In Part 2 of our multi-part series on travel deals and discounts for active-duty military and vets, Alex Miller, writing for upgradedpoints.com, takes a look at websites and airlines that offer special airfares for military personnel past and present.
Following that up, Miller then details websites that offer deals on resorts and other lodging options for veterans.
To read Miller’s previous post, which outlined a number of websites dedicated to travel (and other) deals for the military, go here.
By Alex Miller
Booking Flights as a Military Veteran
The following websites provide discounted flight booking for veterans:
- Military Fares: Military Fares allows users to search a variety of airlines for military airfares. The platform is a Priceline Partner Network that provides an extensive offering of flights. Recent military deals that users have purchased are displayed so visitors can get an idea of what rates might be on offer when they’re searching.
- Military Travel Exchange: This website offers an alternative to spending hours searching for discounted flights. Instead, veterans can enter details about their desired departure location, departure date, arrival location, and return date. Then a Military Travel Exchange representative will complete the search and the booking on behalf of the user. Another benefit of using this service is that Military Travel Exchange offers travel financing.
- JetBlue: The airline actively encourages veterans on board their flights, and they invite military members past and present to enroll in their Veterans Advantage plan, which qualifies you for a 5% discount on each flight you book. JetBlue also offers a special military fare class for active duty personnel not traveling on orders, which removes advanced-purchase requirements and bag waiver options.
- United Airlines: Enroll in their Veterans Advantage program to get a 10-digit travel discount code that you can use when you book. Special offers and other benefits are also available to members.
- MilitaryHops: Although space available military flights are not so easy to get these days, you can use this site to see what is available and whether it fits your intended travel plans.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you are booking direct with an airline, many of them don’t often advertise military rates on their website. You might have to call in order to get a veterans discount when it is available. Discounts may include reduced flight costs, but you might also be offered a free checked bag or other incentive.
Here are some airlines that offer discounts of some sort to veterans:
- Delta Airlines – Special military rates when you contact the reservations department directly.
- Frontier Airlines – Baggage fees waived if you are on active duty.
- SouthWest Airlines – Special rates available at 1-800-1-FLY-SWA (not online).
Booking a Resort Vacation as a Military Veteran
Veterans seeking an all-inclusive resort vacation should check out the websites below to take advantage of deals on resort booking:
- Beaches Military Savings: Beaches is an all-inclusive, family-friendly resort chain that caters to all ages. The company has resorts in Jamaica as well as Turks and Caicos. For former military service members who want to indulge in a Caribbean island vacation, the Beaches Military Savings webpage has information on how veterans can save on their bookings.
- Sandals Military Savings: Sandals is another all-inclusive resort chain that offers discounts to military veterans. Sandals resorts can be found in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, and Barbados. Veterans can visit the website to find out more.
- Military Travel Discounts at Aqua Hotels and Resorts: Aqua Resorts are found on the Hawaiian islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Both short-stay and long-stay military discounts are available, and veterans can visit the Aqua Resorts website for details on booking. The website also provides descriptions of the resort facilities and guides for the different Hawaiian destinations.
It’s worth mentioning that if you are trying to save on costs, you might be able to find military lodging near to your chosen destination.
You can find accommodation if you plan your trip in advance and allow time to reserve a place at least 60 days in advance.
Try dodlodging.net to see what options are available. There are centralized reservation systems available to book accommodations with the U.S. Army (866-363-5771), the U.S. Navy (800-628-9466), or the U.S. Air Force (888-235-6343).
If you want to stay at a U.S. Marine Corps or a Coast Guard lodge, you will have to search for the nearest lodge to your destination and contact them directly.
Next up in the series: Discounts on theme parks and cruises for military veterans.
Dear Readers: My new guidebook, 100 Things to Do in Tucson Before You Die (Reedy Press, August 15, 2017) is now available for purchase. For those outside the Tucson area, where it’s available at Barnes & Noble, Antigone Books and other bookstores, you can go to the book’s sale page at amazon.com and order it. Don’t forget to write a review! Or you can order directly from Reedy Press.