It used to be something quite common: bereavement fares for flights. But over the last decade or so, they’ve slowly gone extinct. There are still some airlines that offer a bereavement fare, like Delta and Alaska Airlines, but most airlines have done away with them. And even if you can find a bereavement fare, oftentimes you’ll have to jump through hoops to get them (annoying for someone that didn’t just lose a loved one, let alone someone who is in a grief filled haze).
What hoops do I have to jump through?
First, in order to get a bereavement fare, you’ll have to call the airline. You can’t book it online. You also have to “prove” that someone died by providing a phone number to a funeral home, for example. In addition, the airlines that still do offer bereavement fares will only issue them to immediate family members. The hoops continue: the fares/flights they offer you are likely more than a normal priced ticket that you can book online. Strange, I know.
Luckily it’s not all bad news
You can still find last minute fares at a pretty good price (above). Certainly not ideal prices, but what is when you’re trying to get to a funeral? Unfortunately, I had to recently make an unplanned trip back home to Illinois (RIP grandpa.You're already missed). I used Google Flights to find affordable airfare, and luckily I was able to find a fair price three days out.
Nothing about this kind of situation is ideal. Sadly, you won’t be able to find many airlines on your side when you’re trying to get somewhere at the last minute, at least monetarily. Even though many airlines won’t give you discounts, many times you’ll be able to find a decent (non-discounted) price online.
Though airlines themselves aren’t people, they are made up of people. And those people will certainly try to help you out when possible. Like how Southwest rerouted a mom to help her get to her son’s bedside. A kind gesture like that can go a long way. Especially for someone who’s already having a tough week.
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