We’re always on the lookout for ways to travel cheaper or for other services thrown in for free. When flying today there are always numerous ways in which we can pay less to go further. Keeping this in mind, we would like to look at some of the ways in which the men and women who have served our country can find some useful benefits when they choose to fly, be it for personal reasons or just for vacation. Here are a few things traveling veterans should keep in mind in order to save and experience these perks:
Ask Airlines About Their Discounts
Most airlines offer flight discounts for veterans. However, not all of them advertise this on the front pages of their respective websites. To dig in deeper to find these savings, you may have to call in and make some inquiries. In some cases, many airlines will also offer the perk of giving veterans free check-in luggage and a larger allowance on the number of bags, even though it is more widely offered to those in active service. In the end, the best way to make sure you have a travel benefit through some airlines is to know that it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Use Benefit Cards Where Appropriate
It would help to sign up for discount cards like Veterans Advantage. This card offers travel perks with airlines like United and Southwest, in addition to many others, and can be obtained for an annual fee. You do have the option of choosing from an annual, biannual or trial membership, depending on how frequently you plan on using the card. Remember to check with airlines BEFORE booking if they do offer any discounts on the card
Take Advantage TSA Cares and Expedited TSA PreCheck
Veterans and Wounded Warriors, along with wounded service members, can contact TSA Cares to request help during airport security screening. The TSA Cares helpline can be reached at (855) 787-2227. You should remember to call in at least 72 hours prior to your flight to inquire about what services and assistance you can take advantage of. Wounded Warriors are also eligible for expedited TSA PreCheck screening at US airports, but read this link for more details on eligibility.
Traveling for Medical Reasons? Use the Beneficiary Travel Program
More a part of a veteran’s health benefits, the Beneficiary Travel program provides eligible veterans and other beneficiaries mileage reimbursement when traveling for VA health care or VA authorized non-VA health care, and this doesn’t just mean flights, but also extends to train, bus, taxi, etc.
Fly Space-A and Save on Cash
Space-A (“space-available”) is a program where members of United States Uniformed Services (including retirees and Department of Defense civilian personnel under certain circumstances), and their family members, are permitted to travel on military aircraft (in mostly cargo aircraft) to military bases when there is excess room available. You may not have the peanuts and comfy seats, and you may have to be flexible on your travel dates as there are very last-minute changes, but this is a travel option that veterans can take advantage of to fly into cities they want to vacation in.
Of course, whatever reason you’re flying for, it’s always important to carry your military ID with you, and if you have any military dependents traveling with you, make sure they have their IDs as well.
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