United Airlines offers deals for military veterans, active duty, National Guard and Reserve members, and their families with a 5% discount on tickets for those who sign up for the Veterans Advantage program. There are also many benefits for military personnel that don’t require signing up for the Veterans Advantage program. Let’s take a look at the ways United Airlines is working to honor United States military members and their families during their travel experiences.
About United Airlines
United Airlines is the 3rd largest airline in the world. United operates in the United States, as well as internationally, with a large presence in the Asia-Pacific region. United Airlines has 8 hubs, with its largest being Chicago O’Hare in terms of the number of departures and the number of passengers carried. The airline company is also headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
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United Airlines has worked to lessen its impact on the environment, with over 98% of its greenhouse gas emissions being from jet fuel. In 2011, they announced and implemented paperless flight decks, giving 11,000 iPads to the pilots of United and Continental Airlines which will eliminate about 38 pounds of paper per iPad. United has worked to use “greener” fuel, as well as working to replace winglets on some of their aircraft to reduce drag, as well as saving $250 million annually on reduced fuel costs. United Airlines has also partnered with programs that allow them to repurpose and donate items that would normally go to waste, but could be used for those in need.
Military Benefits for Those Flying With United Airlines
You don’t have to pay to be part of the Veterans Advantage program to receive military benefits through United Airlines. Some of the benefits they offer military service members and their families are:
- Free extra baggage checks. “Active duty military personnel traveling on official orders or for pleasure are invited to check extra baggage free of charge (excluding military pet shipments). In some cases, military dependents will also be included.”
- An invitation to the United Club. “We are pleased to invite active duty military members in uniform or with present leave orders or rest and recuperation papers to visit our United Club locations on the same day they are traveling on a United- or United Express®-operated flight. Please present your military ID, your boarding pass and sponsoring documentation for entry. Access is available to active-duty military members and family members with gate passes or traveling on the same flight as the military member and is subject to each location’s capacity and seating availability.” The United Club offers complimentary beverages, breakfast and lunch snacks, Wi-Fi, power outlets, and other amenities that make travel a little more comfortable and luxurious.
- Exceptions for pets: “United allows active-duty U.S. military personnel on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and their spouses, along with State Department Foreign Service Personnel (FSP) and their spouses to transport their pet dogs and cats when traveling on assignment to and from international destinations.”
What Are the Benefits of Using United Airlines Veterans Advantage program?
By signing up for Veterans Advantage, military veterans, active duty military members, National Guard and Reserve, and their families, can receive up to 5% off of their airline tickets. By signing up, you can also receive offers and deals from a variety of other businesses, including Avis Car Rental, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Verizon Wireless, Samsung, and CVS/Pharmacy. There are over 300 brands that you can save with by joining the program.
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The fine print and additional details about the Veterans Advantage program are:
Additional discount details:
- “Itineraries must originate in the U.S. or Canada to be eligible.
- Discount only applies for travel to destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe.
- Reservations are limited to eight travelers or fewer.
- Discount is applied to the published base fare and does not apply to government-imposed taxes and fees or carrier-imposed international surcharges.
- Certain special promotional Web fares are not eligible.
- Eligible flight segments will be marked with a special offer indicator on united.com.”
To sign up for the Veterans Advantage program, you enroll at this website. Once you sign up, you will immediately be given a 10-digit travel code that can be used anytime. There are different costs involved in signing up, but many say it is easy to recoup the cost quickly. You can sign up for a 30-day trial that costs $4.95. You can pay month-to-month, per year, per 2 years, and up to a 4-year membership. You can also pay for the membership just for the military member, or for the entire family to reap the benefits of this advantage discount card. The annual cost is roughly $60 per year or about $5 per month depending on what type you decide to sign up for. Only you can decide if this discount card will be worth it for you and your family. You can always test it out for a year, or even 30 days if you are intending to book a flight in the near 30-days future.
Ways To Save on Flights
Booking flights and airline travel can be quite costly, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to save on the cost of flights with a little forethought, research, and flexibility.
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Some of the ways that you can save on your flights are:
- Watching the flight prices and saving your search so that it will notify you when prices suddenly drop. Flights typically tend to be cheaper when booked on a Tuesday and are also cheaper when you schedule your departure and arrival on a weekday as opposed to a weekend. Avoid scheduling during the holidays if you can avoid it, but if you can’t, booking well in advance is usually the best option to get the best deals, as prices tend to rise the closer they get to the holiday or major event.
- Fly somewhere during the off-season. If you are going on vacation, research when the off-season is so that you can save in all kinds of ways. You’ll be able to save money on flights, hotels, car rentals, and more depending on where you’re going and when you’re going. It might be worth going during a time that is a little less than ideal if the money savings is worth it for you.
- Utilize mileage programs and credit cards that provide miles if you use them enough, as well as use them diligently. Each can come with its own risks, especially the credit card if you don’t stay on top of things. But if you can get a card that earns flight miles, and you pay it off every single month, you’ll never have to pay interest, but will accrue free flights when it’s all said and done.
Flying can often be a stressful experience. There’s a lot of logistical coordination, especially if you’re flying with your family. United Airlines aims to ease this burden a little while honoring the sacrifices the military member and their family has made to the United States. Don’t hesitate to call the United Airlines customer service representatives and see what you can do to make your flight more enjoyable, to sign up for the Veterans Advantage program, and to create lasting memories that are positive and as carefree as possible.
United Airlines military discounts are a great way to save money and to support a company that is willing to support veterans and military members in an actionable way.