Senior discounts airline tickets
Many airlines offer senior discount booklets that are sold as four one-way tickets; others offer a fixed percentage off the fare (usually 10 percent). However, many of the airlines’ regular discount fares are cheaper than senior fares. Due to the competitive nature of the aviation industry, many airlines are apparently selling many tickets below cost. You may find that senior fares are not cheaper than the already low fares out there.
There’s one thing to remember, though: While senior fares may sometimes cost more than the airline’s web-based specials, the cost is rarely more than a few dollars and there are advantages. Senior fares may not be as restrictive as other fares, can be used for last-minute travel and are refundable if you have to cancel your flight. If you are flexible about when you fly or you have missed out on the internet special fares, senior fares may be your best option.
A sample of what’s available
Chances are you will be flying with one of the following airlines, the biggest carriers in the U.S. Here’s what they offer:
- Delta Shuttle offers senior fares for travelers age 62 and above. Delta Shuttle operates 16 daily flights between New York and Boston, and 15 daily flights between New York and Washington, D.C., Monday through Friday (and reduced weekend schedules). Call reservations at 800-221-1212 and tell the agent that you are interested in the senior fares or check with an agent at any Delta ticket office.
- American Airlines, American Eagle and American Connection may offer senior fares in some domestic markets for seniors age 65 or older. For further information, call American Airlines Reservations at 1-800-433-7300.
- Southwest Airlines: travelers 65 years of age or over may get details on fares, limitations, and any restrictions via reservations on the Web site, from a reservations sales agent or a travel agent. Call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792). Fares are subject to change until tickets are purchased, but senior fare tickets are fully refundable.
- Travelers age 55 and older can enjoy savings on travel with United Airlines and many other travel partners – as much as 50 per cent off at luxury hotels and resorts – by joining Silver Wings Plus. Fly on United from $152 round-trip (excludes applicable taxes).
- Northwest offers senior discount fares in select markets. Identify yourself as a senior when proceeding through the booking process on www.nwa.com.
- US Airways does not offer any senior fares, but the airline has a variety of other discount fares in most markets.
- Continental offers senior fares to select travel destinations for passengers who are 65 and older. Ask for more details on these fares when you make your reservation, or when you make your booking , select the seniors (age 65 and older) category. Call 1-800-523-FARE (1-800-523-3273) for travel within the US and 1-800-231-0856 for international reservations.
Also be aware of other senior savings offered by non-profit organizations such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). If you’re 50 or older, you may be entitled to special airline, cruise, and hotel discounts offered to members.
As always, follow Travelatime‘ advice and shop around for the best deal.