SENIOR WORLD CITIZENS
Discounts and deals abound for mature holiday-makers, reveals Kaye Fallick
SOME of the greatest savings or added value for older travellers apply to air travel. No Australian domestic airlines offer inducements for seniors but on the international sectors a handful do.
In particular, Emirates Airlines has enjoyed growth in this demographic by offering not just a reduced price for seniors travelling business or first class but a chauffeured pick-up from home and a chauffeured delivery to their hotel on arrival.
Rather than choosing the cheapest online fare, it is always wise to contact airlines and ask about seniors discounts and value additions before booking. Thai Airways International, for example, has special offers and privileges for passengers aged 55-plus flying return business class (Royal Silk). In some cases, bookings must be made via travel agencies and passports sighted for confirmation of the passenger’s date of birth.
For passengers 60 and older, Dubaiheadquartered Emirates offers about 10 per cent off retail fares in business and first class on its flights to Europe and New Zealand, plus chauffeur transfers in selected cities in Europe and New Zealand. More: 1300 303 777; www.emirates.com.
Passengers age 60 and older at the date of departure are provided with a discount in Etihad’s business class (Pearl) and door-to-door complimentary chauffeur pick-up and drop-off in first class (Diamond) in Sydney, Abu Dhabi, London, Dublin, Munich and Frankfurt. More: 1800 998 995; www.etihadairways.com.
In recent years, insurance companies have also recognised the value of the older travelling market, and many senior-specific policies have been created. An internet search using the term ‘‘ seniors travel insurance’’ will deliver many of the main players, but also visit the Council on the Ageing website (www.cota.com.au) for a comprehensive policy, which includes travellers over 81, underwritten by Allianz Australia.
Also, many older adults are keen to continue their adventures but lack a travelling companion. A relatively new service, Air Travel Companion (www.airtravelcompanion.com.au), provides an experienced and medically competent travel companion who will care for the traveller from departure until they are safely ensconced at their destination.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs website carries handy tips for mature travellers. More: www.smartraveller.gov.au.
Sleep easy: Etihad’s business class