Bereavement Flights: Which Airlines Offer Bereavement Fares?

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Bereavement Flights: Which Airlines Offer Bereavement Fares?

Bereavement flights are offered to relatives and close friends of someone who has passed away at a lower price because they are often arranging these flights at the last minute. How can this help you?

If you are already in a situation in which you are saddened by the loss of a loved one, adding a huge airfare to your plate can be the last thing that you want to do. These types of flights are meant to get you to where you need to go, without having to pay an arm and a leg in order to get to the funeral of your lost loved one.

What are Bereavement Flights and How Can They Help You

With the major airlines in the United States and Canada, they often offer services that are meant to help you in your time of need. For example, if you are in need of getting to one location fast, they may often bump someone who is understanding of your situation. In the event of a close relative or friend that has passed away, they often offer bereavement flights to those who are in need.

Bereavement Definition

What is the definition of bereavement?

Close-up of a crying woman experiencing bereavement

Bereavement is defined as the state or fact of being deprived of something or someone. In the case of bereavement flights, this refers to the death of someone who was close to you.

What are Bereavement Fares?

Bereavement fares are the fees that are offered by some major airlines to those who are on their way to a funeral of someone that they have lost.

A very important item to know: In order to get these fares, a person must have the information about the funeral, such as the location of the funeral, time, the relationship to the deceased and the like. It is this information that the airline will use in order to determine if a bereavement fare is the best option for that passenger.

Airlines That Offer Bereavement Fares

While bereavement fares were once a staple of most airlines in the US and Canada, nowadays more and more of these airlines are not offering these types of fares. However, there are still a few major airlines that are offering these. These airlines are:

  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • Continental
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Lufthansa

Airline Fares Or Bereavement Fares? What is the Cheapest Option?

When it comes to airline fares versus bereavement fares, many people often wonder if there is really a cheaper option. For those who are having to fly out last minute, as is often the case when a loved one dies, they may get lucky and find airline fares that are not too expensive.

However, as the time approaches for a flight to take off, often the price increases exponentially. This is why people are given the tip to book early to save on their flight. Therefore, when a situation arises in which a death has occurred, bereavement fares are often the cheapest option.

Delta Bereavement Fares and Policy

For Delta, the bereavement fares are going to vary in the amount of what you have to pay depending on where you may be traveling.

Their policy states that it has to be an immediate family member in order to get these fares. This includes the spouse, partner, child, parent, sister/brother, stepchild, stepparent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece/nephew, mother in law/father in law, along with daughter, brother or sister in law.

It should be noted that you must be a SkyMiles Member in order to get this benefit; however, you can enroll immediately to qualify if needed.

American Airlines Bereavement Fares And Policy

According to the American Airlines website, they no longer offer emergency and/or bereavement fares.

American Airlines Refund: Can You Get One?

American Airlines offers refunds for certain situations, as long as you made your ticket purchase through American Airlines. They offer refunds for baggage fees, pet fees, priority, preferred seats, main cabin extra seats, same day flight change and the ticket of a deceased passenger.

Southwest Bereavement Fares and Policy

Southwest apologizes to those passengers that are looking for bereavement fares, but they are no longer offering bereavement fares. They state that they will work with you to find the flight that best suits your needs.

Southwest Refund Policy

The refund policy for Southwest states that unused, fully refundable tickets that have no restrictions can be applied towards future travel or refunded within one year of the date of issue. If a ticket is lost, they do not refund this. And they do have a strict no-show policy in which you cannot get a refund.

Do Airlines Offer Discounted Military Flights for Bereavement?

For those who are military, they will often find that these two discounts cannot be combined. The airline will usually take the discount that gets you the most affordable ticket.

American Airlines Military Discount

American Airlines does offer a military discount on certain routes. This is something that a military member would have to inquire about with American Airlines, as they do not list what routes they offer this discount towards.

Delta Bereavement Discount

The bereavement discount offered by Delta will vary in price according to where you are flying to. Keep in mind that they will do their best to get you on the next available flight if there are seats open.

Southwest Military Discount

Southwest does offer a military discount to active military members and their immediate family members. This discount must be asked for by Southwest directly, and not via their website.

An Emotional Support Dog Can Help You Through Hard Times

Old woman experiencing bereavement holding a dog with the head on her shoulder

When losing a family member or friend, it can be difficult. However, an emotional support dog can be of great help! They provide affection and help with mental issues that may be affecting you.

When traveling, it’s good to know the pet policies and Emotional Support Animal policies for any airline that you choose to fly with. Click on the airlines below to learn more about how to travel with your pet and/or ESA.

Emotional Support Animals: Here’s What You Need To Know When Traveling

In order to travel by air with an Emotional Support Animal, there are a few things that you need to know. These include:

  • An ESA letter must be provided that is not more than a year old, on professional letterhead and from a mental health professional that states the animal is an Emotional Support Animal.
  • You must inform the airline that you will be flying with this Emotional Support Animal at least 48 hours before the flight (depending on the airline).
  • Some airlines require additional forms such as vaccinations or medical records that show the animal is safe to be around people. More and more, airlines are beginning to add these forms for the safety of their passengers, which further legitimizes Emotional Support Animals as a whole. Check out Delta‘s new ESA policy!

For more information on how to obtain your Emotional Support Animal letter, click here

American Airlines Emotional Support Animal

American Airlines has made this process a bit easier through providing an authorization form that must be filled out. It does require that a medical professional sign off on the form. Once this has been accepted by the airline, it is good for one year!

Check For Pet-Friendly Airlines

Ensure that before flying, you are flying on a pet-friendly airline. You can also contact the airline if you are going to be flying with an emotional support dog or another animal to ensure that everything is ready to go before you board.

Find out the pet policy for each airline here:

Dogs On Planes: Having Your ESA Brings You Comfort During Bereavement Flights

During a time of loss, especially during bereavement flights, you may be at your most vulnerable. An emotional support dog is going to be an amazing friend to have along with you. They may be the one thing that keeps you from spiraling into a deep depression.

Whether you need to attend a funeral or simply need to fly with your Emotional Support Animal, it is always wise to talk with the airline beforehand to ensure that everything is going to go smoothly.

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