Travel Perks for Military Members

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.

Military-Only Airfares
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:

  • 1st and/or 2nd checked bag at no additional charge (provided it falls within the size and weight limitations).
  • Free access to Admiral’s Club.


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

Delta Airlines

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:

  • Up to four bags in Economy Class on Delta and in all cabins on Delta Connection flights.
  • Up to five bags in BusinessElite, First, and Business Class on Delta aircraft only.

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


Published: December 8, 2011