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.

What’s Happening

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?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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21 Comments

  1. The fixed amounts off have been replaced with a range discount.
    From the AARP website:

    “Book a flight and hotel package and SAVE!
    $60 off per booking when you spend $1,200 – $1,499 per person
    $100 off per booking when you spend $1,500 – $2,099 per person
    $200 off per booking when you spend $2,100 per person and above”

  2. It still works for me. The login page is misleading as that’s only for flight and hotel packages booked together. I logged in and got a discount off a cheaper flight.

          1. Do me a favour and search from East Coast then as well? Looking to see if this is currently being coded and hasn’t hit WC departures yet.

    1. Yep used it before many times. Some dates are showing no business or first but some do.

      I would attribute this to a hiccup in BA’s shitty discount system until a change to the terms are confirmed.

      My FoundersCard discount is having similar issues and that’s just % discount and not a fixed $ discount. This is why I am thinking it’s a bug for now.

  3. That the variable discount language isn’t new and is just completely different than the much blogged about AARP flight discounts. The variable discount is for flight and hotel vacation packages. The AARP exclusive flight savings on the link is for the economy or business (and first class actually) discounts.

      1. Yep – works for all flights I am trying on 2019 and into 2020 from multiple departures (LAX, SJC, SFO, ORD) so I think you had a one off ….

        1. I’ve had 10 people confirm theirs does not work for east coast departures, otherwise I wouldn’t have written about it on a single data point.

          1. Oh, and please run a comparison search – looking for the current public price versus the “discount” which usually appears. From the west coast i see business is not zero’d out, but it’s not taking $200 off any public fare.

  4. I just tried for EWR-LHR round trip June 10-July 1 2020 with a bit of flexibility on either side. A week ago it worked; then suddenly it stopped working (although the AARP discount banner was still displayed). The original fares that were being discounted were in the $1400 each way trip business class; now only the $5k+ fares show “discount”. At one point the inbound showed, say, $1400 as lowest price for a given date but when I clicked on that date, the lowest price was $1600! What’s worse is that I got two fare quotes, one thru the AARP portal with the AARP discount banner displayed; the other just going thru the main page on BA for a regular booking. The AARP “discount” booking was $200 MORE EXPENSIVE than the regular booking!

  5. I’ve been looking for flights from the west coast to London and although the AARP banner appears at the top, none of the flights are shown as discounted (economy or Business). Does anyone have any updates?

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