The Points Guy and others report that United Airlines is providing a 10% discount to young adult travelers between the ages of 18 and 22. To qualify, the flights must be booked on the United Mobile App and cannot include any other travelers on the itinerary. Those traveling with a friend should book separately.
This limited-time discount is only available when you book through December 31, 2019, but the flight can take place later in 2020. United, like most airlines, typically issues tickets up to 330 days in advance.
You also have to watch out for eligible flights. United has mentioned that only flights within the United States, Canada, and Mexico will get the savings, plus undisclosed “other” international flights. My guess is these may be short-haul trips to the Caribbean and elsewhere within North America. Discounts only apply to travel in standard economy and basic economy.
I did not see the offer pop up when I logged into my app, likely because I am 34. United says you must have added your birthdate to your MileagePlus profile. My guess is this enables them to automatically apply the discount to eligible passengers on eligible flights.
Some of you may say, well, what young adult can afford to buy their own ticket anyway? Maybe the skepticism in your voice is the reason for providing the discount. If United can rope in travelers while they’re young, that loyalty can last a lifetime. The fall holiday season is when many young adults book their first flight home so the timing is perfect.
Also, I think that skepticism is misplaced. I was always working in college and paid for most of my travel. I got into travel hacking when I was in grad school and barely making $20K a year. Did I enjoy when my father paid for my flight? Sure, but I didn’t expect it. An offer like United’s is exactly what would have motivated me to travel more often.
Remember: mostly domestic flights, and only in economy. The carrier isn’t offering the world at 10% off, just a gentle nudge to get over the idea that air travel has to be expensive.