Update: this offer will reappear and is apparently a system bug.
For many years now, anyone buying a business class ticket from the USA to Europe on British Airways had a great way to save. By becoming an AARP member, you could instantly take $200 off any first or business class fare, and there were also discounts for economy and premium. Basically, if you saw an exciting deal, like the recent $1600 deals, you could instantly make them $1400 deals, all with the magic of a $13 membership to AARP.
Despite what you’re likely thinking, AARP was and is actually open to everyone. You don’t need to be retired, old or anything. A 12 year old student could become an AARP member, if they paid the annual fee. $13 for $200 is always a good trade, but it appears this lucrative discount may be on its last legs, or at least… for now.
If you search using the AARP British Airways discount, which you can do by logging into your AARP account and clicking over to British Airways via the “AARP Member Benefits” page, you’ll see that no business class flights are bookable after the month of August.
GSTP stumbled upon this while searching a $1900 round trip business class fare from New York to Barcelona or Madrid in November and December, which was going to be borderline exciting if you could then subtract $200. Alas, you presently cannot, nor can you for any US to Europe city pairs after the month of August.
Update: It appears with no warning that the agreement has been updated and the discount now only applies for fares over a certain amount. In other words, if there’s a great fare – you can no longer use the discount towards it. This is a major shame, if true. We’ll keep you updated.
Could Be Temporary
British Airways and AARP have an intriguing relationship, and like many couples, sometimes they just need to sort things out.
We’ve seen these discounts temporarily go away, only to return once a contract has been renewed, but it’s entirely possible that the relationship has outgrown its use. That, or British Airways is tired of everyone who reads a blog, any blog, learning how to take $200 off every expensive ticket originating from the USA.
Only time will tell, but for now, the discount only appears to be active in economy, with just a few scattered options left in premium. Hey, better to know – than not – right?