Full List Of Military Discounts On Flights: From The US To The UK

We all love discounts and promotions, there are some that are more prominent than others. With the lower frequency and a much smaller target customer base, military discount is one of them.

And that is a shame. To the ones who train really hard and protect their countries, they deserve the best there is. That is why we have decided to compose a full list of military discounts on flights. Both US and UK airlines, as a thank you to these dedicated people.


  1. Even though we try to include as many airlines as possible, the list is not exhaustive. 
  2. This article is written based on the available information on May 2023. The airlines providing these discount programs, as well as their details are all subject to change. 

What Are We Talking About As A “Military Discount”?

There are special benefits for soldiers and their families. And they are pretty awesome! Photo by Drobot Dean - stock.adobe.com

As we mentioned earlier, this type of discount might often be overlooked. It is not uncommon for people to be unaware of this. So, what is a military discount?

From the name of it, you might already guess it is for military personnel. However, there is more to that. Firstly, it can be applied to both active duty and retired soldiers. Second, family members of said people can also benefit from the programs.

These discount programs can be considered a way for airlines to express their gratitude toward the military community for their sacrifice and dedication. 

Besides being a great way to save expenses and increase comfort, military discounts are valuable to people’s lives. On the other hand, military discounts can be bridges closing the gap between soldiers who are stationed far away and their loved ones.

Depending on the situation, the locations can change several times during their service. Hence, knowing that there is a support system out there is comforting. 

Common discount types

1. Percentage off the total price

This is the simplest, and probably the most common, form of military discount. The percentage off, depending on the airlines, might vary from 5% to 20%. However, it is worth noticing that this percentage is based on the base fee, meaning taxes and other additional fees are excluded. 

2. Free checked baggage

The extra fees for these items can be substantial. Well, not anymore. Photo by American Green Travel on Unsplash

Another type that is fairly popular is free checked baggage. It might not seem as impressive as the previous option, but it can save people a lot of money when flying with big and bulky items. The number of bags accepted is subject to change.

Generally speaking, active-duty soldiers will be able to check more bags without spending extra fees in comparison to retired ones. In some cases, active-duty military members are provided with up to three free checked bags on their flights. 

3. Priority boarding

Another typical perk provided to military personnel is priority boarding, which permits military personnel to board the aircraft ahead of other passengers. Again, as boring as it might sound, it can come in handy at times.

4. Waived change fees

Another benefit is related to waiving change fees. This is especially valuable for military members who may need to change their travel schedules due to unanticipated events like deployment or mission modifications.

For people who are not familiar, with this perk, the change fees can range from $50 to $500 or more depending on the airline.

5. Free seat upgrades and complimentary in-flight amenities

These luxury items might be accessible sometimes. Photo by OskCar Kadaksoo on Unsplash

Some airlines provide free seat upgrades and complimentary in-flight services to military personnel. Free seat upgrades may include access to premium seating options. Snacks, refreshments, and entertainment options can also be provided for free. While these types might not be too popular, they are little touches that can enhance the experience whether the flight is for duty or pleasure.

6. TSA Precheck

TSA PreCheck is available at no cost for U.S. military servicemembers who possess their DOD ID number or Common Access Card (CAC).

Getting this for servicemembers is super easy. You need to enter your DOD ID into a section called “Known Traveler Number” when you check out. And then you get it. That’s it.

Which Airlines Have Military Benefits?

Down here will be the list of airlines providing this wonderful type of discount:

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is very similar to Southwest Airlines, not only in terms of being a budget option but also related to the military discounts.

Remember the Veterans Advantage problem we talked about earlier? Alaska Airlines will provide a 5% discount for its members, as well as some additional benefits such as group booking discount, immediate application, etc. (You can check for details here).

Even though it is not free to enter their premium lounge - Alaska Lounge - active-duty military members with IDs available will be able to get $30 off their purchase. Don’t worry if you don’t want to spend extra money to enter the lounge, Alaska Airlines also allows active members of the military to board early.

It is nothing new for any passengers to know that airline food is extremely expensive. However, Alaska Airlines has made it a little bit more tolerable with their 15%-discount program for military customers.

Moreover, in order to save passengers some money for snacks, the first five bags and trained service animals (with proper documentation) are free of charge.

