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The Mature Traveler

European Airlines Offer Discounts

October 12, 1986|BILL HUGHES | Hughes is a 30-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks.

Several European carriers have begun discount fares for seniors, although the age limits vary from 60 to 65 years of age and most departures are from New York, Chicago or Boston.

Sabena offers a Discovery Fare from New York to Brussels for seniors 60 years and older for $169 one way, $338 round trip. That's considerably lower than the Belgian national airline's lowest scheduled fare of $496. But it has one restriction: It cannot be booked more than 72 hours before departure.

Finnair, Finland's national carrier, sets 65 years of age as the minimum for its senior fare of $348 one way, $696 round trip from Los Angeles, or $248 one way, $496 round trip from New York. Both to Helsinki.

A spouse of any age is also eligible for the same fare but must travel with the senior member. The fare is in effect until April 30, 1987, but again--reservations can only be confirmed three days in advance.

Portugal and Poland

TAP Air Portugal has a senior citizens' fare of $438 round trip between New York or Boston to Lisbon for seniors 60 years and older. The senior fare is valid through May 31 of next year but has blackout periods during the Christmas and Easter holidays. Other restrictions are departures only on Fridays and Saturdays.

LOT, the Polish Airline, has a New York to Warsaw round-trip fare of $699 for seniors 60 years and older in effect now through Dec. 31, but it's expected to be carried over through most of next year. There is also a brief blackout period over the Christmas holidays.

JAT Yugoslav Airlines continues its senior citizens fare policy (with no specific age cited). Offered through October is a fare of $610 round trip from New York to Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, Rijeka, Titograd, Split or Tivat. It is $680 round trip to the same destinations from Chicago.

One-Way Bargains

In addition to these transatlantic discounts, SAS, the Scandinavian carrier, offers to seniors 65 years and older flights from Stockholm to any other city in Sweden for $29 one way.

For those 60 years and over, SAS has a second senior special, this one in Denmark. Seniors can fly from Copenhagen to any other city in Denmark for $32 one way. But unlike the $29 fare for flights within Sweden, the Danish $32 one-way fares can only be booked within Denmark.

Further information on such senior fares might best be obtained from your travel agency. Other European carriers can be expected to offer similar competitive fares to protect their share of the market. Alitalia, for one, is expected to introduce a senior fare effective Nov. 1, but full information was not available at this writing.

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Some other senior discounts, special packages and promotions:

Loews L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C., gives seniors 60 years and older a 20% discount off normal single room rates ($115 and up) or double room rates ($135 and up), plus a 20% discount off meals in the hotel's Apple of Eve restaurant.

The hotel also notes that the capital has launched a Golden Washingtonian Club for seniors, with numerous discounts at restaurants and other retail establishments.

You can get a free directory by writing to the D.C. Commission to Promote Washington, 415 12th St. N.W., Suite 312, Washington, D.C. 20004.

The Yosemite Assn. will give a three-day series of "Autumn Saunters for Active Seniors" Oct. 28-30 that explores the Wawona area of Yosemite in a series of easy three- or four-mile hikes.

Led by Tim and Barbara DeWitt, participants will explore the Mariposa Grove and such other Yosemite attractions as Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome and Taft Point, in addition to one evening discussion session. Seminar fee is $90 per person, which does not include accommodations. Space has been blocked for participants at the Wawona Hotel.

For information about the senior trip or other seminars and outdoor classes offered, write to Yosemite Assn., P.O. Box 545, Yosemite National Park, Calif. 95389. The phone number is (209) 379-2646.

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