Are there discounts for travelers with disabilities? How do I find them?
–Kelly, Phoenix, Ariz.
Yes, Kelly, there are discounts for travelers with disabilities. They're usually not as well advertised or as widespread as discounts for seniors or students, but they exist nonetheless.
One the best sources of discounts for disabled travelers is public transportation. In New York, for example, transit riders with disabilities can ride for half price, while in Chicago, disabled veterans of any age can ride for free. Anyone age 65 or older can also ride free in Chicago. With all public transportation, it definitely pays to ask about senior and/or disabled-traveler discounts.
Another travel provider that usually does right by older travelers generally, and disabled ones especially, is the National Park Service.
If you're a traveler with a recognized disability, you can obtain an America the Beautiful Access Pass for free. Yes, free. To qualify for the pass, you'll need documentation from a licensed physician, a federal agency, such as the Veteran's or Social Security Administrations, or a state agency, such as a vocational-rehabilitation agency. Even better, this pass allows up to four adults riding in the same vehicle to enter parks for free, too. Please also note that anyone over the age of 62 can obtain a similar pass for just $10.
Also consider Greyhound, which does not have a discount for the disabled, but does offer start-to-finish assistance for passengers with mobility issues, from assisting with boarding to accommodation for service animals. Greyhound does offer discounts for veterans and those 62+.
One more great resource is SATH, the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality. The group’s Web site may also be helpful: SATH.org.