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How A $16 Membership Saved Me $1,600 On Airfare Last Week

AA Executive Platinum
Written by Charlie

By having a little $16 membership with AARP, I was able to save $1,600 on airfare last week! And you can do it too!

Last week saw the combinations of some wonderful deals that made for incredible sale fares in business class on British Airways and American Airlines from the US to Europe. I got in on it late but was still able to rack up some pretty incredible deals with one of the important factors being the AARP membership that cost me $16 and saved me $1,600!

How A $16 Membership Saved Me $1,600 On Airfare

AARP Discount – Not Just For Older Folks!

AARP Link To Join

Getting a membership in AARP is actually not only for those 50 and older. Anyone can sign-up but apparently not receive all the benefits of the program unless you are older than 50. As a result, I signed up for $16 for one year and that gave me access to one of the best discounts they have and it is for travel.

AARP has a travel discount with British Airways that gives an amount off of various tickets. The breakdown looks like this:

  • Save $65 on World Traveller (economy)
  •  Save $130 on World Traveller Plus (premium economy)
  •  Save $400 on Club World (business class) and First Class tickets.

$400 Discount


The sale last week was for business class tickets and it originally started at $2,000 each. Once you went through your AARP membership link to British Airways, you received $400 off of that price. After that, you were able to use 30,000 Avios to bring the price down another $763 – a pretty great deal! At one point during the day, the starting price was actually around $1,600 with some as low as $1,400 so the end price was under $300 per ticket!

I did not get in until later but was still able to find some flights (4 in all, hence the $1,600 saved) that worked for me and with a total all-in price of under $300 each! Obviously, I had traded 30,000 Avios on each ticket to get it that low, but the first step was in the $400 discount from the AARP/British Airways discount (because of promotions, I was actually just trading the Avios for American Airline miles as I will be receiving well over 30,000 AA miles for flying).

A Worthwhile Investment

For $16 for a year (and a spouse/partner are free as well), it is worthwhile to get it if you want to be ready for the next business class sale from British Airways! They have run quite a few this year to Europe (although not with the sale component that let you get 2.5 cents per Avios) that were available to purchase for under $1,200 with some under $1,000. For travel to Europe during peak times, that is a great price for economy – to get to do it in business in fantastic! Of course miles are better, but if you were planning on using British Airways to get to Europe, you would likely have some high taxes/fees/surcharges anyway, so this is a good deal!

To make it better (though it did not stack with these deals last week but does with just the AARP discount), you can get an additional 10% off if you use the British Airways Visa (currently offering 100,000 Avios after meeting all spending) by using code CARDOFFERU.


Always nice to see big discounts and this one certainly helps! It was actually my first time using it because I am normally tied to Star Alliance carriers. However, this great sale will get me to AA Executive Platinum for the first time so I may be making use of it more often!

How about you? Have you used the AARP discount with British Airways before?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I too took advantage of this sale from LAX to CDG. Our tickets ( family of 4) came to $900 each. With the AARP, Avios and making sure I was flying BA not AA it was a bit extra but business all the way. On BA I input my AA number….since I want the AA miles not more Avios. Do you recommend to go this way or just input my BA number?

    • Nice job! When are you flying? If it is before January 31, you can take advantage of the 25,000 mile promo AA is running (BA is as well). If so, I think it is definitely better to credit to AA. However, if it is after that, if your other family members do not regularly accrue AA miles, it may be more helpful to credit to BA since they have Household accounts to pool Avios.
      All that being said, Avios are much easier to come by than AA miles (because of all the transfer partners) so I think you made the right call.

    • Darlene, Why were you certain to make sure you are flying BA and not AA? Personally I prefer the AA’s herringbone seating in business class on the 77W.

      • So to answer – Charlie – I am traveling in the month of January. I also kept the kids and hubby on the Avios train – because I can use them later, but as I continue to work on my AA status, I figured I neded the points that way. I also wasn’t sure if the bonus mileage would benefit me if I had my BA…either way, the status was the main reason.
        Joel – In March I flew business on BA and enjoy my Champagne, plus the afternoon tea. I also feel like when I travel internationally on an international airline there is an extra add of hospitality that I don’t feel on American airlines. I have not flown American across waters since 2009. Also, the BA flight was from LON-LAX, which is much better than CDG to somewhere in America than onto LAX. Never enough time(and tired) to go through customs, touch my luggage back through TSA and and have to reboard…..just much easier this way.

    • Thanks! I am not doing anything too exciting – not enough time in my schedule this time of year. So, I shifted an award ticket for a return to the US that I already had and am doing a couple of PHL-ATH runs over the space of a couple of weeks to get me what I need for AA EXP.

  • I was also able to take advantage of this sale–just days after my boyfriend had registered for the Copenhagen marathon. Even though at the time the AARP BA discount page stated the $400 deal was good for flights through March 31, 2016, it still worked for booking our mid-May flights. I didn’t have any Avios to bring down the cost any further, but ORD-LHR-OSL and CPH-LHR-ORD for $1605 each isn’t bad. I know my travel companion will feel much better flying business class after running a marathon.

  • You know how many AA miles credit back from IAD-LHR-IAD? AVIOS said I will get 11,016 AVIOS back. Thanks

    • That is how many AA miles you will earn as well. The exception is if you fly before the end of January and register for the AA promo on business class travel to Europe for 25K for each trip.