British Airways AARP Discount Extended Through 2016

The past couple of years we’ve seen more and more discounted premium cabin tickets, which overall is a fantastic trend. Airlines would rather sell premium seats than upgrade people, and in many cases this has lead to some great transatlantic business class fares. Over the past 12 months we’ve seen more sub-$2,000 transatlantic business class fares than I can otherwise ever recall seeing. Just this past week we saw some ~$1,250 business class fares between the US and Europe.

British-Airways-A380-Business-Class

The reason this fare is so low is in part because British Airways has offered AARP members a $400 discount on paid first & business class tickets. Anyone can join AARP for $16 per year, so there’s not much of a “barrier to entry” for taking advantage of this deal.

AARP-Discount

The offer has been around for a couple of years now, and I’m sort of shocked it hasn’t been pulled. More specifically, I guess I’m surprised they haven’t added a restriction whereby the discount is only valid on full fare tickets.

First the AARP discount was extended into 2015. Then in April of this year the discount stopped working for a while, leading many of us to believe they changed the terms. They hadn’t. Then earlier this month the discount stopped working for about a week, leading many of us to the same conclusion. Clearly the offer wasn’t dead, given how many of us used it this past week.

Well, it looks like the AARP British Airways discount has been officially extended into 2016. While British Airways’ website hasn’t yet been updated with this information, AARP’s website has (bolding mine):

The exclusive discounts as indicated on this offer page are available online to AARP members only via the dedicated link on this page when booking a round-trip through fare (round-trip flights with connection to final destination, separate tickets do not qualify for discount) from select US gateways to UK and beyond. Customer must be an AARP member or must travel with an AARP member to be eligible for this exclusive offer. The exclusive discounts are based on round-trip purchase off any published retail World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (Premium economy), Club World (business class) or First fares on ba.com via exclusive link, valid for outbound travel through March 31, 2017 on British Airways and British Airways codeshare services operated by American Airlines and on British Airways codeshare services operated by Iberia only. American Airlines and American Eagle flights with a BA flight numbers that connect to BA operated, AA operated with BA flight numbers and IB operated with BA flight numbers transatlantic flights are permitted. Additional restrictions may apply.

British-Airways-Discount

The 2015 offer was available for outbound travel through March 31, 2016, while that has now been extended by a year.

Bottom line

It seems like the AARP discount will stick around for another year, which is fantastic news. The frequent business class fare sales we’ve seen between the US and Europe, along with this discount, have really made transatlantic business class much more attainable.

Have you taken advantage of the British Airways AARP discount yet? If not, do you plan to?

(Tip of the hat to FrequentMiler)

Comments

  1. Not sure how new this is, last week I used my AARP discount to secure $400 discounts of round trip tickets to Europe for July 2016.

  2. I have never booked on BA.com before.
    I am AA Plat and when I fly BA it is always booked though the AA site.
    To do this what do I need to use this and get credit on my AAdvantage account?
    Do I create a BA login but add my AA number to it?

  3. @ Jeff — You can add your AAdvantage number on aa.com when making the booking and you’ll get your American miles. It’s that simple. 🙂

  4. How often does BA have these business class sales? If we took a look, do you think there is a pattern as to when they’re released?

  5. @ Ang — There’s not a schedule by which they’re published, though they do seem to come around every month or two, in my experience.

  6. This is awesome. I’ve now used this discount 9 times. $3,600 in savings for the cost of two years of membership fees, something less than $40. They must have had the extension already “in the system” last Thursday because I used the discount for two late August 2016 tickets on the morning of the glorious BA sale. This is the second October in a row (at least) when BA has had deeply discounted Club World fares available combined with the AARP discount. I’ve certainly been disappointed in Executive Club changes over the past 2 years but as long as they keep selling Club World tickets to Europe for <$1600 I really don't care what they want to do with award ticket prices.

  7. @Lucky

    BA wasn’t offering “$1250 fares” as you note in your introductory paragraph. They had $1800 fares that had stackable discounts, *if* you had the appropriate mechanisms. If an airline is offering “$1250 fares”, I expect to go to their website and book it, without any further action or qualification required on my part.

  8. Thanks Lucky! Hopefully there will be another sale. I need to be in CDG next Sept. Sucks I couldn’t take advantage of the BA sale that just passed =( Thinking if I should just use miles or wait for a sale (that might not happen…)

  9. I just returned from a trip I took using BA and the AARP discount. EWR to ORY for $1250 in Biz Bed. The only thing I found off-putting was a cost of $98 each way to pick your seat before check in. I just booked a $2000 flight in Delta One from BNA to FRA. If I could figure out a workaround to the fee to select your seat, I would have used BA with the AARP discount to go from BNA to FRA using AA for about $200 less. Does anyone know any work arounds to the $98 seat selection charge? Like maybe using the AA website after booking?

  10. We’re in EWR, having just gotten off a
    pleasant Open Skies flight where we ran into FT friend Violist as we boarded.

    My dear Lucky: please don’t give BA any ideas about changing the parameters of this discount. If you refrain, I promise not to suggest to AARP that nobody of your tender age be allowed the privilege of membership. 🙂

  11. I fully expect BA to add a minimum age restriction to the offer, if they. An figure out how to make the change. The whole point of the offer is to allow them to offer differential pricing in the US market while not offering the discount to everyone.

    So enjoy it while it lasts, but I would expect that change to happen soon, and for the AARP to have no problem with such a change.

  12. Mark F, the workaround is to have OneWorld Sapphire or Emerald status, or to buy a full fare ticket. 🙂

    Most BA status passengers consider this a feature, as it keeps more of the better seats available for status passengers.

  13. Lucky – I’m an AARP member. I purchased 2 RT business class tickets CLT-CDG-LHR-CLT on AA as a BA codeshare last Friday evening on the BA directed AARP website to beat the MN deadline for the European business class discount. Travel in May 2016 so I couldn’t get the “AARP discount” that reportedly ended March 31, 2016. Now with the reported extension to March 31, 2017 can I email/call someone and get the $400.00/ticket discount on each of my 2 tickets? What do you recommend? Tx

  14. I wonder if the terms changed regarding Finnair. During the 10/15 sales frenzy I bought 3 RT tickets using this discount. The cheapest J ticket I got, LAX-JFK-HEL was $1018 RT with the AARP discount, and that was with no Visa Signature discount and no Avios buydown. The JFK-HEL leg was obviously on Finnair and I had no trouble using the discount on that back in October.

  15. I am a AARP member and I just found out about British Airways discount. This month I bought a premium economy ticket for Europe ( august 2016 ) and I would like to know if there is any way to call or email someone and get the discount.

  16. I also am an AARP member and am trying to book a flight through the AARP/British Airways site but can’t get the “Book Now” icon to work so I’m unable to view any kind of discount. The premium economy tickets just come up at regular price.

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