As the holiday season approaches, many college students, families, and companies are planning their annual trips across the country and abroad. Since the economy has been, for the lack of a better word, falling and crashing, the price of airline tickets has gone up dramatically, and the longer you wait to purchase tickets, the higher the tickets get. I'm not saying the economy is on a rock-bottom field, but the country is struggling. Though I would love to go into depth about this topic, I'm not going to because it'll make your journey home or vacation rougher than it needs to be. How do we fix this problem?
Organization, strategy, and budgets are very important. You may not think this is the solution to the problem, but in reality it does help a tremendous amount. In my various trips through the years, I have found that airlines love the hike of prices around Thanksgiving and the beginning of December, especially because they know some colleges don't post the schedules for finals until that time, making finances a little more difficult for students to overcome. My suggestion? Talk to your professors as soon as possible. Many of my professors have their own dates set for finals, which tend to be different than what the university advertises. Be safe and speak up around October/November to get the best answer and the best estimate of time.
Now, what airline is the most efficient for college students? Personally, I feel that Southwest Airlines is my airline of choice for domestic travels, especially when visiting my parents. Not only are the tickets reasonably priced (typically), but you get two (2) checked bags for FREE! They don't fly everywhere, but check your local airport and your destination just in case. As far as international travel, I suggest Delta Airlines (even though I'm not a huge fan, my international flights have gone very well with Delta), Jet Blue, and sometimes United Airways or American Airlines. Granted they're not as good as one would like them to be, they work with you and are usually the only companies that fly to almost every airport in the country. Either way, make the best decision you can, and always call for assistance (some give student or government rates depending on the situation). Be smart!
I hope this helped with your travel questions and worries. Flying isn't always the easiest or cheapest, but it is the most efficient. Research, question, book, and save.