Disappearing Airline Senior Discounts?
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.
Here is a list of the US Carriers that according to their websites provide senior fares.
American Airlines/American Eagle (800-433-7300)
Continental Airlines (800-523-3273)
Delta Shuttle (800-221-1212)
Southwest Airlines (800-435-9792)
United Airlines (800-864-8331)