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The Mature Traveler

Seniors Count On Special Discounts

March 16, 1986|BILL HUGHES | Hughes is a 25-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks.

Four more discount programs for mature travelers have recently been announced, one by a major hotel/condo chain in Hawaii, one by a cruise line out of New York and two by airlines.

Aston Hotels & Resorts manages 22 hotels and condominiums in Hawaii. It offers room discounts of up to 30% from April 1 through June 15 and Sept. 1 through Dec. 19 to travelers 65 and older.

The Aston senior rates begin at $26 a night for two, based on a week's stay in a studio apartment with a kitchen at the company's Coral Reef Hotel in Waikiki.

Aston also manages seven other hotels and condos on Oahu and properties on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii. Other Waikiki properties include the Waikikian, Hawaiian Monarch, Island Colony and Waikiki Beach Tower.

"Our program is designed to complement the senior discount fares being offered by the nation's major air carriers," said Michael V. Paulin, senior vice president.

Aston Hotels & Resorts, formerly Hotel Corp. of the Pacific, is Hawaii's largest manager of hotels and condominium resorts.

For information call Aston toll-free at (800) 367-5124.

Senior Sailing

Bahama Cruise Line offers a 20% discount to seniors 60 and older on seven-day sailings on the Veracruz between New York and Montreal this summer. To qualify for discount, payment must be made in full by March 30.

The 10,595-ton liner will leave New York every other Saturday, June 14 through July 12, for Montreal, with stops at Newport, R.I.; Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Quebec City. Return sailings from Montreal call at Quebec; Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Newport.

"Seniors may cruise for as little as $700 per person, double," said George Koch, vice president, "and only one person in the cabin need be 60 or older to qualify."

Delta Air Lines has joined the nation's major air carriers with a discount program for seniors 62 and older that differs from and can be considerably cheaper than the 10%-off fares of other carriers.

Travel Coupons

Delta's program is offered through purchase of booklets of flight coupons, four for $348 or eight for $448.

This means flights as low as $56 with purchase (and full use) of the eight-coupon booklet, or $87 per flight with the four-coupon booklet. Fares apply to all Delta flights in the continental United States and Puerto Rico.

There are some restrictions, but nothing out of the ordinary. In effect now, the program is good until Dec. 15.

Flights must be after noon on Mondays up to noon on Thursdays, plus all day Saturday.

Reservations can be made no earlier than six days before departure. If your return is to be within 14 days you can make a return reservation as well. Otherwise, it must be scheduled in the six-day period.

Some Restrictions Apply

Each coupon is good for one trip, says Delta, a trip ending with a stopover point or the destination. Connecting flights or en route stops on the same flight do not require another coupon. Proof of age will be required before departure.

In the fine print department, do note that "seats are limited." That's airline jargon for when only a portion of seats for each flight--sometimes just a few--are set aside for the deeply discounted fares.

That's a common policy for all carriers, not just Delta. It does mean, however, you may have to be flexible in arranging your travel schedule to meet the space available, sometimes having to move your travel time up or back a day or so.

For more information see your travel agent or call Delta at (213) 386-5510.

Canada Discounted

Air Canada is repeating its senior discount fares of up to 60% off standard economy fares between Los Angeles and popular Canadian destinations during the peak summer season. For this program the age is 65 or older.

Sample round-trip senior fares: Los Angeles to Toronto, $379.78 (compared to $726.46 standard economy fare), or Los Angeles to Montreal, a senior fare of $430.54. In effect June 17 to Sept. 8.

There is a 14-day advance purchase requirement and passengers must provide proof of age. Travel requires at least one Saturday overnight during the trip. Again, seats are limited, so be prepared to be flexible in your travel plans.

Rates for other Canadian destinations served by Air Canada are equally low, but the effective dates vary in Eastern and Western Canada.

For more information see your travel agent or call Air Canada at (213) 646-8848.

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