Q: Do Airlines Offer Special Discounts To Seniors? Print

A: The simple answer is: Sometimes, when you do your homework before booking. If at all possible, never agree to a listed price until you’ve done thorough research with online travel sites, airline ads and your favorite hometown travel agency.

Just recently, an online agency, bookingbuddy.com, ran an ad with the headline: 80% Off Senior Flights? Note question mark. Not quite the truth. Lower down on the site, there’s a long explanation about how to get such offers. Of course, ads by airlines, hotels and just about every other type of travel business are about as honest as 19th Century snake oil hawkers, who sold fake miracle drugs from the back of their wagons. An example today is the price of $99.99. Why they won’t just list it as $100 is because the penny less will make the price seem like a bargain to the clueless buyer.

Thorough homework is the only way for a senior traveler to try for the best price. You may succeed in getting that $99.99 bargain, especially with airlines. However, expect to pay another $10, or $9.99, for local taxes, airport fees, fuel charges and other sneaky add-ons.

As for seniors seeking a wild deal of 80% off, don’t count on it. Finally, before you agree to a price, whether air, hotel or other travel cost, never fail to ask, “Does that include my senior discount?” And then, the next question: “OK on the price. Now, how much is the total out-of-pocket I have to pay?”