Interestingly, besides military discounts on their flights, Alaska Airlines has numerous other programs to tribute to people who have served their countries. You can check it out here.

American Airlines

The military discounts it provides do live up to its reputation. Photo by Jan Rosolino on Unsplash. 

There are surprisingly many benefits included in American Airlines’ program. First, there is a discount (up to 10%) on eligible domestic and international flight tickets.

At the moment, qualifying international flights include ones from the United States to Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

If you are not a candidate - active-duty member or military retiree, military veteran, National Guard or reservist - you need to sign up for a VetRewards primary account to apply for the program. Unfortunately, an account costs $5.00 per month. It is not much but worth knowing. 

For people who don’t have or don’t want to sign up for a VetRewards account, there are other perks.

If you are an active member of the United States military travelling on orders you can carry up to five bags, 100 lbs (45.3 kg) each, free of charge just by presenting an active U.S. military ID. As for military dependents, the same benefit will be applied if you carry two things: Your military dependent ID, and a copy of active orders. 

The benefits don’t end here. When boarding for the flights, active-duty military with ID will be prioritised in group 1 along with customers in the “First” category. For military personnel travelling with working dogs on official duty, pet fees are waived with valid documentation.

British Airways

In collaboration with the Defense Discount Service, British Airways is one of the popular airlines in the UK which provides military discounts. About Defense Discount Service, it is a UK-based website that works as a platform to provide Discounts and promotions for members of the Armed Forces, Veterans as well as their families.

Since 2013, British Airways has signed the Armed Forces Covenant and currently offers a 10% discount on their tickets, excluding first class. To be able to get this discount, passengers have to sign up for their accounts on the Defense Discount Service website.

At first glance, it might seem like a hustle when you have to provide information such as email address and service number. However, there are numerous types of discounts, not just in the airline industry, that you can find on this website. So, it is worth it to spend some effort.

Delta Airlines

Delta provides recognition and savings to active-duty United States service members that are not available to civilian customers. Along with early boarding, Delta provides free checked military bag allowance, pet travel, and medical travel. 

For soldiers who are on military orders, free checked baggage can be up to 80 linear (length + width + height) inches (200 cm) and 100 lbs (45.3 kg) in weight. For your reference, a civilian passenger is allowed to carry baggage that does not exceed 50 lbs (22.6 kg) and 62 inches linear (158 cm). 

Unlike other passengers, only Active U.S State Department Foreign Service Officers (FSO) or active U.S Military and their spouses with active transfer orders can travel with pets. Even though there are fees included for this service ($150-200), it is useful in a lot of cases. 

Understanding the difficulty of being in the military, passengers whose family member(s) or domestic partner(s) have endured war-related injuries are put under Delta Medical Emergency policy. It is a helpful benefit but the detail is a little bit complicated, it is best to directly contact Delta Airline (1-800-221-1212) depending on the specific scenario.

Frontier Airlines

Different from others in which the benefits extend to family members, Frontier Airlines only offer them to active military personnel only (active-duty armed forces, reserves, and national guard in this case).

For eligible passengers, by presenting a Common Access Card (CAC) and a uniformed services affiliation at check-in, the fees are waived for:

  • One free personal item
  • One free carry-on bag
  • Two free checked bags.

Hawaiian Airlines

In collaboration with the Veteran Advantages, Hawaiian Airlines offer several benefits to the members.

Even though the discount is not for all flights, eligible passengers will have a 5% discount on coach fares from the U.S. Mainland to the Hawaiian Islands.

For flights between “an international city” to Hawaii, only tickets booked via the HawaiianAirlines.com discount link is benefit from the program.

According to the airline, “eligible” means people who have a verified military affiliation. However, it is worth noting that the eligibility remains available even when the military personnel pass away.

In addition, Hawaiian Airlines also supports passengers regarding luggage. For passengers on personal travels, 2 bags are allowed free of charge. These bags have to be within 50lbs (22.6 kg) and 62 linear inches (152 linear centimetres)

For those who are travelling on official government travel orders, 5 bags are allowed. However, to be benefited from this, passengers need to check in at the airline’s counters. Each bag must not exceed 70 lbs and 80 linear inches, that is 32kg and 203 linear centimetres.


