Mission Trip Airfare FAQs – Book Now

Have you ever wondered the benefits and differences of mission trip airfare?

Know why and when to choose missionary or humanitarian airfare over private or published airfare deals?

Shouldn’t missionary airfare be much cheaper than other types available?

At Mission Travel, we aim to answer these questions and more as we dive into the unique subject of humanitarian and missionary airfare.

Mission Trip Airfare makes you happy


First off, there are many misconceptions with mission trip airfare.  Often times called missionary or humanitarian airfare (by the airlines), many would assume an actual dollar or percentage discount from the airline’s published fares.  Oftentimes, that is the case – but the savings could vary wildly and there are many other factors to consider.

Let’s understand a normal published airfare or private airfare deal you can purchase through us, an online travel agency or the airline directly.  Those airfares are generally going to be in the lowest possible fare class to attract the most budget-conscious shoppers.  Nothing wrong with that.  But you need to know all the terms and conditions.  In general, many of those fare are completely non-refundable, non-transferable to someone else and carry high change fees.  They also would be subject to standard baggage terms of the airline as well as seating – and we all know those have gotten tighter in recent years.  Expect to pre-pay if you want to get an assigned seat and likely also pay for your checked bags.

Now consider missionary or humanitarian airfare deals.  Again, maybe it’s 5% less than the online fare you originally saw or perhaps it’s nearly identical cost.  But now let’s factor in some of the advantages.

First, most missionary airfare contracts allow for cancellation at a lower fee than the airline would charge.  Second, the change fee is normally discounted- think $100-250 instead of $350+ on other fares.  And other major benefits include additional bags to go for free plus sometimes pre-assigned seating complimentary.


Let’s run a common example our travel advisors address weekly when booking clients.  There’s a client who wants to fly from LAX to Sierra Leone in Africa to do mission trip work with widows and orphans.  United/Brussels Airlines offers a private fare of $1500 (which they offer on their site for $1700).  But this fare is non-refundable, non-transferable and carries a hefty $350 change fee plus only 1 checked bag.  Now we also have a missionary and humanitarian fare contract with them. We can offer this same fare for $1400 – a nice savings of $300 compared to what you’d pay booking directly with the airline.  Plus, you have the ability to cancel, only pay $250 change fee and get 3 checked pieces of luggage for free.

Now here’s another situation we face – the airline may run a quick sale fare but the missionary fare is higher in cost.  What do you do?  What do you value?  Consider an example trip from Seattle to Uganda.  We can offer a published fare for  $1300.  But the missionary airfare is for this mission trip costs $1390.  Seems like you’d just book the cheapest ticket, right?  Well, take into account the $1300 fare only includes one checked bag but you wanted to bring extra supplies and donations.  That would be an additional $250.  The missions fare includes 3 bags for free!

SAVINGS OF $7500?!  

These examples of mission trip airfare comparisons are common.  You really need to take into account all possible costs and changes when choosing airfare.  We’re here to help.  We recently saved a large group over $3000 in airfare costs plus they saved another $4500 in baggage fees.  They were almost going to book the sale fare they saw with the airline but reached out to one of our staff who booked them a cheaper missionary fare which came with 3 bags each – for a total savings of $7500 for the team!

Now that type of savings may not be normal but it proves the point on the value of a good missions travel advisor.  We’re here to help you navigate all types of airfare and can book private, published or missions airfare.  Work with a trusted Christian missions travel agency who looks at all possible travel options to choose the best for your team.

If you have a possible trip you’d like help on please visit us for a FREE quote now.  Not all destinations or airlines offer missionary or humanitarian fares so it’s wise to check with professionals for all available options.