I’m grateful to friend of Final Fling, Becky, this week for sharing useful information about bereavement fares. Apparently some airlines offer special fares to support travellers rushing back home from travels because someone close to them is dying or has died. It’s not a huge amount – maybe 10% off – but every little helps.
How to claim a bereavement fare
If there’s been a death in the family and you’re called home from travels, you need to provide the airline with some key information to entitle you to a bereavement fare.
- The name of the person who’s died
- Your relationship to that person
- The name, address and phone number of the funeral directors
- The date of the funeral service
- A copy of the death certificate (when you are submitting for a refund after completing air travel)
Who qualifies for a bereavement fare
You should be travelling in connection with a relative. There are 7 key family relationships that are entitled to a bereavement fare:
- Parents and legal guardians
- Grandparents (including step-parents and in-laws)
- Partner (including same-sex partners)
- Siblings – brothers and sisters including step-sisters/brothers and in-laws
- Nieces and nephews
Free standby ticket home
Most airlines will offer a free standby ticket if you can provide all the info to back up your claim. They can’t guarantee space for you to return to your travels.
Frequent flyer points
For this special case, most airlines will waive usual last minute restrictions and allow you any frequent flyer points if there’s frequent flyer space on the flight.
Claiming a refund
If you don’t have all the details you need to claim a bereavement fare before you travel, hold onto booking confirmation emails, receipts, boarding passes – all the paperwork. Once you’ve got a copy of the death certificate and other info above, you can submit these to the airline. Do it as close to the travel date as possible and they should be able to refund the cost so you’ve got your bereavement fare. Keep a copy of originals in case of any questions or follow-up.
If you’re making a journey when someone’s ill and you have concerns, check the small print just in case. Not all airlines offer bereavement fares. Also, check any bereavement fares against other options. It’s usually but not always the cheapest fare.