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Bereavement Tickets

Usually, bereavement fares are no better than normal airfare prices. This is because they are often flat rates. Airlines have been so vicious is competing against each other on pricing, that will most of the time put out published fares which are cheaper than any of the idealized flat rates, whether those flat rates are for bereavement, group discount travel, consolidated rates, and so on. Thus for bereavement airline tickets, we recommend you only consider those if you cannot find any decent normal low fares. You will also be able to avoid documentation requirements that way. If you do find yourself desiring a look at special bereavement fares, you will need to contact each airline individually and directly.

Compassionate Airfare

The category "compassionate airfares" is just another name for bereavement tickets. Compassionate fares are, again, intended for persons who have suffered a last-minute death in the family or have other emergency travel needs. Documentation may be required by the airline.

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Compassionate Airfare

Shopping around for airfares is probably the last thing you want to think about in times of emergency when you have to fly for a family funeral or to see a terminally ill relative. Many airlines therefore have developed bereavement fares, or compassionate fares, which are provided to family members traveling for a death in the family, or imminent death. So what information is there on bereavement airfare?

These are quite often not the lowest fare, compared to what you might see for random flight dates, but they are last minute fares that can be booked right up until departure time. Bereavement fares tend to be very flexible, permitting free changes and stays of up to 30 days with no minimum stay requirements.

Bereavement airline tickets can be offered for sudden funeral needs. They also can be offered for family members when a close relative is gravely ill or in the case of imminent death.

You can usually obtain compassionate fares prior to travel if you provide the required documentation. But some airlines will only refund the value of the discount after travel is completed. All airlines that offer bereavement fares will allow you to apply for a refund after travel is completed. Usually there is a 90-day limit after the flight is flown, during which time you must apply for the refund.

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Bereavement Airfare, Compassionate Fares

Discounts range from 10 to 75 percent off of "full fare" prices. The discount most often offered is 50 percent off of full fare. "Full fare" means the most expensive rate you will ever see for a flight. Full fare can mean as high as $1000 for a domestic flight, so don't be surprised if the bereavement rates are still $500 for a cross-country flight. At least you don't have to pay the $1000 that some last minute tickets cost.

Bereavement discounts usually apply for one airline only. In effect, if you need more than one airline to get to where you need to go, you will need to buy separate tickets and ask about each airline's policy. Bereavement tickets may not be available to all destinations offered by an airline. There are less bereavement fares offered for traveling internationally.

Where bereavement airfare is offered for international travel, the value of the discount may only be given upon return with death certificate because information is harder to verify. Bereavement fares for imminent death in the case of international travel are less common because of the difficulty for the airline to verify information.

Bereavement fares are offered over the phone or in person at the airline's ticket counters. The information that you are required to provide in order to secure a bereavement fare is outlined on the next two pages. A bereavement fare is not always the lowest fare available, if you are able to have flexibility in terms of your travel times and dates then ask first if a seat sale fare is available and applies to you travel plans. In larger travel markets it can be useful to have a travel agent who can call around and find the best options for fare and flights.

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