Veterans’ Travel Discounts: American Forces Travel
Official Veteran Travel Discounts: American Forces Travel (AFT)
What do we mean by “official” veteran discounts? That American Forces Travel is a function of the DoD’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation MWR department and is an official part of the Department of Defense “family.”
The deals you get as an authorized American Forces Travel customer are provided by MWR and proceeds help fund the agency’s operations at home and military bases overseas.
According to the Department of Defense, American Forces Travel is a “one-stop travel booking site” provided to all branches of military service. This is offered thanks to a partnership between MWR and Priceline.
How American Forces Travel Works
American Forces Travel is an online travel booking site for authorized customers, including active-duty and retired military members, veterans, their families, and DoD civilians. You can book your travel online in any of the categories below:
- Flights inside and outside the U.S. with no booking fees and lower costs for changing your reservations.
- International hotels.
- Rental vehicles
- Vacation packages, cruises, tours.
- No-fee tickets for concerts, sports, and theater.
Typical savings using veteran travel discounts from American Forces Travel include price breaks on hotels, cruises, and rental cars.
Some sources report bargains up to half-price for lodging, with savings as high as 80% on cruises. There are also discounts on travel packages, including flights, hotels, and rental cars.
According to the Dod, when using American Forces Travel, Priceline does not charge for bookings or cancellations. Individual travel partners (airlines, rental agencies, etc.) may impose cancellation fees, but none from Priceline itself.
When you’re booking travel, it pays to compare prices. What travel discounts do you find using other travel resources compared to the veteran travel savings you find at AFT? It’s smart to shop around for your travel discounts.
Who Can Use American Forces Travel?
- All current active-duty military
- All Veterans with an Honorable discharge or General Under Honorable Conditions.
- All members of the Reserve and National Guard
- Coast Guard Auxiliary Active Duty
- All current active duty and retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- All current active duty and retired US Public Health Service (USPHS)
- All retired military
- Reserves and National Guard members who are retirement eligible
- All Medal of Honor recipients
- All veterans with service-connected disabilities
- All veterans who are Purple Heart recipients
- All veterans who are former prisoners of war
- Primary family caregivers of eligible veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.
- Eligible family members who are officially sponsored in any of the above categories
- All Department of Defense and Coast Guard civilians, including appropriated funds (APF) employees and non-appropriated funds (NAF) employees
- Full-time, paid employees of the American Red Cross and United Service Organizations (USO) hired in the United States and serving at U.S. DoD installations overseas
Perks of Using American Forces Travel
When traveling on an itinerary you booked through AFT, you have 24/7 support. Some believe one of the major perks of using American Forces Travel is the price match guarantee. According to the official site:
“Find a lower price within 24 hours of booking, we’ll refund you 100% of the difference.” Exclusions apply, and there are caveats.
As per the fine print on the official site, the deal “must be available to the general public for booking on a website in the same currency, using the same form of payment and from the same point of sale as your original reservation when you contact us.”
Additionally, the lower price must be “an exact match to the itinerary booked on americanforcestravel.com, including offering a comparable cancellation policy.”
Some travel options may allow you to pay using a Military STAR card.
How to Sign Up for American Forces Travel
Anyone eligible for MWR programs and services can use American Forces Travel. When you visit the site, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number, date of birth, and last name to verify your eligibility to access veteran travel discounts from AFT.
Enter this information and follow the instructions you get.
According to the Department of Defense, the American Forces Travel login system tries to locate the service member in DEERS to verify eligibility. Veterans who cannot be verified initially may be referred to a screen to fill out VETVerify forms. Follow these prompts to gain access to the American Forces Travel site.
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.