A woman looking out a plane window

 

Written by Samantha Watson

 

When you lose a loved one, the last thing you want to think about is the cost of airfare to fly back home.

 

Yet this is a reality for many people. Most of us don’t know the exact moment that we will lose someone, and airlines can be very unforgiving when it comes to booking a flight last minute.

 

While most airlines used to have bereavement fares to offer reduced-cost flights to people in this position, in America almost all have stopped the practice entirely. Instead, many offer tickets without the inflated price you get from booking last-minute, and others are understanding and try to work with you to find the best discounts or provide refunds when possible.

 

The best thing to do in these situations is to call a few different airlines, explain your situation, and see what they can offer you. Most likely, you’ll be able to find a discount that’s better than many bereavement fare offers, and they involve a lot less hassle and paperwork.

 

If you would still prefer to find a bereavement fare, here are a few airline companies that still offer them and what you should know:

 

Delta Airlines

  • Tickets are subject to availability at time of booking.
  • Must be an immediate family member, as determined by Delta.
  • Available only to SkyMiles Members, but you can enroll immediately to qualify.
  • Requires the deceased person’s name, your relationship, and the name of the funeral home, hospital, hospice, or doctor, depending on what is applicable to your situation.
  • Travel must commence within seven days of the death or imminent death in the case of international travel.
  • More information available on Delta’s website.

Air Canada

  • Requires the deceased person’s name and the telephone number and address of the hospital and attending physician or the funeral home, along with the date of the funeral.
  • Travel must commence within seven days of the death or imminent death in the case of international travel, but only within 10 days if traveling within North America.
  • More information available on Air Canada’s website.

Alaska Air

  • Travel must commence within seven days of the death or imminent death.
  • May only be booked by calling 1-800-252-7522.
  • More information available on Alaska Air’s website.

WestJet

  • May only be booked by calling 1-888-WESTJET.
  • Requires additional information at the time of booking.
  • More information available on WestJet’s website.

Qantas

  • Only available for domestic travel within Australia.
  • More information available on Qantas’ website.

Lufthansa

  • Only available for outbound and return flights if the journey starts in the U.S. or Canada.
  • More information available on Lufthansa’s website.

No matter what you decide, make sure you shop around and compare prices. In many instances, you can find a flight that’s even cheaper than a bereavement flight through other discounts. Weigh your options!

 

Have you received a bereavement fare? Share your experience with us in the comments!