Booking An Emergency Plane Flight For A Funeral

Many airlines offer special fares to people who are traveling to attend a funeral.

With families spread out all over the country, many people live long distances from loved ones, and can only visit infrequently.These distance are difficult under normal circumstances, but when a death occurs in the family, being far away is even more trying, and traveling to the funeral can be difficult and expensive.Immediate arrangements must be made for travel, and without benefit of advance bookings, airfare can be a very expensive consideration.Fortunately, most airlines understand that people in these circumstances need help and offer special fares to assist.

These special fares are referred to by several different names - bereavement, compassion or emergency airfares"" but are all essentially the same, and offer a discounted price for a flight where arrangements must be made immediately.Further, bereavement fares offer more flexible scheduling and allow for last minute changes.But even though these fares offer discounts - from 10 to 75 percent - off regular fares, the price may still be higher than special seat sales and other promotions.

Usually, bereavement fares are the lowest fares that are available at the time, and the airlines will waive all minimum stay and advanced purchase restrictions.These fares are normally available to immediate family members including spouses, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and domestic partners. Most airlines will consider same sex partners to be immediate family as well, but may not be as lenient when it comes to the family members of individual partners. Documentation to prove the relationship may be required in some cases.

Many airlines do not advertise this option, and it is even difficult to find reference to them on their websites.Arranging a special fare requires calling the airline directly, booking at the airport, or utilizing the services of a travel agent.

If you are making your own arrangements, first conduct an online search to find the lowest available airfares to your destination.Use a site that will list a number of different airlines and flights, and make sure to check your return dates as well.Check to see if these fares require advance booking or are restricted in some way. Note the times of the flights as some of these super-discounted fares require travel very early in the morning or later at night.Print the list of the various flights before you start calling the airlines.

When you reach a reservation agent, explain your situation, and then ask about the airline's policy on bereavement flights. Be prepared to provide the name of the person who has died, your relationship to the deceased, the name of the funeral home with the phone number, and the date of the funeral.

Refer to your list of discounted fares, and if the agent quotes a higher price, bring the discount fare to his or her attention and ask if you might qualify for that fare.You will most likely be required to book the flight immediately and pay for it by credit card to secure the seat.Note that if your trip requires using more than one airline, you will need to negotiate with each of them.

If you have accumulated frequent flyer miles, make sure to ask about using them for this trip.Often, an airline will allow you to use these points if there is space available on the flight.You may also be able to be considered for a stand-by flight.

Remember that these fares are available to help ease the strain under difficult circumstances.Airline employees are trained to be sympathetic and to offer you the best deal possible, but can only work within specific parameters. Check all possible avenues to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible.

© High Speed Ventures 2011