Why So Many Retirees Are Suddenly Working In Travel

There has been a sudden uptick in the number of retirees working in travel. And the reasons why make total sense.

By Kristi Eckert | Published

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retirees working in travel

There has been an uptick in the number of retired workers re-entering the workforce in the travel field. With airlines contending with severe staffing shortages, retired individuals are swooping and scooping up the open jobs. However, the retirees working in travel are doing so with one specific ulterior motive. 

The reason why so many retirees are suddenly jumping at the chance to work in travel is because of all of the perks that they receive for doing it. And according to The New York Times, these retirees working in travel are not shy about their reasons for doing so, either. In fact, many individuals will blatantly state that they are in it solely for the awesome perks and discounts. 

So just what do these enticing perks look like? Well, for Joey and Mario Boyd-Scott their perks recently materialized in the form of a super discounted trip to Europe. Joey and Maria traveled to Amsterdam and then France to celebrate Maria’s 60th birthday. For around $1,300 the couple was able to both get round-trip tickets and stay at hotels with 5-Star accommodations. Had they not been working in the travel industry, the trip would have cost an estimated $6,000. Maria has been working for United Airlines for the past two years loading and unloading baggage. Her wife Joey recently took a job as a front desk agent for the Hilton. Both ladies are retired. 

If you think about it, the fact that so many retirees are opting to work in the travel industry makes complete sense. After couples retire, many take their newly found freedom and begin traveling to places they were unable to when they were working full-time jobs and raising families. The work culture in the United States, unfortunately, doesn’t support workers taking large swaths of time for themselves, but that’s a topic for another article. Anyway, the point is that once people retire many want to travel. However, traveling is expensive. This is true even if one was able to secure a pension and amass a certain amount of wealth in a 401K or another type of retirement account. Thus, even though they might travel, they might not be able to afford to go to every place on their bucket list. Working in travel and getting those significant discounts potentially changes that. 

What’s more, is that retirees working in travel are not doing so in a full-time capacity. Maria Boyd-Scott for instance told The New York Times that she typically works only about 15 hours per week, which is the minimum to maintain the discounts available to her. Her wife Joey works part-time, too. “They hired me to work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So eventually we’ll travel Monday through Thursday. And we’ll travel like we’re rich,” said Maria’s wife Joey, speaking about her job at the Hilton. 

Moreover, it’s not just the retirees that are working in travel who are reaping the benefits. Companies are benefitting, too. “We’re open to anything. We have more job openings across the company than ever before, and we’re thinking outside the box on how to retain talent,” said Dan Bienstock, who works as the chief people officer for EOS Hospitality, a hotel management company. The travel industry is hurting for workers, and retirees are stepping in to help, so long as they can cash in on all the great perks. When it comes down to it, it’s really a win-win for both sides.