Saturday, April 7, 2007

Bereavement Fares: Better than Full Fare, but Using Miles Might be a Better Alternative

It will happen to you at some point (as it did to me recently); you'll get that call you have been dreading for a while to let you know that a loved one who was terminally ill passed away. While shopping around is the last thing you will want to do at a time like this, remember you have two options for that last minute airfare: the bereavement fare or using miles.

To get the bereavement fare you will need to call the airline and have the name of your loved one, the name and address of the funeral home, and the contact information for the funeral home. With all of this handy, the airline will likely give you 50% off full fare, but this can still be quite expensive as full fare tends to be a lot (in my case about $1000 per ticket).

If your bereavement fare seems steep, another option that might make a lot of sense is using frequent flier miles. While some airlines (like United) charge a small additional fee for "close-in" booking, miles still are probably going to be your most cost-effective option and one you might forget to think of during a time of grief. Don't forget about them!

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