Death or illness of a friend or a family member can surprise us and lead to many unexpected events. Many times, we will need to travel somewhere in order to get in contact with the deceased or ill person. However, traveling by airplane in these situations can be quite complicated. Fortunately, there are certain airway companies which offer bereavement fares which can solve all the above mentioned problems. However, before you can get such fares you will need to meet the necessary requirements and follow certain rules.
Characteristics of Airlines Bereavement Fares
Usually, airlines allow discounts for people who book their plane tickets in advance. However, you cannot get these privileges once you purchase your ticket in the last minute, which is usually the case when emergency is in question. If you ask for bereavement fares, you will probably need to state the family members traveling as well as the location of the hospital you are traveling to or the funeral you are to attend. Some airlines may even ask for the doctor's name, if you happen to be going to a hospital. Telephone numbers and family relationships are also common pieces of information the airlines may ask from you.
Even though these tickets are more expensive than those obtainable during seat sale, they can keep your family together during the flight and will stay valid for up to 30 days with no minimum requirements. Nevertheless, make sure you ask the staff about the bereavement fares so that you know what your options are in advance.
With most airline companies, bereavement fares are obtainable once you apply for a refund within 90 days after your journey. The amount of discount you can get varies from 10 to 75% of the normal fare price. Finally, if you need to switch airlines or travel internationally, the chances of getting bereavement fares are not so big.
Airlines Which Offer Bereavement Fares
Even though many airlines offer these fares, some major companies like Virgin America, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and US Airways do not.
On the other hand, Air Canada you can get bereavement fares allowing you to travel within 7 days after the booking, staying for 30 days. However, you will need a death certificate or a letter from the doctor to hand it over before you can benefit from bereavement fares.
Delta/Northwest airlines provide almost the same type of support. Here, you need to bring the death certificate or a letter from the doctor on your way back, getting a 50% discount.
Trans World Airlines will demand you to purchase the cheapest tickets allowing you a refund of 33% once you provide proof of your family member passing away.
Some airline companies will limit the relatives taken into consideration for the bereavement fares to only the closest ones.