Travel Discounts for Military Members and Veterans

There are many valuable military travel discounts, including deals on air travel, hotels and lodging. Active-duty military members, National Guardsmen and reserve service members, veterans and their families may qualify for these military travel discount savings.
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Table of Contents
  1. Discount Air Travel
    1. Space-A Travel
  2. Discounts on Lodging and Resorts
    1. Hotel Discounts
    2. Base Lodging
    3. Military Resorts
    4. Military Vacation Clubs
  3. Other Military Travel Discounts
    1. Rental Cars
    2. Savings Through Travel Websites
    3. Credit Cards and Rewards Programs
  4. Finding the Best Military Travel Discounts Takes Time

Several companies offer military discounts on air travel, lodging, resorts and more.

Even if you can’t score a military discount, you can still save money. Here’s what you need to know about military travel discounts.

Discount Air Travel

Many U.S. airlines offer a military discount or incentive, such as checked bag fee waivers or seat upgrades.

However, you won’t find these offers listed on travel websites. You must visit the airline’s website or call its customer service department to get a discount. Remember, airline discounts may only apply to active-duty, National Guard or reserve service members – and they may only apply when traveling on orders.

Active duty military, veterans, and their families can also save on airline tickets through a partnership with Veterans Advantage. Learn more about these programs below:

American Airlines offers military discounts of up to 10% for domestic and international airline tickets.

United Airlines offers military discounts of up to 5% for domestic and international airline tickets.

JetBlue Airlines offers military discounts of up to 5% plus two free bag waivers. JetBlue will also waive its $25 service fee for phone bookings.

Alaska Airlines offers military discounts of up to 5% for routes departing from the U.S. and Canada.

Hawaiian Airlines offers military discounts of up to 5% on Coach fares from the U.S. Mainland to the Hawaiian islands.

Lufthansa Airlines offers military discounts of up to 5% on transatlantic travel. Plus, take 5% off on Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, and Brussels Airlines.

Southwest Airlines offers everyday low fares for military servicemembers and veterans.

Space-A Travel

Space-available travel is excellent when it works: it’s a free seat on a military aircraft that’s headed to the same place you’re going (or close to it). However, Space-A seats are increasingly hard to come by.

You may have to wait a few days for a seat – if you get one at all. You should only travel Space-A if you’ve got a flexible schedule and a backup plan (which may include purchasing a last-minute airline ticket).

Veterans with a 100% service-connected disability rating, active-duty service members, National Guardsmen, reservists, retirees and dependents of these groups are eligible to travel Space-A.

Visit the AMC Travel Site or contact the nearest military passenger terminal to learn more about Space-A opportunities near you.

AMC’s Space-A Travel Handbook

Discounts on Lodging and Resorts

Hotel Discounts

Most hotel chains will offer military discounts, provided there isn’t a significant event on the calendar. For example, you may be hard-pressed to get a military discount at a hotel in New York City on New Year’s Eve.

Many hotel chains are also willing to cap their rates at the local per diem rate, which can amount to substantial savings, depending on the hotel chain and location. Rates capped at the per diem rate may require official orders, and almost always require active-duty, reserve or National Guard identification.

Veterans, Military and Government Personnel enjoy discounts at or below per diem at Best Western® Hotels & Resorts throughout North America.

Veterans, military, fire, emergency medical service personnel, doctors, nurses, 911 dispatchers, police and correctional officers save up to 25% at Great Wolf Lodge.

IHG® Hotels & Resorts is pleased to welcome active and veteran servicemen and women with hotel deals and discounts at participating hotels, including Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, and more.

Hilton offers exclusive savings for active & retired military, veterans and their families on leisure stays at participating hotels.

As part of the Military 1st program, Radisson Hotels offers a special military discount and an upgrade to the best available room at the time of check-in.

Motel 6 and Studio 6 are proud to offer active and retired members of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines and their families up to a 10% discount off their already-low rates.

Base Lodging

Base lodging rates may be significantly cheaper than local hotel rates. You can find base lodging at large military bases. Military hotel chains like the Navy Gateway Inn and Suites may own some of these. DOD contracts civilian hotel chains for some others, including IHG Army Hotels.

Military Resorts

The Armed Forces Recreation Centers offer exceptional discounts in popular vacation locations. Some popular resorts include the:

Status of Forces Agreements may impact your eligibility to stay at resorts in some overseas locations. Check the Armed Forces Recreation Center website to determine your eligibility.

Military Vacation Clubs

Military vacation clubs like the Armed Forces Vacation Club and Veterans Holidays may also offer hotel discounts.

Contact the vacation club to determine your eligibility for military vacation club offers.

See More Military Discounts on Hotels

Other Military Travel Discounts

Rental Cars

Many rental car services have negotiated rates with government agencies. You can rent a car at a great rate if you are traveling on official orders.

Some rental services offer similar deals for military members on leisure travel. They may also waive rental fees for drivers under age 25.

Hertz offers Government and Military discounted pricing of up to 10-25% off.

National Car Rental already offers discounted rates for U.S. Department of Defense travelers on official business with official orders, but now they are extending everyday discounts to all veterans and military family members.

When traveling on leisure or without official orders, Alamo offers discounted rates for federal government employees and military personnel, including veterans.

Savings Through Travel Websites

You can use discount travel service websites to compare airline, hotel and rental car prices. Some helpful websites include:


You can simplify your travel by booking your airline ticket, hotel room and rental car at the same time. However, bundling isn’t always the least expensive option. Compare prices across a few services if you have time.

