It pays to be born. Beyond a complimentary dessert at your favorite restaurant, there are plenty of free birthday travel promotions that should be on your radar. Whether it’s extra bonus miles, hotel discounts or even upgrades on long-haul international flights, you’d be surprised at how much you could potentially save on your special day.
Getting excited to celebrate? Don’t worry, we already did the hard work. We’ve put together a list of places that offer the best birthday freebies. If you have yet to make reservations with any of the following companies, perhaps it’s time to reconsider plans for your next bash given these perks.
The Best Free Birthday Travel Promotions
Cathay Pacific doesn’t tend to advertise this, as it’s doubtful they can accommodate everyone, but people have been rumored to get free upgrades from economy to business class on international flights. Considering the difference between the two cabins can be more than $7,000, it never hurts to ask — especially if you’re flying on your actual birthday.
One thing Cathay Pacific does do to make birthdays in the sky more pleasant is giving passengers the option to pre-order a cake for around $40. And yes, the flight attendants will sing to you, too!
This may not seem like a lot, but a discount is a discount. If you book a flight during your birthday month with China Airlines, you’re eligible to receive 5% off economy tickets and 10% off on business class routes in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Guam, Palau, Hong Kong and China.
You just have to sign up for the airlines’ loyalty program to take advantage of the promotion (it’s free to sign up).
Keep an eye out for Kimpton’s 20% off birthday coupon, which I’ve personally seen emailed to me in the past. A standard room overseas in Europe can be around 150 euros, so the offer can certainly go a long way.
Some customers have also had surprises, such as balloons or dessert, placed in their room after giving the property a heads up they were celebrating a birthday. Personally, I always let hotels know in advance that it’s my day, and they tend to do a little something special.
If you have a Flying Blue account from Air France/KLM and fly within 100 days of your birthday, you’ll get 3,000 bonus miles. You may not be able to get a free flight for that amount, as one mile is reportedly only worth 1.2 cents, but every little bit helps.
Lufthansa has a solid birthday deal for members and all other loyalists of its Star Alliance partners. Customers who stay at its accommodations partner, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, will be gifted double award miles per stay, along with a complimentary breakfast or room upgrade, depending on what’s available.
When I heard this, I made sure to indicate my birthday on my account and I eventually received the exclusive offer. The best part is, the night can count towards the number of stays you have to accrue for a certain loyalty status. To put things in perspective, you only need 10 nights to gain Marriott’s lowest Silver status.
Even though you may not get anything for free when turning a year older, Southwest Airlines loves to celebrate other holidays at 30,000 feet in the air. From New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween and more, the company provides passengers with free premium drinks on notable calendar days.
Plus, Southwest does celebrate its own birthday on June 18th. So make a note and feel free to plan around it during the summer.
Again, it’s not much, but with Alaska Airlines you can save up to 5% off tickets for you and a friend. The promo codes are reportedly unique to each member account and e-mailed to you around your birthday. With flights being as low as $44 one-way, it doesn’t hurt to get an already affordable flight for even cheaper.
The site will also give your hotel accommodations a heads up and as a result, guests have received everything from unicorn cakes to bite-sized cake truffles in their rooms upon arrival. Now that’s a party!
Leave it to the happiest place on Earth to make your birthday magical. At Disney World and Disneyland, guests will receive a free birthday button so the staff can properly greet you as you make your way through the grounds. It’s also an easy way for employees to know when they should give you the series of freebies from the different theme parks.
A few examples include a free pretzel at Disneyland’s Wetzel’s Pretzels with no purchase necessary, or a special offer at the Lego store. However, you have to sign up for the loyalty program beforehand. At Disney World, you can snag complimentary birthday desserts at an array of restaurants or an Icee from Club Cool in Epcot.
Additionally, outside franchises like Starbucks and Earl of Sandwich scattered around both parks will still honor their company’s birthday freebies for loyalists. It may only save you a few dollars, but nothing beats a free frappuccino or Earl’s popular roast beef sandwich.
Make sure you’re always getting the best prices when you travel by setting a Deal Alert. We’ll let you know as soon as there’s a new offer for your favorite airline or hotel.