Where the Summer Discounts Are and Are Not
Senior discounts are still around -- neither as plentiful nor as big as they once were -- but still worth pursuing. Here's my overview of the senior picture for this summer.
Basically, nothing doing. Southwest is the only airline that still posts senior fares on all routes, and they're almost never the lowest fares that line offers. They're useful only when the lower fares for travelers of any age are no longer available. And although a few airlines say they still have senior deals, I haven't found any. That holds true for
Seniors do a bit better on trains. As I've noted,
I haven't come across any senior rail discounts in other areas of the world. But you may find a few.
Some of the best senior deals around the U.S. are for local and regional transit service. By just showing a
In general, European and Asian transit systems do not offer special senior rates. But it never hurts to check.
Although the big U.S. rental car companies offer "special"
Cruise lines sometimes promote what they claim are senior discounts, although it's hard to tell if the rates are really any better than those offered to other segments of the population. When you're considering a cruise, by all means, check out any senior deals you can spot. But checkout the any-age prices, as well.
Many large U.S.-based hotel chains and many independent units offer modest senior discounts, typically around 10 percent, but sometimes up to 15 percent. They're offered both through
More upscale hotels and resorts, however, often offer considerably better deals through chain-wide promotions, local promotions, and especially through discounters such as Hotwire, Priceline, Quikbook, and such. In these hotels, you should view the senior discount, if any, as a fallback position to use only when you can't find a better deal through a discount operation.
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(c) 2010 U.S. Ed Perkins, On Travel
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