It’s the Veterans Advantage program again. At this point, you should have applied for the program already. If you have, a 5% discount (off base fare) is on the way for your future tickets to more than 100 destinations in the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean, and London.

In normal circumstances, meaning not travelling for duty, Veterans Advantage members can check two bags weighing up to 50 pounds for free.

On the other hand, if the trip is for duty, the number goes up to five free checked bags weighing up to 99 pounds each. This applies not only to the military personnel but also to the dependent(s) on the same route.


Similar to Frontier Airlines, Lufthansa does not focus heavily on the military discount program. For people who are members of Veterans Advantage, a 5% discount would be applied for tickets purchased via lufthansa.com.

However, this is a list of several requirements you might want to take a look at:

  • The journey must start from the U.S
  • Certain routes or destinations might not be eligible for the discount program
  • Only reservations with 8 or fewer people are accepted
  • The discount is applied to the published base fare and does not apply to government-mandated taxes and levies or foreign surcharges imposed by the carrier
  • May not be used with certain promotional Web fares
  • Only highlighted flights on lufthansa.com are benefited from the program.

To conclude this on a more positive note, “next of kin” family members are also eligible.

Southwest Airlines 

The decoration is not exactly the American flag, but apparently, that’s where its heart is. Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash. 

Even though many consider Southwest Airlines as a budget option, they are very generous when it comes to military discounts. First, active members of the U.S. Army with military IDs available with be prioritised during the boarding process. Specifically, right after the first group.

Furthermore, military customers travelling on active duty are free from the two-piece baggage limit. The new limitation is 20. They are also free from excess, oversize, or overweight baggage charges. 

The checked baggage policy is also extended. Instead of being less than 50 pounds and smaller than 62 inches, the checked bags can be within 100 pounds and 80 inches.  

Despite providing other benefits such as travelling with military working dogs and discount fares, Southwest Airlines requires the passenger to make a direct phone call. The reason for the former is due to the complicated process, and system unavailability is the one for the latter.

United Airlines 

Clearly declared as a thank to the U.S. military, United Airlines provides benefits for military personnel. The eligible candidates include soldiers who either are active or have been discharged within a week of the travelling date.

First and foremost, if the mentioned personnel are also members of Veteran Advantages, they will receive a 5% discount on tickets for flights of United Airlines and United Express. However, these tickets have to be purchased on united.com. Accompanied by the 5% discount are several requirements such as nationality, destinations, etc.

We highly suggest you check additional requirements on their website since it is subject to change. In addition, active-duty military members travelling either on official orders or for leisure are welcome to check extra baggage for free (except military pet shipping).

This benefit, as stated on United Airlines’ website, is different based on specific situations.  

Personal Travel

  • Number of bags: 3
  • Dimensions: 62 inches (158cm) and 70 lbs (32kg)

Military dependent with travel orders

  • Number of bags: 2
  • Dimensions: 62 inches (158cm) and 70 lbs (32kg)

Military orders

  • Number of bags: 5
  • Dimensions: 115 inches (292cm) and 100 lbs (45kg)

These benefits are applied to all classes of service when the bags are checked via United. One requirement is that the flight has to be fully operated by United or United Express.

Also, if dependents are travelling with military personnel, the same exemptions are given.

Another exciting perk is the “United Club invitation”. For people who are not familiar, “United Club” is their premium waiting lounge. On the departure day, a passenger member with military ID, boarding pass, and sponsoring documentation will be allowed to enter the lounge.

Family members with gate passes or travel on the same flight might also be allowed. The allowance would depend on the lounge’s capacity and seating availability in specific locations.

We appreciate your service

Even though this is nothing in comparison with the sacrifice you have made, we hope you see that as a way of showing gratitude to society for your contribution. Moreover, by composing a full list of military discounts on flights, our team in CabinZero hopes that we have made your lives a little bit easier. 

During our research, we can see the complicated sometimes these programs can be. For that reason, we recommend you contact the airline to double-check anything you are unsure of. In the same manner, don’t hesitate to comment down below any questions that you have in mind, and we will answer them!

Get there and come back safe and sound. Thank you for your service!

Bui Hoang Hai

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