If you’ve never had to access bereavement fares for airlines, then this quick and easy guide should get you on the right track so you can make the last-minute trip to a service or a remembrance.
Losing a loved one is enough of a heartache without having to navigate the complexity of finding a low-cost plane ticket so you can get there. As a result, bereavement fares are available with some airlines to help ease the burden of potentially expensive last-minute travel. Let’s talk about what they are and how you can access them so you can make it to say goodbye.
What Are Bereavement Fares?
Before we get started on how to find bereavement fares, let’s quickly go over what they are. Bereavement fares are discount fares that you can access in the case of the sudden death of an immediate family member.
Not all airlines offer bereavement fares. And those that do have bereavement policies which require details to book a discounted fare, such as details on who has passed and information on the funeral service. In most cases, bereavement fares need to be accessed by calling the airline directly instead of online.
How to Book Them
Accessing bereavement fares and rates vary from airline to airline. Your best bet for accessing them is to visit their online bereavement policies or simply call the airline directly and ask about their availability.
What Airlines Offer Bereavement Fares?
Air Canada bereavement fares discount can be accessed by immediate family members in the case of death or imminent death. It applies to flights “marketed or operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express,” and you can access it by calling their customer service line. Check out their bereavement policy page for more details.
Alaska Airlines offers 10% off the “lowest-priced Alaska Airlines available within 7 days of travel,” according to their online policy. However, to access this discount, you need to be a member of their Mileage Plan which is free to join. To access the bereavement fare discount, call their reservations line at 1-800-252-7522.
Delta offers bereavement in the case of the imminent or recent loss to specific family members—such as grandparents, siblings, aunts or uncles, parents and in-laws. To access this you will have to provide proof of relationship and information on the gathering you’re attending. Children that are travelling with you typically have access to the same special rate through their policy as well. For more detail on Delta’s bereavement policy check out their online resource.
Lufthansa Air offers bereavement fares for travellers leaving flying from the United States or Canada, allowing them to reach Europe to say goodbye to a loved one. The discounts vary by season. If you need to access bereavement fares, Lufthansa encourages you to contact them directly at 1-800-634-3880.
Philippine Airlines has a bereavement policy in case of the death of a loved one. You’ll have to call the airlines directly for information for bereavement fares by Philippine Airlines at 1-888-563-2800 because they don’t have information online.
WestJet bereavement fares are available to those experiencing a recent or imminent death of a family member. You need to travel within 14 days of booking and fares can only be accessed via calling them directly at 1-888-937-8538. For more details on WestJet’s bereavement fare policy and a list of accepted family members, you can visit their online bereavement policy page.
Does every airline offer bereavement fares?
Not every airline offers access to this type of fare. Airlines that do not have specific bereavement policies include:
- American Airlines
- United Airlines
However, many of these airlines still have options available or wave fees like travel change fees in the case of emergencies. To see if the airline will honour your emergency, just call their customer service line.
How to Find Cheap Flights
A lot of airlines no longer have bereavement policies because their lowest everyday rates are already cheaper. Even in cases where they do have access to these fares, you might still be able to find something cheaper to go with.
If you’re looking for a last-minute flight deal in the case of an emergency, we recommend checking out our flight search engine, where you can find last-minute discount flights to and from destinations around the world. Another discount travel tip we have for you is to check the “Add nearby airports” box right under your departure and destination city. With this tool, you’ll be shown flight deals to nearby airports so you can compare prices to help you find the best flight deal!
Many airlines are also flexible when it comes to emergencies, so we would encourage you to reach out and ask for assistance when needed, especially in the case of travel change fees.
Do hotels offer bereavement rates?
Since we’re on the topic of bereavement rates, we may as well cover whether or not you have the same or similar options with your hotel bookings. Unfortunately, many hotels don’t offer bereavement rates and the ones that do don’t have standardized rates. But it can’t hurt to ask, so in the case of an emergency, we encourage you to reach out to your hotel directly and see if there’s something they can do for you.