How and Where Senior Travellers Can Save
While senior airfare discounts are not as common as they used to be, many airlines still offer seniors travel deals. We’ve compiled a list of Canadian airlines that currently offer a fixed percentage off their published ticket price, as well as non-Canadian airlines with savings opportunities to consider. Note: Some of Canada’s major airlines – Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and WestJet – do not offer any senior airfares.
Here’s what airlines currently offer elderly passengers as incentives to fly:
- American Airlines: Senior citizen fares are offered in some American, American Eagle and American Connection markets for seniors ages 65 or older. Travellers should call American Airlines at 1-800-433-7300.
- Air France: Senior fares are reserved for passengers 60 years of age or older within metropolitan France. Proof of age must be shown and the tickets are changeable at no charge and, under certain circumstances, refundable. For reservations, call 1-800-667-2747.
- Air Inuit: The Quebec-based airline offers 50 per cent off for seniors 60 and older. Travellers should call 1-800-361-2965 to make reservations.
- Air North: Seniors 60 and older who fly Air North, an airline based in Yukon, can receive 10 per cent off by calling 1-800-661-0407.
- Delta Air Lines: While offering senior discounts, they aren’t available online, so travellers should call 1-800-241-4141 to make reservations.
- First Air: Senior fares are offered for passengers 65 and older at 10 per cent off the adult price. Ask when making reservations or, when booking online, select the seniors (age 65 and older) category. Call 1-800-231-0856 for more information.
- United Airlines: United offers senior citizen discounts in certain markets. Contact United’s reservations department at 1-800-864-8331 to find out if a senior discount is applicable for a particular flight.
Also, it’s a great idea to become a member of CARP (Canadian Association of Retired People). The organization offers an excellent variety of member discounts on car rentals, vacation packages, restaurants and other deals. Remember that, sometimes, airlines’ discounted rates may actually be cheaper than their listed senior fares. If you’re not able to find a senior discount, there are still ways to find low-cost airfares:
- Sign up for airline and travel newsletters and deal notification alerts.
- Be flexible with your dates. The savings can often be significant if you’re willing to depart on a Tuesday morning rather than a Friday evening, for example.
- Be aware of fees. Airlines nowadays are charging fees for everything, so think ahead by packing only a carry-on, dodging change fees and bringing your own snacks on-board.
One last thing to remember: While senior fares may sometimes cost more than the airline’s online-only specials, the cost is rarely more than a few dollars and there are advantages. Senior fares may not be as restrictive as other fares, can be used for last-minute travel deals. Plus, travellers can get a refund in the case that a flight is cancelled. If you’ve missed out on discount deals, senior fares well may be your best bet for significant savings.
Featured Image: Gary Knight