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I’ve written in the past about the 10% discount on British Airways ticket purchases that’s offered to those with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. While there’s of course some fine print, it’s quite straightforward. The 10% discount even applies towards the fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees.
If you’re trying to collect oneworld miles, booking paid tickets on British Airways can make sense, given that they have a fairly generous upgrade policy.
I especially highlighted the “sweet spot” of booking premium economy tickets and upgrading them to business class.
But there’s another discount which British Airways offers, which in many cases can be even more lucrative.
AARP members can save between $65 and $400 per roundtrip British Airways ticket originating in the US. The amount you save depends on the cabin you’re flying:
- First Class: Save $400
- Business Class: Save $400
- Premium Economy: Save $130
- Economy: Save $65
The basic terms are as follows:
- Roundtrip travel originating in the US is required (one-ways and open jaws don’t qualify)
- Travel must be booked by October 14, 2014 (though there’s a good chance that will be extended, I think)
- Valid for outbound travel by March 31, 2015
- Valid for travel on British Airways as well as codeshare flights operated by American Airlines and Iberia
- You must book through the link on the website — this can’t be booked via the call center or another website
Anyone can join the AARP
While the AARP is intended for people 50+, anyone can join. I just paid $16 for a year long membership, and was honest about my age. So anyone is eligible to join.
The discount is really straightforward
To take advantage of this offer, you just have to go to the promotional British Airways AARP page, where you’ll be prompted to log into your AARP account.
Once you’re logged in you’ll be logged into the front page of the British Airways website, where you can begin the booking process. The discounts will automatically display when you try to make the booking.
What I’m most excited about with AARP discount
Oneworld frequently has transatlantic business class fare sales. Sometimes the fares are under $2,000 roundtrip. When you take off another $400, that’s a heck of a deal.
I’m not seeing any especially good fares right now, though lets take a look at business class fares around Thanksgiving, just as an example. I see British Airways fares of ~$2,400 roundtrip for business class between New York and London.
When you apply the $400 discount, it brings it to a very reasonable ~$2,000 roundtrip.
So if we saw business class fares in the $1,800-$2,000 range, that would be an even better value once you apply the $400 discount.
Is the AARP or British Airways Visa Signature® Card discount better?
Which discount is better probably depends on which class of service you’re booking. In this case the numbers are easy to crunch, because you’re comparing a percent discount to a fixed discount. You’d be better off using the British Airways Visa Signature® Card discount if:
- You book an economy ticket that costs more than $650
- You book a premium economy ticket that costs more than $1,300
- You book a business class ticket that costs more than $4,000
- You book a first class ticket that costs more than $4,000
One important distinction to note is that the AARP discount applies to codeshare flights as well, while the British Airways Visa discount doesn’t.
I’m always looking for discounted premium cabin oneworld tickets, so now will be looking even more closely as the $400 discount has the potential to be extremely lucrative in conjunction with a good fare.