It isn’t shocking to hear that American Airlines, as well as many other prominent flight companies, offer military discounts and waivers. However, not all of these savings are readily available.
In fact, you may discover that you could have saved more on your last ticket.
Regardless, here are some helpful ways to save with American Airlines military discounts. Be sure to check out our local deals page for even more ways to save on everyday products and services.
When you want to save on your next home purchase, sell, or refinance, take a moment to sign up here for Homes for Heroes exclusive Hero Rewards.
Ask for Discounts
As is usually the case with nearly every company, American Airlines offers military discounts that can save you a ton on travel expenses. But these steep savings are not openly advertised.
You likely must ask upfront about receiving military discounted rates and fee waivers. And that extends well past the initial cost of your ticket. Not only will you need to let your representative know that you qualify, but you also need to ask what other discounts are available.
It’s surprising just how many hidden discounts there are. Just make sure to check your receipts. These discounts are supposed to occur automatically, but computers aren’t always accurate.
Skip the Baggage Claim Fees
American Airlines will waive the checked bag fee for your first three items if you are currently an active duty military member. And if you’re flying due to traveling orders, they’ll bump that up to five bags.
Unfortunately, you will need to contact the reservation center before your trip. Attempting to get the fees waived at the gate is likely not going to happen. Giving them advanced warning, though, will guarantee that they drop your baggage fees.
They may offer a discount even if you’re no longer active duty. Considering that the fees can run as much as $40 or more per bag, that is a significant saving. Don’t let bag fees bog your trip down.
Ask About Reduced Flight Rates
Many factors influence how much a flight costs. As a result, you may discover a heavily discounted ticket price.
Inquiring about flight discounts for active and veteran service members is the best way to know if you’re getting a great deal. They may not knock as much cash off as you’d like, but every cent counts.
If you purchase flight packages from a dedicated travel service, make sure that they know about your military or veteran status. If someone else is negotiating pricing for you, they need to see if they can tack that on as well.
Reduced flight prices may only be as much as 5% or so. But considering how much the full retail cost is, even that can save you a bunch.
Preferred Seating Options
Although this military benefit isn’t going to save you any money necessarily, it’s still a nice gesture to consider. However, it does help to guarantee a spot on the plane.
There are numerous types of seating available to flyers. One of these seats is Main Cabin Extra seats or MCE. Main Cabin Extra seats usually occur when the company gets forced to shift fliers around. Whether they upgraded membership members, bumped business class to economy pricing, or platinum members receiving better-upgraded seats.
As a result, the flight gets left with a ton of odd seats throughout the main cabin areas. And if you are active military, they can give you the first pick of which one you prefer. That is ideal for flyers who get motion sick in particular seating rows. And, because you’re an active military member, they’ll let you choose without additional fees.
Contact Partner Organizations
Many corporations partner with specific foundations. For instance, American Airlines lists the Medal of Honor Foundation, the Airpower Foundation, and the Gary Sinise Foundation as military organization partners. As a result, these groups may get offered exclusive discounts that no one else receives. Or, they may have a discount code that can get used online.
Attempting to save on airfare that way isn’t a guaranteed solution. Some organizations may require a membership fee, or they may only cover sponsored events. But these groups do support military and veterans, and they may have a way to shave off some flight costs. However, you may have to get told “no” a few times before you find someone who can help.
Even if they are unable to offer a discounted flight price, they may know about other savings for which you can apply. Just by speaking with active groups in the know, you may find additional discounts.
Don’t Forget About Frequent Flier Miles
Sometimes, it’s necessary to spend money to save more on flights. If you find yourself frequently flying for your deployments, you need to rack those frequent flyer points up.
Some credit card companies will increase the number of points that you earn, while company membership programs may also boost your collected miles. When you combine several ways to add up more miles, it helps you save in the long run. You may save enough to earn a steeper discount, an upgraded seat, or even a free flight. Although airlines are stingy on reward points, it may not take as many as you first expected.
To prevent yourself from getting disappointed, know how many miles you need for the discount you seek. Nothing is worse than assuming that you have enough for your next flight when you don’t.
Join Home for Heroes
Although Home for Heroes is passionate about helping military and first-responders save on their home purchases, we also affiliate with local businesses to provide additional discounts on a variety of services.
As our way of saying thanks for all that our daily heroes accomplish, we want you to save more on your daily expenses. Be sure to sign up here to find local business partners offering military discounts and are eager to help.