Did you know you could pay just $16 per year to save up to $200 off each British Airways flight you take? It sounds too good to be true. Yet this deal has been available for years, and it was just extended for another year.
AARP members can now save up to $200 round-trip per passenger for flights booked through Jan. 31, 2022, and flown by Dec. 31, 2022. The discount is capped at $65 per passenger for economy and premium economy fares and $200 per passenger for business class fares.
However, there are some important restrictions to keep in mind. Here’s how this discount program works.
What is AARP?
AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons. However, you don’t need to be retired or a certain age to join. While AARP’s full membership is reserved for those 50 and older, you can become an associate member at any age.
The British Airways AARP discount is open to all AARP members. This discount is the sole reason that I joined AARP in 2015 — fully employed and at the age of 30 — and have maintained my membership ever since.
Becoming an AARP member costs just $16 per year. You can currently save 25% on your first year by agreeing to automatic renewal. Even better, right now you can get 1,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for joining AARP through SimplyMiles.
» Learn more: NerdWallet’s best credit cards for retirees
How much is the AARP British Airways discount?
The AARP British Airways discount varies based on the cabin you’re booking:
$65 off economy (World Traveller).
$65 off premium economy (World Traveller Plus).
$200 off business class (Club World).
Prior versions of the AARP offer included a discount on British Airways First Class fares. The current version doesn’t advertise a discount on First Class. However, First Class fares are currently being discounted by up to $200 round-trip.
There are some important caveats to keep in mind. The AARP discount doesn’t apply to British Airways’ cheapest Basic fares — which are sometimes referred to as “hand baggage only” fares.
Also, the discount applies only to the base fare of the flight before taxes and airline fees. That means it’s possible you won’t get the full $65 to $200 discount on heavily discounted flights.
Which flights are eligible?
Not all British Airways flights are eligible for this discount. Review these restrictions so you make sure to choose an eligible booking.
The AARP discount is limited to round-trip fares originating in the U.S. That means you won’t get a discount on “open-jaw” itineraries, such as flying into Madrid and back from Paris. It also means that you won’t be able to save on intra-Europe flights.
There’s no limit to the number of passengers or trips that you can book using this discount. However, all travelers must either be an AARP member or travel with an AARP member.
The flight has to be booked through British Airways and the flight must have a British Airways flight number. However, you can choose flights operated by American Airlines and Iberia.
The terms and conditions also require that you book the same cabin for both the outbound and the inbound flights. So you won’t be able to apply the AARP discount if you want to fly business class on the red-eye to Europe and premium economy on the return.
How do I use the AARP discount?
Once you’ve joined AARP, start the process of booking your flight on this page. After logging in to your online AARP account, click “Learn More” to be directed to British Airways to search and book your flights.
You will be directed to the British Airways homepage to search for your flights. If you clicked through properly, there should be a note in the search box saying “AARP member discounts on BA.”
In the search results, you should see “discounted” under the flight options that qualify for the AARP discount.
After choosing your flights, you won’t see any more mentions of the AARP discount.
However, you can confirm that you are getting the discount by searching for the same flights through another flight search engine such as Google Flights.
Saving even more
There are a couple of ways to save even more when booking flights through British Airways.
If you have a British Airways Visa Signature® Card, you can get a 10% discount on the total cost of your flight — including the base fare, airline surcharges, taxes and government fees. To get the discount, enter “CHASEBA10” in the promotion code box at checkout and pay with your British Airways Visa Signature® Card.
Note that this 10% discount requires that you fly only British Airways-operated flights. That means you can’t connect inside the U.S. and will need to depart from a U.S. airport served by British Airways.
The other way of saving on British Airways flights is applying Avios — British Airways’ mileage currency — to your booking at checkout. This “part payment” option generally doesn’t provide great value for your British Airways Avios. However, it’s a useful way of clearing out small Avios balances for a decent value.
» Learn more: 5 reasons to love the British Airways loyalty program
The bottom line
When you’re looking to save on British Airways flights, a little insider knowledge goes a long way. No matter your age, you can join AARP to take advantage of this money-saving offer. And through SimplyMiles, you can even earn American Airlines miles on your AARP membership fee.
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