Experiencing the sudden passing of a loved one is a very difficult time in your life. You want to support your loved ones and say goodbye, which can be difficult if you live thousands of miles away.
Nowadays, funeral or bereavement fares for airlines are nearly nonexistent, with only a few major airlines still offering them. Utilizing these bereavement fares will require you to take a variety of extra steps and jump through many hoops to get them.
Bereavement Fare Offers Currently Available
When booked over the phone or at the ticket counter, you can receive a discounted rate on airfare for bereavement travel related to an immediate family member. Each airline has its own definition of who they consider an immediate family member, so it is essential to check the specific guidelines of the airline. Your bereavement travel must occur within ten days of booking.
For bereavement travel, Alaska Airlines off a 10% discount off of their lowest-available ticket price. You must be a member of their frequent flier program to qualify for this discount.
Delta Airline’s discounts vary. You must book your flight over the phone with Delta, and you will need to be a member of their frequent flier program to qualify for a bereavement discount.
Information Needed to Get a Bereavement Fare
Even in this stressful time, it is important to make sensible travel decisions for your last-minute travel. Each airline has a different policy for what information they require you to provide to qualify for a bereavement fare. Some of the personal information about the deceased you will need to have available includes:
- The deceased’s name
- How you are related to the deceased
- A copy of the death certificate
- Contact information for the funeral home, hospital, or hospice
Some restrictions apply to each airline, and this information will vary as well. Keep in mind that in some cases, bereavement fare may not be the most cost-effective or convenient way for you to travel, so it is essential to explore other options such as:
- Using airline points. For airlines that do not offer a bereavement fare, some of them offer a frequent flier program. You may consider using your frequent flier points for your flight.
- Utilize credit card perks. It is common for people to have a credit card set aside for travel that they use to book flights. Be sure to check with your credit card provider to see if your card has any travel perks built in that you can use. Your card may automatically accumulate airline miles while other cards have a money back system you could use.
How to Make Last-Minute Travel Easier
If bereavement fare is not an option for you, some travel websites cater to last-minute travelers. Simply search on Google and check to see if any of these sites have a flight available.
For those who are members of travel websites such as Expedia, you may be able to use your travel perks for a discount on your flight and hotel to help you get a more reasonably proved rate.
You could also try finding a flight with a smaller airport, rather than major-city airport since the smaller airport may have lower rates. Even if the smaller airport is an hour or two away, what you could save on the fare could make it worth it.
On the other hand, you could also find a flight to a city that is within an hour or two of your destination and then renting a car to finish your trip. Car rentals are more comfortable to get cheap at the last minute.
The passing of a loved one is never easy, but we hope with these tips, you can make travel less stressful while helping you save yourself some time, money, and hassle. Contact Beinhauer Funeral Homes & Cremation Services today to learn more about our comprehensive funeral planning services.