Some of these companies offer discount plans or rewards for frequent customers. For example, Hotels.com offers a free one-night hotel stay for every 10 nights you reserve through them.

Credit Cards and Rewards Programs

Using a travel rewards program can help you earn points and benefits like free checked bags, priority boarding, free flights, free hotel stays and other perks. You can earn even more points with a credit card rewards program.

Some of the more popular travel credit cards are a joint offering between a credit card company and a specific airline or hotel chain. These reward cards may come with a sign-up bonus equal to a free flight or several nights at a hotel. Other perks may include free checked bags for you and your party, priority boarding, flight discounts, merchandise and other benefits.

Check out these credit offers to learn more:

With any credit card, read the fine print before you sign up for any deals, and pay your card in full each month to avoid any fees or interest.

Finding the Best Military Travel Discounts Takes Time

In my experience, booking the best travel deals requires a little legwork and a lot of patience. Always check with your unit before booking travel if you are traveling on military orders. They may have access to special offers or other requirements.

If you are traveling alone, start by determining if your itinerary allows for some military-specific travel options, such as Space-A, Armed Forces Recreation Centers or base lodging. If you cannot work one or more of those into your itinerary, you can still save money with some of the deals and services listed above.

Safe travels!

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. Manuel Gonzalez says

    I would never recommended Hotels.com. I cancelled reservations with this broker back in Feb of 2021. And they still have not sent me my money back. I have spoken to two of their representatives and finally I just wrote them a letter. We will see how long it takes them to send me my money back. Be very careful with Hotels.com they have unresonable terms and conditions. If you do not read the small print they will refuse to reimburse you.

    Respectfully,

    Manuel Gonzalez.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Manuel, Try contacting your credit card company and reversing the charges. That may work in your favor. As for Hotels.com, I’ve used them for years and I haven’t had any issues. So this may be a one-off situation. Best wishes with your situation.

  2. Wanda lee Weale says

    My brother is an Air force retiree and has 100% disability. Uses walker. He is wanting to visit his son in Columbia, South Carolina July 14 to 21st unaccompanied. He needs the best money wise and direct flight with assistance for him to the destinations. Can you help us???

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Wanda,

      Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, I don’t have the information necessary to answer your question. I recommend looking at the available airlines at both the departure and destination airports to see which airlines might have the best options available for him. You may also try contacting a travel agent to see if they can assist you.

      Best wishes!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello David, yes, Space-A travel is available to 100% disabled veterans, within certain restrictions. However, it only covers the veteran and not his or her dependents. You would need to check with the closest Space-A terminal for information about current policies. Base lodging is also available to 100% disabled veterans, also on a space-available basis. YOu would need to work with the base lodging office to determine availability.

      Best wishes!

  3. Donald says

    Those military discounts don’t apply to veterans who live in Puerto Rico. Then again they treat the common wealth like a redheaded stepchild.

  4. Hava Delsuc says

    Hi Ryan and everyone else,

    I run a small company in Paris called Blue Fox Travel. We lead bike tours and skip-the-line tours inside Paris. We also visit the French countryside in 8 seater minibuses. I am in the process of putting together a Military and Veterans Discount on our website. (Three of my brothers are Vets.)

    It will be available for all of our tours and Day Trips from Paris. I thought that it might be especially interesting to those of you who are interested in visiting any of the following places with us: The battle sights of Bealleau Wood (WWI) where the Marines got their Devil Dog nickname, The trenches in the Somme, and the D-Day Beaches of Normandy. We offer full day excursions visits to all of these places.

    I am in the process of creating a 25% discount for all Active Duty and Military Veterans. Being an American myself this just seemed like something I should do for those who have served and are still serving in the US Military.

    My company is called: Blue Fox Travel

    For now, you are all welcome to send me an email directly and I will make the 25% discount happen for you. Within a month the discount should be online on our website.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Carmelo, Thank you for your email.

      This isn’t something I am able to do.

      Each company determines their own discount policies, if any. There is a lot of thought that goes into discount policies, including whether or not it makes financial sense for the company to offer a discount.

      That said, I have no control over a company’s policy, and I don’t have the capacity to lobby a company to start a discount program. It would take significantly more time, knowledge, and energy than I have available.

      You are welcome to start a mission to do this if you wish.

  5. Dawn Marie Holling says

    Can I get on a particular list for discounted event tickets, i.e. concerts, comedians, theatrical events etc.?

  6. Paul McGrath says

    Is this site for real?…. “Speak my mind?” Too often active duty, retirees and disabled veterans are completely ignored! I, personally have a great deal on my mind regarding military personnel.

    Suspicion leads me here. I’m not at all convinced anyone will read it or take it to heart.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Paul, this site is for real. The “Speak Your Mind” is in reference to the article. But please feel free to send me an email via our contact page. I’m happy to help however I can.

  7. Brian says

    Excellent article! This is very informative and provides useful information for anyone planning a trip or planning to fly in the near future. Highly recommended to service members and dependents to read before traveling, especially about “Military Travel Discounts.” Great job Ryan!

  8. Angel Guina says

    Hi Ryan,

    It’s good to see and read good articles about military topics ranging from benefits, tips on travel and others especially when the writer is a GUINA. I was excited to see and read your articles when I was browsing the VA website. So I decided to write this note just to let you know I am also in a GUINA clan family. I was born and grew up in the Philippines currently serving on active duty in the Navy and will be retiring in less than a year. I live in Washington state with my family. I was just curious where you from? Thanks and take care!

    Vr,
    Angel

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