When the AARP comes to town for a bi-annual expo, members line up to learn about and take advantage of a variety of information and discounts available exclusively to the 38-million member organization. Over the weekend in Boston, we walked the convention center floor where bona fide proof of what the 50+ crowd gets from membership is in plain sight. Right there. Touchable. Of particular interest to travelers are many of the AARP member advantages that can have a real, positive impact on our travel experience, be it around the world or just across town.
Unique to the AARP member advantages program, travel companies must go through a rigorous process just to be considered as one of AARP’s travel partners. Their ‘deal’ must be unique, not offered anywhere else or to any other organization and be a stackable discount over and above any other program, sale, or pricing they might offer.
Norwegian Cruise Lines for example, gives AARP members a 5% discount on top of their very best deal. That makes Norwegian their exclusive cruise line. But what if a member wants to sail some other line? Out of luck? Hardly, a partnership with online booking engine Expedia brings additional discounts on top of their best deal too. Not into click to buy booking (as we recommend here quite often)? A partnership with nationwide Liberty Travel, a brick and mortar agency where clients can come in, sit down and talk with their travel agent scores high and realizes the undeniable benefit of a long term business relationship with a travel professional. But AARP Member Advantages start long before a booking is made with savings that can have a real, positive impact on travel funds.
A new relationship with ZipCar, the company that offers car rental by the hour, is a star of the AARP expo. A membership-based carsharing company, ZipCar offers automobile reservations to its members, billable by the hour or day. Discounts on UPS shipping, Hilton Hotel brands, Allstate Insurance and more can add up fast, enabling more travel.
Of particular interest is a British Airways program that gives AARP member advantage discounts on international flights that just might make the difference to those who would like to try a European river cruise but can’t get past the price of airfare. We’ll have much more on that and other travel related benefits in future posts, as we continue to explore all AARP has for members.
For now, lets take a look at that ZipCar concept, a discounted AARP member advantage that can save $hundreds if not $thousands.