I got my first AARP membership when I was 30. Next to AAA and Costco, it’s one of the easiest ways for just about anyone to get discounted travel. I say this because so many people seem to think that AARP is for old people and ignore this benefit. While the organization may advocate for age-related matters, membership is not restricted to any group.
The two discounts that are most valuable to me are cheaper, refundable rates at Hilton and up to $400 off round-trip tickets booked on British Airways.
According to One Mile at a Time, the discounts for travelers in economy and premium economy cabins have increased effective immediately. Discounts for business and first class passengers remain unchanged. You must click through from the offer page in order to get these savings.
- Economy Class (World Traveler): increasing from $65 to $100
- Premium Economy (World Traveler Plus): increasing from $130 to $200
- Business Class (Club World): $400
- First Class: $400
It’s important to note that only round-trip flights are eligible. One-way and open jaw itineraries are excluded. However, you do not need to fly on British Airways flights for the entire journey. From the Terms & Conditions:
American Airlines and American Eagle flights with a BA flight number that connect to BA operated, AA operated with BA flight numbers and IB operated with BA flight numbers transatlantic flights are permitted.
Note that the AARP website still has the old discounts up while the BA website has the new discounts. Even the graphic on the BA website still shows the old discounts even as the text below has been updated. Although the discount is scheduled to expire at the end of this month, it’s been extended several times before and the new, higher discounts certainly suggest it will be extended again. AARP and BA have failed to coordinate their timing before, so I would not worry about it.
The premium economy and business class discounts are particularly valuable, especially when paired with one of the frequent business class sales that the airline tends to offer. A $1,500 round-trip flight from the West Coast can quickly become $1,100 or even less. Or, buy premium economy and upgrading using Avios.
If you fly on Alaska Airlines or American Airlines, you may have found that British Airways is the most frequent option to redeem miles to Europe — but you’ll also have to pay high surcharges. I would prefer to use the AARP discount to just pay for my flight. The final cost is usually not much higher, I get to choose my schedule, and I earn more miles and credit toward elite status.