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Are there senior discounts for Asia travel?

Dear Editor,

Can you tell me if there is a senior discount for travel to Asia?

Donald W.

Dear Donald,

Yes, Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong-based airline, offers 55 Plus Worry Free Fares. These fares have reduced prices and flexible rules, and are available to U.S. residents age 55 or older flying to Hong Kong or nine other Asian cities. Fares can be changed for no charge and are 100 percent refundable should you decide to cancel prior to departure.

To see if the senior fares actually delivered savings over regular Cathay Pacific fares, I researched prices for a flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok in December and found that the senior fare was over $200 cheaper than the lowest regular fare. Of course, you’d want to compare Cathay Pacific’s senior fares with fares from other airlines to make sure you’re getting the absolute best price.

If you’re considering more extensive travel, you may want to look into Cathay Pacific’s “All Asia Pass,” regularly priced at $1,199, plus taxes and fees. The pass includes a round-trip flight from select U.S. cities to Hong Kong, plus inter-continental flights from Hong Kong to 17 other cities in Asia. The airline offers seniors 55 and older a $100 discount on the pass. However, you can save $200 simply by registering for the airline’s free CyberTraveler newsletter, bringing the pass price down to $999. You can’t combine discounts, so use the CyberTraveler discount for the most savings.

The “All Asia Pass” includes round-trip airfare between New York (JFK), San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, or Toronto and Hong Kong, plus 21 consecutive days of air travel between Hong Kong and any of the following 17 cities: Bali and Jakarta, Indonesia; Bangkok, Thailand; Cebu and Manila, Philippines; Karachi, Pakistan; Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo, Japan; Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia; Seoul, South Korea; Singapore; Surabaya; and Taipei, Taiwan. Considering that separately purchased flights between these destinations could easily cost you several thousand dollars, the “All Asia Pass” can be a tremendous value. You may also add on other cities in Australia, China, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, or extend your travel period to up to 90 days for an extra charge.

Travel is valid in 2004 for departures through December 1. Although a 2005 “All Asia Pass” has not yet been announced, it’s likely that Cathay Pacific will renew this deal next year, as it has in years past. For more information about the pass, visit the Cathay Pacific website.

If you have a question about senior travel, please e-mail us and include your first name and where you’re from. Because of the volume of e-mail we receive, we can’t guarantee a response to each question.

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