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Learning to Fly: IP Flight FAQs

If you're studying abroad, odds are you're getting on a plane. We've compiled answers to your frequently asked flight questions so you can navigate the skies with ease. Scroll down for bonus tips on flying like a pro!

How will I get to my program?

Students will book travel through Pepperdine's travel partner, Corniche Travel. Students can arrange their flight with help from Corniche based on their own unique travel needs. Students can depart from their preferred location and do not need to depart via LAX. (Please note, certain summer programs will still have required group flights from and back to LAX.)

students sitting on a bench

Why Do I Need to Book Using Corniche Travel?

Pepperdine students are required to utilize Pepperdine's travel partner, Corniche Travel, to book their flights to and from their program. Here are a few benefits of booking with Corniche:

  • Get customized travel advice and suggested itineraries based on your unique situation and departure location
  • Get help comparing prices with different airlines to make sure you are getting the best deal
  • If your flight is delayed or cancelled, or you run into issues during travel, Corniche is there to help. They provide 24-hour concierge service to get you where you need to go.
  • In the event of an emergency or evacuation, Corniche will work to ensure that you can get back home quickly and safely.

How and When Do I Book?

Review our flight policies for detailed information on how the process works. It's a good idea to discuss your flight and travel plans with your family in advance of the flight booking process. When it's time to start thinking about your flight, IP will ask you to complete the Flight Form. On this form, you will provide important information that Corniche Travel will use to book your flight, including:

  • Your full name exactly as it appears on the passport you plan to use to travel to your program
  • Your preferred departure and return airports
  • Any special requests you may have, such as requests for upgrades, different return travel dates, or requests to coordinate your flight with other students, etc.

Be sure to complete the Flight Form by the deadline stated by IP, to make sure your flight is booked on time.

Corniche Travel will review your Flight Form and contact you to share a recommended itinerary based on your unique requests. You must reply to this email within 24 hours to either confirm your flight booking or request changes. Flight bookings can only be held for 24 hours, so if you fail to respond in a timely manner your flight may no longer be available or the cost may go up. Be sure to check the details of your proposed flight itinerary carefully! You are responsible for any costs associated with booking changes after the initial booking.

How much does it cost?

If you are attending a summer program, you are entitled to one FREE roundtrip economy flight from the international airport closest to your permanent residence to your program location and back. Review the summer flight policies for more details on summer flight requirements. Once you confirm your flight with Corniche, they will book your flight and send you a finalized itinerary.

If you are attending an academic year, fall or spring program, you are responsible for paying Corniche Travel directly for the cost of your flight. Please note that it is not possible to use flight miles or credits when booking your IP flight - save these for personal travel! Corniche Travel will send you details on how to securely submit your payment information. When your flight is fully booked, Corniche will email you your finalized itinerary. Flight costs vary based on location but typically range from $800 - $1,500 USD. To keep your flight cost as low as possible, we recommend departing from an international airport rather than a regional airport, and avoiding special requests such as upgrades or flight deviations. Corniche Travel can also help you to identify cost-effective flight options. 

Remember that once your flight is booked, you are responsible for being aware of any airline-initiated changes to your itinerary. 

When Do I Leave? What if I Want to Adjust my Travel Dates?

Tentative travel dates are available on our Calendar page. Information on the specific arrival and departure windows designated by your program will be available on your flight form. Students are required to arrive at their program location on the first day of the program, between the times specified by IP. Late arrivals are not acceptable. 

Students that would like to travel after their program may request an alternative return date when completing their flight form. Students should be aware that adjusting their travel dates may impact the cost of their flights. In addition, students are responsible for understanding their immigration status which may preclude them from extending their stay in the host country or region. Students that wish to adjust their travel dates after their flight is finalized should contact Corniche Travel. Academic year, fall only, and spring only students should be aware that airlines charge between $200 - $500 to adjust travel dates after the initial booking and Corniche Travel may charge you a re-booking fee.

How Do I Get My Boarding Pass? What about Baggage?

