For several years now, one of the best ways to save money on transatlantic tickets has been through AARP. That’s because AARP has been offering members discounts on British Airways tickets in economy, premium economy, and business class. The savings for roundtrip tickets between the U.S. and Europe have been $65, $130, and $400, respectively.
When I mention the discount, the first response I get from many is “but I’m not old enough to join the AARP.” That’s not true, as anyone can join for $16 per year. The AARP is about supporting seniors, and membership doesn’t have an age requirement.
This has coupled very nicely with the increased trend of there being more discounted business class tickets from British Airways, which this offer can be stacked with. Airlines are trying to do a better job of monetizing their premium cabins, and part of that is actually trying to sell all the seats, even if it’s at a discount.
For example, several months ago I flew roundtrip business class from San Francisco to Rome on British Airways for ~$1,150, when you factor in the $400 AARP discount and 10% discount for paying with the British Airways Visa Card.
For the past couple of years we’ve repeatedly seen the deadline for this discount extended, as the discount is typically only valid for several months at a time. Last we heard it had been extended through January 31, 2017, which is today.
The British Airways AARP discount has now been reduced
When you go to the British Airways AARP website you’ll see that the offer has now been extended through December 31, 2017. That’s good news.
Unfortunately the bad news is that the amount of the discount has been reduced. Effective immediately, the discount for a British Airways first or business class ticket is $200, rather than $400. Meanwhile the discount for economy continues to be $65, while the discount for premium economy continues to be $130.
Meanwhile the AARP website hasn’t yet been updated, though I suspect it will be soon.
At the moment when you try to use the AARP discount there’s an error message. I suspect this is because they’re reprogramming the offer.
On the plus side, the British Airways AARP discount is being extended. At the same time, unfortunately for first and business class the discount is being reduced from $400 to $200. Hopefully the offer is up and running again soon.
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)