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Bereavement Fares - Discounted Airline Tickets for Travel to a Funeral

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Traveling due to a death in the family is the more common use of bereavement fares.

What information does the airline require for a bereavement fare (death in the family)?

  • The name of the deceased
  • Your relationship to that person
  • The name, address and phone number funeral home
  • Date of the service
  • A copy of the death certificate (when you are submitting for a refund after completing air travel)
Who is eligible for a bereavement fare? Parents and grandparents (including step-parents and in-laws), spouse, children, aunts/uncles, siblings (including step-siblings/in-laws), nieces/nephews. Most airlines (but not all) also include same sex domestic partners and legal guardians as eligible family members.

What do I do if I am already traveling on another ticket and need to return? Most airlines will offer free standby (as long as you provide the information outlined above), but cannot guarantee space for you, so that you can return.

Can I use my frequent flyer points instead of purchasing a ticket? Most airlines that offer bereavement fares will waive last minute restrictions and book as long as there is frequent flyer space available for the flights, and provided you give the airline the information outlined above.

How can I obtain a refund for the value of the discount after completion of travel (domestic or international travel)? Sometimes you may not be able to get all of the above details before you travel. Hold onto receipts, boarding passes, and obtain a copy of the death certificate and provide the details mentioned above. Submit these items to the airline as soon as possible after you have completed travel (many airlines have time limits for obtaining refunds). Keep a photocopy of the items that you have given to the airline.

Not all airlines provide bereavement fares. Again, bereavement fares are not always the least expensive option out there, but quite often they are. If you are applying for a refund after completing your travel, do make sure that the airline you are using does offer a bereavement fare prior to travel. Bereavement fares exist to offer you travel options for when you need to travel at the last minute because of imminent death or a death in the family.

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