred seat charges are all dictated by the airlines. We’ll be able to help you navigate these, so you know what fees you may be facing. Please note that there may be additional costs incurred beyond fees when you change your flights.
Once we notify you that your air itinerary is ready for review, you can find all the information in the “Upcoming Trips” section of your Road Scholar online account. Just select the relevant program that you’re enrolled in under “Upcoming Trips” and click on “Itinerary” to view your air itinerary.
For some Road Scholar programs, we offer free or discounted airfare as a special promotion. For these programs, the airfare is typically economy class and free from select cities for travel on the specific program start and end dates. You may travel from a different city in an upgraded class of service and/or outside the program start and end dates at an added cost. (Exceptions will apply to some programs) If you’re interested in altering your air beyond the standard free air we offer on some programs, you should select the “Custom Flight Arrangements” in checkout on our website, or ask over the phone, and our Travel Department will work to customize your arrangements.
If you plan on arranging your own flights, just select the ‘No airfare’ option when you enroll in your trip.
We priced free air programs with all components included; hotels, meals, all museum/event and airline flights, etc. This allows us to secure reduced rates which are passed on to you. Our free air programs are always sold as a package, so there is no reimbursement for unused components, such as air.
Many factors influence the itineraries we book. Working within the airline availability and the terms of our negotiated pricing, we endeavor to provide the most direct, cost effective flights available that work within your program parameters.
Yes, an incomplete name or inaccurate spelling will cause significate issues and could prevent your flights from being booked when the time comes. It is important that the name in your online account matches your legal identification, without exception. You can confirm your passport name by logging into your Road Scholar account. Once you are logged in, click on “Personal Information” and select the “Identification” tab. From here, you can review the legal identification information for each person on your household. Verify that the passport name listed is accurate. If you have difficulty, please contact the general Road Scholar phone line at (877) 426-8056 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For our programs in the U.S., you’ll need to make your own travel arrangements. However, for international programs, we highly recommend you purchase your airfare through us. If you prefer, in most cases, you can make your own airfare arrangements. If you do, you’ll be responsible for getting yourself from the airport to the starting location of your program and returning to the airport at the end. Additionally, if we need to alter your program in a way that affects flights schedules, you will be responsible for changing your flight plans and paying any change fees. For the greatest protection, we recommend waiting until 90 days prior to your International program to purchase airfare.
Before your program begins, we will send you detailed information that includes instructions on how to get to the starting location of your program. You can also find lots of transportation details in the “Travel Information” section on every trip on our website.
We will send you final itinerary approximately three to four weeks prior to your departure.
If traveling abroad, make sure your passport is valid at least six months from your return date. For passport information for United States citizens, visit www.state.gov/.
We strongly recommend you check in through your airline’s website prior to travel. Many airlines offer e-boarding using a smart phone. At the airport, check in should be done two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.
Many airlines now provide special seating with additional legroom, for a fee, either during booking or at check-in. If a medical condition makes additional legroom necessary, it is helpful to have a medical note to present at check-in, which may allow the gate agent to assign you bulkhead seating or expedited boarding.
Road Scholar Travel has specially negotiated business and premium-class fares in many cases. Using Road Scholar for your air travel will insure that your upgraded seat is booked in advance and secured. However, many airlines now provide upgraded seating to higher-class cabins within 24 hours of travel and/or at check-in, for a fee. The fee varies widely by carrier, but may be an affordable option for seating in premium or business class especially on an international flight. While not guaranteed that any space would be available, it is something to consider and can be done generally within 24 hours by visiting an airline's website or when checking in at the airport
At the time you are making your airline reservations, you can make an advance reservation for wheelchair assistance at the airport. Our Road Scholar Travel Advisor can make this request on your behalf with the airline when you are booking your Coordinator. You may also call the airline directly 72 hours prior to your travel date and make this request directly yourself.
For travelers who need extra assistance, airlines may allow one caretaker through security and to the gate as long as the escort provides their full name, birth date and government-issued ID. It helps to request this at least a day ahead with the airline.
Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at (855) 787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares is an additional resource dedicated specifically to passengers with disabilities or medical conditions. It is also an excellent resource for travelers and their families who have concerns about the airport screening process.
The Transportation Security Administration web page for passengers with disabilities and medical conditions addresses materials allowed aboard the aircraft and advises you of your rights and what to expect for security procedures: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures
With TSA Pre-Check you can avoid security lines at airport by pre-registering with the Transportation Security Administration. Learn more at https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.
Global Entry is a very similar program to TSA Pre-Check and allows passengers to be “pre-screened” for travel, expediting the airport security process. You can learn more about Global Entry at: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to a foreign county enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This is a free service provided by the U.S. Government. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. Enrollment is voluntary and costs nothing. Enroll here.
All travelers can contact the Transportation Security Administration using Talk To TSA, a web-based tool that allows passengers to reach out to an airport Customer Service Manager directly, and the TSA Contact Center, (866) 289-9673 and SA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov, where travelers can ask questions, provide suggestions and file complaints. TSA requires you to contact them at least 72 hours prior to travel.
If you are 75 or older you may qualify for a simpler security process at the airport including:
• Leaving your shoes on.
• Leaving on your light outerwear such as a sweater.
• If the metal detector is triggered, you will be allowed to pass through the detector a second time before undergoing a pat down.
You can learn more here:
When packing your carry-on baggage, keep in mind this will be all you have for a day or two, if your luggage is lost. Therefore, you should take essential and valuable items. We recommend packing the following items in your carry-on luggage: