FLIGHTS AND TRAVEL

We manage travel so you don’t have to! Learn more about the support AMIGOS provides, what to expect, and how the process works below.

HOW IT WORKS

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Booking

  • AMIGOS books the best possible flight for each volunteer group. We take into account arrival and departure times, layovers, group discounts, and any special accommodations.
  • When booking, we avoid itineraries that include international overnight layovers.
  • Families will receive a bill for the cost of the flight plus a $50 administrative fee. If volunteers are age 14 or younger on the day of travel, families will also pay a $150 unaccompanied minor fee. After this payment is received, families will get their student’s flight itinerary and a memo outlining what to expect at the airport and who to contact if they need any support.
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Travel Day Support

  • AMIGOS staff are on-call in case any volunteers need assistance.
  • While volunteers are traveling to Latin America, AMIGOS staff offer in-person support at gateway airports in Houston and Miami.
  • If a volunteer must stay overnight in a gateway city on their way to Latin America, AMIGOS staff will be on-site to arrange accommodations. In the event of a travel delay or cancellation, AMIGOS will support volunteers with any rebookings.
  • Upon arrival in Latin America, staff teams greet students at the airport. Families will be notified of their volunteer’s safe arrival in-country.
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Travel Hotline

  • Our travel hotline is 1-888-AMIGOS-L (264467-5). Call us if you have any issues! We’re available 24/7 while students are traveling.
  • Travel specialists will assist with any issues like missed flights, lost luggage, travel delays or cancellations, or any other travel-related concern.

SUPPORT ON TRAVEL DAY

A volunteer’s experience with AMIGOS starts before they land in Latin America! We help students and families navigate travel to and from the field with AMIGOS travel specialists and staff on-call and in-person on travel days.

All volunteers fly through or begin their travel in gateway cities like Houston or Miami, where staff are present to support with real-time changes due to delays, weather, or other unforeseen circumstances. We also have a dedicated Travel Hotline that’s answered 24/7 while students are traveling. Any questions or issues? Call 1-888-AMIGOS-L (264467-5)!

Once volunteers arrive in Latin America, staff members meet them at the airport and from there, the adventure truly begins.

ESTIMATED FLIGHT COSTS

AMIGOS manages flight bookings for all volunteers to ensure a safe and streamlined travel experience for each volunteer group. By purchasing flights, we are able to support our volunteers at gateway airports like Houston and Miami, handle any issues that may arise in the event of a delay or cancellation, avoid overnight international layovers, facilitate multi-day layovers as necessary for pre-departure trainings, and be on-call 24/7 when students are traveling.

For volunteers on the two-week Discover AMIGOS Program, Summer Immersion Program via the National Chapter, or Gap Programs beginning Fall 2020, we have included flight cost estimates below. Airfare for local chapter and Spring 2020 Gap Program volunteers is included in the program fee. The flight cost estimates below are based on actual flight costs for the previous year. These averages are calculated nationwide, so departures from many different airports are taken into account. Please note that the estimates below are averages and the actual cost of your volunteer’s flight may vary.

 

ProjectEstimated Round Trip Flight Cost
Discover AMIGOS: Costa Rica$950
Discover AMIGOS: Panama$980
Costa Rica: Palmares$940
Costa Rica: Pérez Zeledón$930
Dominican Republic: Barahona$960
Ecuador: Chimborazo$1,230
Ecuador: Cuenca$1,410
Ecuador: Santa Elena$1,335
Panama: Azuero$1,035
Panama: Coclé$1,250

 

Flight cost estimates above do not include checked baggage fees or unaccompanied minor fees. Checked baggage policies vary. If volunteers plan to check a bag and a fee is required, they must use a credit or debit card at the check-in kiosk. The unaccompanied minor fee is $150 and will be billed to families after airfare is purchased. Unaccompanied minors are those who are age 14 or younger on the day of travel.

Volunteers at the airport in Houston, summer 2018
Volunteers at the airport in Houston, summer 2018

UNACCOMPANIED MINORS

We partner with airlines to support unaccompanied minors in their travel to Latin America.

Airlines charge fees for unaccompanied minors. Families will be charged a $150 fee for volunteers 14 and under who are traveling without a parent or guardian.

When unaccompanied minors land in Houston, AMIGOS staff members meet them at their gate and remain with them at the airport until their next flight departs. For Discover AMIGOS Projects, the entire group travels together on the international flight. An adult accompanies the group on the flight leg to or from Latin America.

Students 14 and under are considered unaccompanied minors when traveling without a parent or guardian. We manage the process so families don’t have to!

THE AMIGOS DIFFERENCE

Unlike other student travel companies, AMIGOS books airfare from your home airport to a gateway city, like Houston or Miami, as well as from the gateway city to your international destination. Staff are on-call in person at gateway cities to ensure all students make their connections to Latin America. This means you don’t have to worry about connecting flights! When possible, we also book volunteers traveling from the same city on the same flight, so you may even get to meet some new Amigos before you even get to Latin America!

AMIGOS travel specialists are on-call 24/7 on travel days and may be reached at 1-888-AMIGOS-L (264467-5). To make your trip as easy as possible, our staff manages any travel changes or issues so you don’t have to.

COMMUNICATION ON TRAVEL DAY

Families will receive an email when their volunteer’s flight lands in Latin America. Within the first 24 hours in-country, project staff will post a group photo on their project-specific Instagram. Families will receive those details in the communications guide before their student departs.

For any questions or concerns, email our Admissions Department at [email protected].

If any issues arise on your day of travel, call our travel hotline at 1-888-AMIGOS-L (264467-5).