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The average domestic airfare is $349.17, according to the latest federal data. That’s before baggage fees or in-flight entertainment.
To cut costs, you pack lighter, use frequent-flyer miles and select the most inconvenient travel times. But if you’re 50 or older, there’s one more way to save: Ask for a senior discount.
Whether you’re retired or simply enjoying an empty nest, these are prime traveling years. Take advantage of your newfound free time with discounted airfare — not to mention discounted hotel room rates.
The following airlines offer senior discounts when you book online, over the phone or both.
1. American Airlines
American Airlines offers discounted tickets on select international flights for passengers over the age of 65, a company spokesperson tells Money Talks News.
To view such fares, the airline advises using the advanced search feature on its website.
Visit the AA.com home page and click on the words “Advanced search” — which is below the blue “Search” button.
On the next page, fill in your flight preferences and then look for the drop-down menus in the “Passengers” section. From there, select the “Senior (65+)” passenger age option to indicate that you are eligible for any senior discounts that may be available for your itinerary.
2. British Airways
Turning 50 years old comes with a few perks, including eligibility to join AARP. Currently, AARP members can save up to $200 on trans-Atlantic flights with British Airways.
This discount applies to round-trip flights from select U.S. gateways to the United Kingdom and beyond that are booked by Jan. 31.
According to British Airways’ terms and conditions for this offer, “All discounted fares will be highlighted with a red ‘Discount.'”
The discount is available to both AARP members and those traveling with an AARP member, according to the terms. However, flights must be booked through the AARP website to be eligible for the discount, and only an AARP member who is a registered user of AARP.org can do that.
To proceed, click the blue “Book Now” button on AARP’s webpage for this offer.
3. Delta Air Lines
Delta may offer discounts for select itineraries to seniors, according to the airline’s website. However, they are not available on Delta.com.
To find out if you’re eligible for a senior discount for your next trip, contact the airline directly.
The phone number for the general sales and service department is 800-221-1212, which you can call 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
4. Southwest Airlines
Southwest’s senior fares can make this already low-cost carrier an even better option for travelers age 65 or older.
You can save on domestic and international flights when you make a reservation online, by contacting a Southwest Airlines Customer Representative or by going through a travel agent, according to the airline’s website.
When booking at Southwest.com, indicate the number of seniors traveling in the “Seniors” box.
Just note that for international flights, seniors who want to take advantage of the discount must book their seats separately from anyone under age 65 who is traveling with them, according to Southwest’s website.
5. United Airlines
This airline offers senior fares for select destinations to customers age 65 and older, according to United’s website.
Ask for more details about these rates when making a reservation. Or, if you book through United.com, select the number of “Seniors (65+)” under the “Travelers” drop-down menu to indicate how many people are eligible for any senior discounts that might be available for your itinerary.
Have you ever taken advantage of an airline’s discount for seniors? Share your experience below or on our Facebook page.