Shelby is a military wife who works from home in a variety of ways. She enjoys travel and outdoor activities as well as reading and fitness.
Whether you're single in the military or have a family, chances are you use your leave days to visit family back home or go on vacation. Let's face it, rarely do we get stationed close to home, which means that when we can, we travel to visit friends and family. And if you're like me, your husband is from one side of the country, and you're from the other. Which means you spend a lot of time bouncing around in an airplane, especially during the holidays.
Traveling can be expensive. Airline tickets start to add up when you're traveling with more than one person. In this article, I'll cover some ways you can save money while you're flying.
Let's start with the actual airlines who give some sort of discount to military. Always remember, though, if it's a military fare, it may not be the cheapest fare as prices fluctuate quite a bit. Always check around when you're looking.
Most airlines give free checked baggage to military. I'll start with those.
Free Checked Bag:
- Alaska Airlines
- Allegiant Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
Check with each airline for specific guidelines. Some airlines only give you a free checked bag when you're traveling on orders, while others are indifferent. Also, check the amount of bags you can check for free. Usually it's two, but sometimes it's more.
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Next we have the airlines that offer actual discounted fares.
- Delta Airlines: contact the reservations department for the discount
- Southwest Airlines: call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA for discounts
- United Airlines: offers 5% discount to Veterans Advantage member. Check the website.
- US Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
If you have flexible dates, you can always try traveling Space A. It's basically a free flight, and if you're going home to visit family and they can pick you up a day early or late, you might want to look into it.
There are also a few other places you can look that may be able to save you some money while traveling. Militaryfares.com is a search engine much like kayak.com. They look for the best fares and combine airlines to give you a good deal. They're worth a look.
If you're a member of USAA (open to all military branches), they also have a section where you can search for flights or other travel at a special military rate. In addition, if you're a USAA member and shop through their online shopping portal, you may be able to earn extra points for some airlines or other travel companies.
Militaryflighttravel.com also has a special booking system. It looks like they even have financing options available so that you can pay for your flight over several pay periods. It's definitely worth a look.
If you have a credit card that lets you earn points on travel, see if you can combine those points with a military discount for a double win. That way, you get the points but you also save money.