My Initial Thoughts
Are retired military travel discounts legitimate? This is a topic that is important for me to discuss within my site, onlineretirementrevenue.com. I am a retired law enforcement officer who never served in the armed forces.
Over my 23 year career I worked with many retired military members. They brought a great deal of knowledge and discipline to law enforcement. In this post, I will look at travel discounts for retired military members and show whether they are legitimate or not.
Our Veterans Have Earned It
Every year, America honors its active and retired military personnel with national holidays: Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day. It’s a great way of expressing our gratitude for the sacrifices they have all made for many years to guarantee our freedoms.
The Holidays are great, however, we need to do more for these American heroes. Now, there are many companies that participate in programs that honor our military veterans by offering discounts.
On September 20, 2018, CNN.com reported there are 18.2 million veterans in the United States. Veteran pension and health benefits are highly contested political debates every year. It’s important that we honor our veterans in other ways than holidays.
Where Can Veterans Look For Travel Discounts?
The reason for this post was to not only investigate if veteran travel discounts are legitimate but also advise veterans where they can find these benefits. There are many online resources, probably too many to mention here.
Here are the best websites I found where veterans can explore travel deals and discounts:
Military.com – After accessing the site, hover your mouse over “Discounts” in the top navigation bar and then in the drop down, list click on “Travel“. You will find a breakdown into subcategories of Airlines, Car Rental, Cruises, Ground Transportation, and Lodging.
Govvacationrewards.com – You will need to register, which is free, to access the site and the benefits.
Themilitarywallet.com – Like military.com you will need to navigate to “Discounts” in the top navigation bar and then hover your mouse. Then click on “Military Travel Discounts“. On this page which is written and regularly updated by “Ryan Guina” you will find all kinds of valuable information about military travel discounts.
Armed Forces Vacation Club – It’s free to sign up and join the Armed Forces Vacation Club. This is a very nice website that has a location search at the top of the home page.
Thriftynomads.com – Thrifty Nomads is a travel site started by Jen and Ted Brown. While this is not an exclusive military discount travel site, you will find plenty of great deals here.
Vacationsforwarriers.org – This is a website dedicated to wounded service personnel and their families.
Here is a list of some businesses who participate in military travel discounts: It is important to note that not all airlines advertise discounts for veterans unless enrolled in Veterans Advantage ( more information on this later ).
Delta – Delta airlines does not advertise discount for veterans, only active military. It would still be worth calling and checking on discounts for veterans.
Jet Blue – Veterans Advantage members get a 5% discount on flights to 85+ destinations. Members will also receive a checked baggage allowance of two pieces at no additional cost.
American Airlines – American Airlines does not advertise discounts for veterans. Again, call and check for discounts.
United Airlines – United Airlines participates in the Veterans Advantage Program. You will receive a 5% discount on tickets and they have a link to enroll with Veterans Advantage on their site as well.
Best Western – Best Western has a dedicated page for booking rooms for all active and veteran military personnel.
Hilton Hotels and Resorts – Find the Military family rate page under “Offers” in the top navigation bar.
Hawthorn Suites – Hawthorn Suites offers discounts to military personnel. Although they do not state veterans specifically it would be worth checking into. Here is the link to the Government & Military Discounts page.
Avis – Avis participates in the Veterans Advantage Program and offers veterans up to 25% off on rentals.
Enterprise – The founder of Enterprise was a decorated fighter pilot in WWII. The culture at Enterprise is built around military values. Check the link out in the title here and learn how Enterprise assists military personnel and their families.
Budget – Budget has participated in the Veterans Advantage Program since 2007.
National – Like many other companies, National Car Rental also participates in the Veterans Advantage Program and offers veterans a 20% on rentals.
Thrifty – Thrifty offers veterans a 5% discount through the Veterans Advantage Program.
Tips for obtaining veteran military discounts
I’m glad I had the opportunity to research whether discounts for retired veterans was legitimate. Since I am not a veteran and didn’t serve in the military this information is valuable for the growth of my business. Here are some tips to remember when obtaining discounts:
- When you start searching for a discount, just ask. It seems simple and it is, however, not all discounts are advertised on company websites. You will be surprised how many discounts you can find by just asking.
- For the most part, all the companies I listed about in this post offer discounts for veterans. Ask and make sure before counting on a discount.
- Always ask the company how you will receive the discount. Normally, you will only need to show a military ID. In some cases though you may need to show proof of service. If so, ask the company what will be needed for proof.
- Remember, not all discounts are the same. Check with more than one company when searching for discounts.
What is the Veterans Advantage and Space-A Travel?
The Veterans Advantage Program is a nationwide rewards program developed in 2001 for members who have served in the US Military that includes active members, retired veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves. These rewards are also extended to the family members of service personnel who are eligible for the program.
As you have seen earlier in the post there are many companies who participate in the Veterans Advantage Program. This is there way of giving back to the military community and showing their appreciation for their dedication and selfless commitment to our country.
Space-A is a flight travel program that is available for retired and active service members and their families. These are non-commercial military flights and need to be arranged through the local Air Mobility Command. These flights are not as tightly scheduled as commercial flights but offer a great alternative for families who don’t have the budget to fly publicly with private airlines.
My Final Opinion
Are retired military travel discounts legitimate? My answer is a definite, YES. Retired military personnel have many great resources and options available to them to find and obtain great discounts on air travel, hotel accommodations and car rentals.
I hope that I have been able to show you many online resources to search for discounts and some tips on how to obtain the cheapest prices on travel. I’m sure some of you were already aware of these programs and options to save on travel, however, I want to make sure that all veterans have access to this information.
If you retired from the military and then also had a career in law enforcement, click here to read my post for retired law enforcement officers looking for ways to make money in retirement.
Please feel free to share my post on your social media platforms and leave comments. I will respond to comments as soon as possible.