For seniors, air travel can be a pricey proposition and since most seniors are retired it’s important to keep your retire fund as healthy as possible. You still want to be able to see the world though, what is a retirement if you don’t get to travel? Fortunately, there are a number of great ways that can help seniors find great deals on inexpensive flights. Finding cheap flights for seniors don’t need to be a major burden when you use these 10 methods.
1. Contact Airlines Directly
Many airlines have deals for senior citizens but they can’t always be accessed online. In some cases, you need to contact the airline by phone to secure the senior discount. Some discounts kick in at age 60 and others at 65. One note: Many discount airlines offer the cheapest fares online so it’s best to check out each airline to get the best deal.
2. Be Flexible
Seniors often have the flexibility to choose when they travel. This can be a real advantage when it comes to saving money. If you can travel at off-peak times, such as midweek or early in the morning, you’re far more likely to get a great deal.
3. Know About Fees
Airlines are adding on more and more fees to travellers. While individually these fees may seem small, they can add up fast. Checked bags and preferred seating are two of the biggest fee add-ons. Consider taking just a carry-on if possible, but beware as some airlines are even charging for that privilege today, too. The good news, many senior citizen tickets have fewer restrictions than other fares.
4. Sign Up for Deals
Nearly every airline has frequent-flyer programs and newsletters that give you added benefits. Subscribers and members often get access to deals that are not available to other consumers. You also can get advanced notice of airfare sales or deals. Signing up for the airlines you regularly use may get you a bit more email in your inbox, but it can be so worth it.
5. Use Comparison Sites
Sites like Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, Expedia and Priceline are invaluable because they let you compare schedules and fares from multiple airlines simultaneously. The navigation on these websites is very intuitive and simple to use. What’s more, if you need to book hotels or rental cars, you can often get great package deals.
6. Take a Different Path
Non-stop flights are convenient and save you time, but they’re usually also the most expensive flight options available. You can save considerable amounts of money if you’re willing to break up your flight into several legs. In some cases, you can even schedule overnight stays that let you explore a new locale before continuing on your journey.
7. Join AARP or AAA
Both AARP and AAA offer great discounts on travel for all of their members. Having a membership to one or both of these programs can get you great deals on airline tickets and other travel-related expenses.
8. Fly on a Holiday
Holiday flights are usually sparsely filled on major holidays. If your travel plans allow you to fly on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day or the Fourth of July, you can usually get some great deals and have your pick of seats. It’s a great way to save some cash and still get to where you want to be.
9. Land at a Different Airport
Flying into LAX or Boston’s Logan Airport can add up. But there are lots of nearby airports in those locations and many others that provide you some fare flexibility. In some cases, the alternate airports may actually be closer to your destination.
10. Book One-Way Flights
While it might seem counter-intuitive, sometimes it’s cheaper to book one-way flights instead of round-trip itineraries. This is a great option if your travels take you to different locations and you return from a different airport from where you landed.