Bereavement travel discounts, or compassionate fares, are discounts extended to family members who must travel to attend to a gravely ill family member or in the case of their death. These discounts usually only apply to close relatives and proof of relationship, as well as proof of death or sickness is required before discount can be applied.
Find Discounted Bereavement Airfare
While there are many things that must be handled in a time of crisis, taking the time to find bereavement travel discounts can save money that may need to be applied to other expenses which are incurred in these serious situations. You likely have many items on your funeral planning checklist and likely look forward to none of them, particularly dealing with airline agents. However, most people find that air travel agents are familiar with the needs of grieving guests and can be quite sympathetic to your situation at this difficult time.
Who Qualifies for Bereavement Fares?
In most cases, the following people qualify for reduced airfare prices, though who might be included varies between airlines, so it’s necessary to ask each airline or check the bereavement travel policy on their website.
- Grandparents, step-grandparents,
- Parents, step-parents,
- Siblings, step-siblings,
- Aunts, uncles
- Nieces, nephews,
- Domestic partners Mother and father-in-law,
- Son or daughter-in-law,
- Brother or sister-in-law.
What Documentation Do I need for Bereavement Travel Fares?
Most of the documentation needed is easily obtained if it is not something already in your possession. The proof required in the case of a death may be different than that when traveling for sickness. Here is a list of the most common requirements:
- Death certificate,
- Name, address and phone number of funeral home,
- Proof of your relationship, such as birth certificate,
- If the person is gravely ill, name, address and phone number of hospital and attending physician
What are Some of the Different Bereavement Travel Policies?
Every airline has different policies, which can be found on their websites. A quick internet search can save a phone call or time on hold. Some of the different police include:
- Delta- Travel must be within 7 days of ticket purchase,
- Delta- Not offered on domestic travel,
- Continental- discounts range from 5% to 20%,
- American Airlines- Tickets must be booked through American Airlines only,
- American Airlines- Tickets must be completed within one day after the reservation is made,
- American Airlines- offers bereavement travel fares for friends.
What are the Discount Rates?
The discounts offered may vary, so it is important to call around before booking a ticket. Some airlines offer larger discounts to more expensive tickets, others offer a flat rate discount as much as 50% off – but policies vary greatly so check multiple airlines to ensure you get your travel needs to be met.
Is it Possible to Use Frequently Flyer Points?
If you have frequent flyer miles saved, some airlines will permit last minute ticket booking in the case of bereavement if there are frequent flyer spaces available on the flight you wish are wishing to use. It is important to check with individual airlines and ask about their policy regarding the use of frequent flier miles for bereavement travel.
Not Every Airline Offers Compassionate Fares
The airline industry has been hit hard in recent years and many have discontinued compassionate fares. Some of the ones that do not offer discounted prices include:
- Air Tran,
- America West
While in the midst of dealing with a family illness crisis or preparing for a funeral, it can be difficult to worry about making travel plans. By having the needed information ready, and doing a little research, the process is made much easier