Based out of Dallas-Fort Worth international airport, American Airlines (AA) is the largest airline in the world.
Like most other airlines, they also offer reduced pricing for members of the military and their families.
So what exactly is the American Airlines military discount?
While details are a bit unclear, after much investigation we’ve determined that you can save anywhere between $50 – $350 on American Airlines tickets.
The discount varies, and depends on things like your destination, time of the year, and other factors.
Scroll down to learn more.
American Airlines Military Discount
American Airlines has a military discount though the exact amount you will save on airfare is not specific.
AA reports that the military discount depends on the flight and you have to call in to book a flight and receive the discount.
The American Airlines military discount is currently available for active duty members, and any dependents they may have.
There are restrictions that apply, especially for family members, so you will want to pay close attention when speaking with a rep from AA.
The military discount isn’t always cheaper than their basic economy deal, but their refundable military ticket is always a better deal than the civilian equivalent counterpart. It may sound confusing, but we’ll give the example the representative shared with us when we called in.
If you wanted to fly from Jacksonville NC to Washington DC on Jan 1st 2020 the basic economy ticket which is non refundable would cost $200. A military ticket for that same flight is $263 but it is refundable if your plans might change. That same ticket for a civilian would cost $451.
This was just one example given. The representative said that the discount can vary widely and that she has seen savings much greater than this depending on the flight.
She also said that it is possible for the military fare to be cheaper than the economy fare. Bottom line is that you just won’t know what your savings will be until you call.
If you know there’s a chance dates or plans might change, which we all know is a good possibility living the military lifestyle, the refundable military ticket is a very good option to consider.
In addition to discounted airfare, American Airlines also has a pretty good deal on baggage for service members.
U.S. military personnel is allowed to check up to five bags for free when traveling on orders. If not on orders, the free limit is reduced to three bags.
The discount on bags does not apply to dependents of military personnel unless they are traveling with the service member on orders or they called in to get that military fare, in which case they will get up to 3 bags free.
Related Article: 14 Airlines That Offer A Military Discount (and 12 that don’t)
How to Receive the American Airlines Military Discount
Since American Airlines does not have a standard military discount rate like some corporations you have to reach out to the company directly when booking your next flight.
The best way to redeem your American Airlines military discount is to contact the airline directly at 800-433-7300.
Once you get connected to a customer service rep with American Airlines explain what flight you are looking to book.
It helps to have as much information as possible such as the place of departure, place of arrival, and dates of travel.
You can also request a direct flight vs. a flight with layover.
Now that the AA customer service rep has the necessary details they can look into airfare and quote you with the best rate available.
Then, they can also explain what percentage you will save on the flight because you are U.S. Military.
Also, mention to the rep that you plan to take advantage of the free baggage for U.S. Military.
The rep will likely follow up and determine whether the flight is related to orders from the military, or rather a flight for leisure.
He or she can then explain what you need to do at the time of check-in in order to receive the free baggage.
Traveling on Orders vs. Leisure Travel
American Airlines provides a more generous military discount for service members that are traveling based on orders from the U.S. government.
So, for example, if you are getting stationed overseas the airline will allow you and dependents to travel with up to five bags each at no additional cost.
You may also receive a higher percentage discount off airfare.
It is still possible to earn a decent discount if you are traveling on leisure though the exact amount of savings will depend on where you are traveling and when.
It would be nice if the airline provided more specifics about the military discount yet that is just how they currently operate.
If you are traveling on orders make sure to bring the documentation with you to the airport.
The agent responsible for checking your baggage into the airport will want to see verification.
If not, you may only receive three free bags instead of five. So it is important you remember to bring the correct documentation.
American Airlines may also request that you confirm military status.
If that is the case the customer service rep should let you know over the phone and explain the steps you need to take to prove your dates of service.
Related Article: 9 Car Rental Military Discounts
Discounted Airfare on Other Websites
Though it is kind of American Airlines to offer some type of military discount for active duty personnel and eligible family members it would be nice to see a little more clarity on the discounts for airfare.
The reality is you may save more money, even minus the military discount, by shopping for airfare through a third-party travel website.
Here are some sites that you should browse while also consulting AA for a quote on what a ticket will cost going directly through them:
If you are eligible for AARP it doesn’t hurt to check with them as well.
The organization has always been well regarded for offering really good deals on travel.
Other Ways American Airlines Supports U.S. Military
American Airlines has partnerships with several different organizations tied to the U.S. Military.
The airline is proud partners with the Medal of Honor foundation. When U.S. Medal of Honor recipients travel with American Airlines they are given access to elite amenities not offered to the general public.
Additionally, American Airlines supports the George W. Bush Institute.
The program was created to help post-September 11 veterans and their families make successful transitions back to civilian life.
AA is also connected with the Gary Sinise Foundation.
The organization honors military service men and women, first responders, veterans, and their families by educating and entertaining communities across the U.S.
Lastly, passengers of American Airline flights are encouraged to donate to Miles for Our Heroes.
The organization supports veterans, military personnel, and their families in numerous ways.
Click on the link to donate to Miles for Our Heroes.
Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding the American Airlines military discount…
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Is the American Airlines military discount the best deal for my next vacation?
It depends. Though American Airlines likes to toot their own horn and brag about how much they serve the U.S. Armed Forces, the reality is you may be able to find a better deal elsewhere.
The problem is you have to deal with American Airlines directly and sometimes that is not near as time efficient when looking for the best deal.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to call American Airlines and inquire about what you can expect to pay for the flight.
It is always an option to tell them you’ll call back, get the name of the representative you spoke to over the phone, and reference the quoted amount for later on if you decide to buy tickets directly through AA.
Is it possible to receive the American Airlines military discount online?
You would think that a major airline like AA would be able to adjust to the times a little better, but unfortunately they are slightly behind the curve.
Unlike a lot of companies that offer a military discount directly online, you have to contact American Airlines by phone.
The best contact number to reach AA is 800-433-7300.
Do I need to confirm military status in order to receive the military discount?
The vast majority of companies require verification before offering the military discount.
The customer rep on the phone explained that you will need to confirm your military status at check in with your government issued military ID.
We do know that you must bring your official orders to baggage in order to receive the 5 free bags.
If you are not traveling on orders you can still receive up to 3 free bags, however, the check-in rep will likely want some form of identification so make sure you have a military ID or DD Form 214 available.
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American Airlines (AA) provides a military discount for military personnel and family members. The amount of savings depends on the flight.
Additionally, those on duty and responding to official orders may check-in up to five bags for free.
However, if you are only traveling for leisure the amount of bags is limited to three – and dependents are not eligible for the same discount.
They must pay standard baggage rates.