Each and every day, approximately 2.6 million passengers board flights in the US. On average, airline customers spend around $340 for a round-trip domestic ticket, though some routes commonly exceed the average.
Even if you do spend the average amount, for a family of four, that means paying about $1,360. And, considering that extra costs like baggage fees can increase that total, finding discounts can be crucial if you are dealing with a tight budget.
However, many would-be passengers don’t take advantage of every discount that may be available to them, largely because they aren’t aware that they are available. Airlines don’t always advertise their discounts in obvious ways, so it’s important to know which ones you could be entitled to before you book your flight.
Government Employee and Military Discounts
Many airlines offer lower fares to government employees and military members, but you may have to contact the carrier to see if you and your flight qualify, as well as to find out the cost difference.
For example, American Airlines provides discounts to government and military personnel, but only in specific markets, which they don’t identify on their site. Additionally, they don’t outline how much of a price reduction you can receive, so you have to contact reservations to find out.
Delta Airlines has a similar benefit but also does not provide clear details about the entitlement online.
However, JetBlue is a little more open. Military fares for leisure travel are 5 percent cheaper than regular base fares.
Other airlines offer the benefit as well, so don’t hesitate to contact your preferred carrier directly if you are a government employee or member of the military. Just keep in mind that some airlines only provide discounts for official government travel, while others extend the benefit to leisure travel as well.
Large Party Discounts
In some cases, traveling in a large group makes you eligible for a discount, depending on the size of your party.
Alaska Airlines has two discount programs for groups, each with its own requirements. If you are traveling together on the same flight with 10 or more people in your party, you get a discount. If you are on separate flights, then you need a group of at least 20.
American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United have similar programs, mostly with a party minimum of 10 people. Plus, most of these programs provide at least one free name change per ticket, allowing you to choose a new party member if someone else can’t make it.
Senior Airline Discounts
AARP members tend to be eligible for a range of discounts, and flights are no exception. If you have AARP, British Airways offers one of the best discounts, allowing you to save up to $200 on a flight.
Senior fares are also available through numerous carriers, with the age requirement typically being 65 or older. American, Delta, Southwest, and United have lower fares available for seniors. However, they may only be available on certain routes, and you might have to call the carrier to secure the discount.
College Student Discounts
Students at colleges and universities may be eligible for cheaper fares through American Airlines. This is thanks to a partnership with StudentUniverse. This can make traveling home during the summer or heading to a spring break destination more affordable. Which is something that is incredibly beneficial for students with tight budgets. Plus, students may have access to hotel and tour discounts too, making a vacation easier on their wallets.
Lufthansa’s Generation Fly program provides a similar benefit to American students. They offer some of their lowest fares to students and an exceptional amount of flexibility. This flexibility includes date changes and the ability to schedule up to 12 months abroad as a round-trip.
If you are scheduling an immediate flight. This is typically with only 24 to 48 hours’ notice, after the death of a loved one, you may be eligible for special bereavement fares.
These are meant to help travelers reach their destinations quickly should an immediate family member die, allowing them to attend funerals and similar events. In some cases, discounts are available. Additionally, the tickets may provide more flexibility, making it easier to change your return date should your plans change unexpectedly.
Conditions and requirement vary from one carrier to the next. Alaska offers a 10 percent discount based on the lowest available fare within seven days of travel to those who qualify. However, you have to be a member of their Mileage Plan. The plan is free to join and you have to call them directly.
Delta has a similar program, and being a SkyMiles Member is a requirement.
Ultimately, all of these discounts are frequently available. If you have a preferred carrier, contact them directly and inquire about their programs. You may also be able to find details on their websites.
Do you know of an amazing airline discount? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Looking for more ways to save on air travel? Check out these articles:
- How to Save on Airline Tickets
- Reasons Not to Buy the Cheapest Airline Ticket
- How to Travel Free of Charge: 3 Money Saving Vacation Tips
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