If you have a close relative who is terminally ill, and the possibility of death seems near, then you may qualify for a bereavement fare based on imminent death. Because you are not traveling for a funeral, it is common for information demonstrating that it is a case of imminent death be required prior to travel. Less often, you will be allowed to submit documentation after travel is completed, unless it turns into a situation where you end up attending his/her funeral.
What information does the airline require for a bereavement fare (imminent death)?
Who is eligible for a bereavement fare?
The name of the person who is ill
Your relationship to that person
The name, address and phone number of the hospital or health care facility
The name and phone number of the attending physician
For the airlines that offer bereavement fares usually the following people would qualify for the fare : parents and grandparents (including step-parents and in-laws), spouse, children (step and in-law), grandchildren, 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.