What is a jet-set granny? This is my name for the thousands of grandmothers that fly our skies every day via commercial airliners. Dressed in stylish but not elaborate clothing, they are not always easy to identify. Grannies come in all shapes and sizes; as most of us do. All kidding aside, these grandmothers (let’s not forget grandfathers too) spend many hours in crowded airports enduring cancelled flights, schedule changes, and at times severe turbulence from bad weather just to see their darling grandchildren.
At what price do our grannies and our grandfathers fly? Stop and think. While airlines continue to increase fares, many of our elderly are on fixed incomes. As such, grandparents flying cross-country or just state to state to see their grandchildren must budget in advance and purchase the most affordable tickets. What is available for seniors that fly? Here are a few items you may want to share with them before your senior parents book their next flight:
- Some airline carriers offer discounts to seniors. The age may vary depending on the airline. Some airlines consider 60 years of age to be eligible for a senior discount–while another airline says 55. Southwest Airline offers a discount under “senior passenger.”
- Alaskan and Hawaiian airlines offer up to 10% discount when booking from them.
- Some discounts still apply when tickets are purchased last minute.
- Some airlines offer a discount for seniors as well as an additional younger companion.
- Book with the airline directly to receive the lowest price or greatest discount. Do not book online. Book either by phone or in person at the airline counter.
- Absolutely do price comparisons. There may be times when a general discounted ticketed is less than the discounted senior ticket. However, there may be some options on the senior-priced ticket you wouldn’t have on the other ticket.
- Remember—airlines change policies often. What is discounted today may not be tomorrow. Always check ahead of time with your airline.
Also, let us not forget about the physical challenges that come with travelling. Running from gate to gate at an airport, with or without schedule changes, can be challenging to the younger crowd let alone those with arthritis or other physical problems.
Our grandparents are special and precious to all of us. Let’s always appreciate the financial and physical challenges they work through just to see their beautiful grandchildren. They are awesome. Who knows? Perhaps on your next flight, you too may get to sit next to one of these awesome jet-set grannies!