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Disappearing Airline Senior Discounts?
Find out which airlines still offer these senior fares.
Date: June 17, 2011
Author: David Smidt, SeniorDiscounts

Do airlines still provide discounts to seniors on their air fares? The short answer is yes, but the senior fares may be difficult to find, may not always be the best available price, and may not be obtainable on all flights. However, it could still be worth the effort to track them down.

The majority of airline tickets are now purchased online, and in the age of the Internet, ticket pricing has become very competitive and ticket prices can change rapidly. This is one of the reasons there are fewer senior discounted airline fares now than there was five or ten years ago. This also means that the senior discount may not always be the best price available. While most airlines now guarantee that the best fare can be found on its web site, only a few provide an online option to search for the senior rate.

There are certain advantages to the senior airfare discounts. Senior airfare discounts usually have minimal restrictions. Many are fully refundable at any time before the flight departure and can be obtained at the last minute unlike other discount packages. The senior fares also tend to be better a deal if booking at the last minute.

Here are some tips for locating the best price:

Start with some of the travel sites that enable you to search many of the airlines at the same time. This will provide a good price base from which to work from. Orbitz.com, Sidestep.com, Travelocity.com, or Cheapflights.com are some great sites to begin with. (These sites do not provide the ability to search for senior fares.) Search the dates and destination you wish to travel and find out what the best prices are and for which airlines. Be sure to check the time of the flights as well as the airport the flight originates and departs from. Long layovers, early or late flights and smaller airports may be the reason for the less expensive tickets.

Once you have established the airlines with the best rates and the times that work for you, compare the prices against those published on the airline's web site. Some of the airlines, like Southwest, will let you search for the senior fare on their website. Once you have done your research and established the lowest fare, call the airline and ask about its senior discount and its price if you can not locate it on the website. This will ensure you are receiving the best deal.

Typically the senior discount will be the best rate when traveling at the last minute or during a busy time of the year. Some airlines may also have blackout dates for their senior fares, so check the web site or ask an agent for all of the restrictions.

Here other tips for finding the least expensive price.

  • Most airlines will post their lowest fares Tuesday through Thursday.
  • Many airlines and other travel web sites have the ability to e-mail you when the price you would like for a particular trip becomes available.
  • Try web sites like Priceline.com. If the day and time you leave and return are flexible, you can place a price bid for that trip.

Here is a list of the US Carriers that according to their websites provide senior fares.

American Airlines/American Eagle (800-433-7300)
American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection offer Senior Fares in some domestic markets for seniors 65 years or older. For further information, please call American Airlines Reservations number. Visit the American Airlines web site for travel restrictions.
Age Requirement: 65+
www.aa.com

Continental Airlines (800-523-3273)
Continental offers Senior fares to selected travel destinations for passengers who are 65 and older. Ask for more details on these great fares when you make your reservation, or when you make your booking on continental.com, select the Seniors (age 65 and older) category. Visit the Continental Airlines web site for a complete list of fare restrictions.
Age Requirement: 65+
www.continental.com

Delta Shuttle (800-221-1212)
Delta Shuttle offers senior fares on some of its routes. Amount of discount varies and can not be found on its web site. To book senior fares with Delta Shuttle, you must call their toll free number 800-221-1212 and advise the agent that your are requesting rates with the senior fare. Fares are subject to availability and may change. Only coach seats are available for the senior fare and a valid ID such as a birth certificate or driver's license must be presented at time of purchase and/or check-in.
Age Requirement: 62+
www.delta.com

Southwest Airlines (800-435-9792)
Travelers 65 years of age or over may get details on senior fares, its limitations, and any restrictions on southwest.com, from a Southwest Airlines Reservations Sales Agent or a travel agent. Fares are subject to change until tickets are purchased, but Senior Fare tickets are fully refundable. Age verification required at check-in. Fares apply only to those in the traveling party who are age 65 or over. Limited seats available for senior rate.
Age Requirement: 65+
www.southwest.com

United Airlines (800-864-8331)
United Airlines may have age-qualified fares on select flights. Select senior from the dropdown menu in the Passenger section on its web site. When the site returns your fare quote, the results for your search will indicate the type of discount you are receiving, if one is available. Proof of age qualification for the discount is required at check-in.
Age Requirement: 65+
www.united.com

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