Students should use the confirmation number provided in the flight itinerary that will be sent to them to check in for their flight online in advance. Be sure to double check that your departure time or other flight details have not changed when you check in. When checking in online, most airlines allow advance purchase of checked baggage. Students are responsible for any and all baggage costs, including overage fees. We recommend packing light! Check out our blog post on packing for more details on what to bring to your program.

Students are encouraged to carry an emergency envelope that contains the following important documents:

  • Photocopy of the identification page of your passport. In case your passport should be lost or stolen, this will speed up the replacement process considerably.
  • Health history form. It is highly recommended students provide a copy of their health history form to their program director in order to best support students in a medical emergency. For more details on the health history form (3rd page of the health clearance form), head to our blog post on pre-abroad health steps.
  • Certified copy of your birth certificate. In case your passport should be lost or stolen, this will also speed up the replacement process considerably.
  • Extra passport-sized photos. Two photos are required to speed up a replacement, if necessary.
  • Extra visa-sized photos.  For programs requiring a visa, a minimum of one photo is required to secure a visa if necessary. 
  • Medical prescriptions from your doctor and/or optometrist. Ask your doctor to write these out carefully and legibly so that a doctor, optician, or pharmacist abroad can identify it. Include the generic names of any medications.
  • A list of credit card numbers, dates of expiration, and non-800 or 888 numbers to report loss or theft. You will need this information to report lost or stolen cards. The overseas access numbers, which usually appear on the back of the cards, differ from 800 or 888 numbers, which are not accessible from overseas. If you do not have a non-800 or 888 number on your card, call your credit card company and ask for an international access number.
  • Names, phone numbers and addresses of two emergency contacts. The first number is in case something should happen to you; the second is in case of a natural disaster or other emergency in your hometown. Both you and your parents or guardians should be able to contact this person (who should live outside the geographic area of your parents) if there should be an emergency situation where your parents or guardians live.
  • Your IP entry letter (which will be emailed to you prior to departure) and any necessary immigration documents.

You might need these documents when you are going through immigration, so keep them in your carry-on luggage. 

What if My Flight is Delayed or Cancelled?

If you run into any issues on the day of your flight, contact Corniche Travel. Refer to the emergency contact sheet that will be sent to you prior to your departure for additional details and contact information.

What Happens When I Get There?

Students will be provided with detailed instructions to help them get from the airport to their program location. Programs will provide shuttles at various times throughout the arrival day if students arrive within the acceptable arrival window. If you are asked about your purpose of travel when going through immigration, show your IP entry letter.

What If I'm an RA?

RAs are sometimes asked to arrive early for training. We will contact you separately regarding your flight details.

 man on airplane

Tips on Flying from the Pros

Check In in Advance.

Check in to your flight 24 hours early to select your seat and ensure nothing has changed with your itinerary.

Arrive Early for your Departure.

Avoid stress by giving yourself plenty of time at the airport. We strongly recommend that students arrive at the airport four hours prior to their flight for international travel, and three hours prior for domestic travel. If you are booking a connecting flight, be sure that your connecting flight arrives at least four hours prior to your next flight. That way if there's a delay or your other flight is canceled, you'll probably still make your next flight.

Pack Light.

Repacking bags at the check in desk is the WORST. Only pack what you are able to carry yourself. If you have questions about the baggage limitations for your flight, contact your airline. Additional packing tips are provided on your program's page, or check out our blog post on packing. Be sure to label your luggage inside and out. 

***Bonus Tips from our IP Ambassadors***

"Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on baggage. Bring small toiletries (contacts, etc) in case your bag gets lost. Pre-download songs, a movie or a podcast before you go. Neck pillows are cheesy, but helpful on long flights!" - Gracie Orr, Former Lead Ambassador

"Keep your valuables (medication, camera, etc) in your carry on baggage. It's nice to have some local currency ahead of time so that you can use it right when you get off the plane." - Ashley Stephens, Former Florence Ambassador