Military members on active duty have to travel frequently. So, to ease things a bit for them, many airlines, airports and other organizations try to make travel smoother for those in the military whenever they travel by air.
Most airlines waive checked luggage fees for active duty military personnel, and many waive those fees for military dependents traveling on orders. American Airlines allows those in the military free admission to its AA Admirals Club lounges, and Delta allows them to use their first-class waiting lounges in most airports.
If you are in the military, you should know what perks and discounts are available to you when you search for the cheapest airline tickets. But here is a word of caution: do not automatically assume that the military-only fares are your best bets for cheap flights. In some cases, the discounts offered are taken from an airline’s full-fare price. This means that sometimes you are better off using email airfare alerts and other travel tools to book flights.
Some airlines do not offer military fares on their websites. Rather, you have to book special military fares by phone. If you are in the military and looking for cheap tickets, the best approach is to search with online tools like FareCompare‘s flight search engine before calling so that it will be easy to know if the military discount is significant enough to make it worthwhile.
A Handy Chart of Military Airline Perks
|Airline||Benefits for Active Duty Military|
|Air Tran||No checked baggage fees for active service personnel with military orders for travel.Airtran works with Helping our Heroes, flying families to visit injured military personnel at Walter Reed Hospital.800-247-8726|
|Alaska Airlines||Active Duty military personnel check up to 5 bags free ($50 for each additional).Military dependents with travel orders check up to 5 bags free ($50 for each additional).800-252-7522|
|American Airlines||Active U.S. Military personnel traveling on orders or personal travel and dependents traveling on orders:
|Continental Airlines||Active duty military exempt from 1st and 2nd checked baggage fees.U.S. Military Veterans, Active Duty military, National Guard & Reserve and their families for their service eligible for 5 percent discount on Continental Airlines tickets purchased at continental.com.800-523-3273|
|Active duty U.S. military personnel on orders to or from duty stations and dependents traveling with them; or active U.S. military dependents traveling on relocation orders may check the following at no charge:
Active duty military access Delta First Class lounges for free in most airports.
|Frontier Airlines||Active duty military personnel with ID (not including family members or traveling companions) will not be assessed bag fees.800-432-1359|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Active duty members of U.S. military are not charged for first or second checked luggage item.800-367-5320|
|JetBlue Airways||No checked baggage fees for active duty military.800-538-2583|
|Southwest Airlines||Works with Honor Flight Network to fly veterans to Washington D.C. (Southwest doesn’t charge checked baggage fees for anyone.)800-435-9792|
|United Airlines||Active duty military traveling to Asia and the Middle East are allowed any number of duffel bags, sea bags or B-4 bags up to a total maximum weight of 140 lbs. (64 kg).800-864-8331|
|US Airways||Active U.S. military personnel with ID (1st through 3rd bag up to 100 lbs/45 kg).800-428-4322|
|Virgin America||Active duty military personnel who present their active Military ID or Department of Defense orders are allowed to check 10 bags free of charge provided they are within the normal weight and size restrictions. Military guests with one duffel bag, b-4 bag, or sea bag which exceeds the 62 outside linear dimensions will be accepted as two checked bags.877-359-8474|