Finding a discounted vacation can often be a challenge for seniors. Working with travel agents, searching online and contacting various airlines can be an overwhelming process. To avoid the hassles and stress of booking a vacation, find out what Martin Clinton, Online Marketing Executive of Cheapflights.com, has to say about how to find the best flight deals for seniors.
LoveToKnow (LTK): Can you give us some background on Cheapflights.com?
Martin Clinton (MC): Cheapflights.com finds and publishes travel deals. We're also a useful resource for essential travel tips and destination guides, as well as travel news, top 10s, and how-to guides. Cheapflights, founded in 1996, is the original flight deal comparison site and now helps travelers in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia & New Zealand, Spain, France and Italy save on airfares. Globally, we work directly with hundreds of partners - including online travel agents, consolidators and airlines - to deliver the very best flight deals. We also offer a flight-and-hotel search and, through our hand-picked deals and newsletter, access to a diverse array of packaged vacation deals and travel-related discounts.
Senior Travel Discounts
LTK: What sort of discounts can senior citizens expect to find?
MC: While senior discounts were once quite common for airline travel, finding savings requires much more effort and homework now. But it's still worth trying to secure discounts - they tend be roughly ten percent off of a regular priced fare.
LTK: Are there any restrictions on senior travel discount offers?
MC: The most obvious restriction is that they're for seniors only but the airlines don't all use the same minimum age. Most use 65, others 60, and a few 55 - or even 62. However, even if you meet the age requirements, you may still find that there are limitations around certain flights, destinations or fare classes and that the ticket is non-changeable as well as non-refundable. It is best to check with your airline to understand the specific restrictions before you book a flight.
LTK: What airlines offer discounts to seniors?
MC: While many airlines no longer have senior discounts, several still do. One of the most robust is Southwest's, which has a particularly extensive senior discount program that includes fully refundable senior fares. Other airlines that may offer savings to seniors include American, Continental, Delta and its Delta Shuttle, United, US Airways, and Air France.
LTK: Are there any tips for seniors on how to get the best discounts?
MC: Discounts don't necessarily have to be only for flights. AARP members, for instance, receive discounts on hotels, car rentals, cruises and tours. Those flying into an area and completing their journey via train can make use of senior discounts offered by Amtrak. This could be useful for those flying into an area who need to complete their journey by train - or if their whole journey will be via rail.
People should also follow basic good travel deal practices:
- Sign up for airline and travel newsletters and deal notification alerts.
- Be flexible with your dates. The savings can often be significant if you're willing to depart on a Tuesday morning rather than a Friday evening.
- Be aware of fees. Airlines nowadays are charging fees for everything, so think ahead by packing only a carry-on, dodging change fees and bringing your own snacks on board.
Finding the Best Deals
Senior discounts are just one of the many ways that doing your homework can lead to airfare savings. There are savings and deals out there and we want to help you find them. Our mission is to be the starting point for travel by arming users with the bargains and information needed to get them on their way.