Bereavement Airfares

The purpose of bereavement airfares is to offer travel options at the last minute, because of imminent death or a death in the family.

At a tme when you are not planning to travel, a family death requires that you do so.

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How Bereavement Airfares Work

When a family member or close relative is near death, or has died, many airlines will offer discount airfare, to make travel easier and less expensive.

The savings are between ten and fifty percent off of a full price airfare.

Flexability is a big part of the bereavement fare, also known as a compassionate fare. Changes may be made without extra charge. The length of stay may be up to one year, with no minimum stay required. Some flighs may be open ended.

Who Is Eligible For Bereavement Airfares?

This is a general listing of who is eligible for airline bereavement fares.

Please note that each airline may have their own guidelines as to who is eligible, Please check with them when you book your flight.

This is a common list of family members who receive a compassionate fare;

  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Son or daughter
  • Parent
  • Sister or brother
  • Grand parents
  • Stepparents
  • Step children
  • Aunt or uncle
  • Mother or father-in-law
  • Son or daughter-in-law
  • Brother or sister-in-law

Finding The Cheapest Flight

Airline bereavement fares are not always offered by all the airlines. The reason for this, is that some airlines offer a very low fare all the time. At certain times, there may be a sale on airfares by some carriers. These prices may be lower than what may be offered otherwise.

When an airfare is discounted for bereavement, it is a percentage off of the full ticket price. This may not be the lowest price available. Check all the prices the airline has to offer for your time of travel. The final price may still be higher than an online discounted price.

Some online ticket places to check would be Hotwire.com, Expedia.com and Cheaptickets. Hotwire.com specializes in last minute flights. Many airlines use Hotwire.com to fill their empty seats at a discounted price. All of these sites are impressive with what they have to offer. You can book hotel and car rentals through them also.

If all of this seems overwhelming to you at this time, another option is to use a local travel agent. They have access to all the airlines and the best flights and fares available.

Required Information

It would be helpful to have the required information at your fingertips, as you call the airline reservation desk.

They will need to know;

*The name of the deceased or ill person.

*Your relationship to that person.

*Hospital or funeral home information, that includes the phone number and address.

*The date of the funeral.

Often, the discount will be given after the flight. At this time, you will need to show a copy of the death certificate, or other documents required by the airline.

Online Discount

Generally, you are not able to book a bereavement flight online. There is information that the airline requires, that will make it necessary to talk to the reservation personal. It needs to be done over the phone or at an airline counter.

International Flights and Bereavement Airfares

International airline bereavement fares are not always available, as it is difficult to verify the information. Often, a discount will only be given upon the completion of the trip, when a copy of the death certificate is presented.


Keep in mind, that bereavement airfares are not always the cheapest way to travel, but they do offer flexability.

Enlist the help of others, in your airfare search, if you are overwhelmed at this time. A friend who is able to assist you with all of the details of bereavement airfare tickets, will allow you to concentrate on other things.

Please check with each airline you will be using. Each one has different policies. If you have to use different carriers for a part of the trip, you will have to find each of their bereavement fare policies, before purchasing a ticket.

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