Bereavement Fares Axed by American Airlines Due to US Airways Merger

Friday, 28 Feb 2014 04:59 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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American Airlines has eliminated its bereavement fares, instead offering customers “flexible fare options when booking last-minute travel for a variety of reasons,” a statement on the website said.

According to The Associated Press, the company ceased to offer bereavement fares to people who were traveling at the last minute because of a death or emergency situation on Feb. 18.

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The AP said the company didn’t offer a specific discount for the bereavement fares, but had a special class of fares that lowered the price for last-minute travel, which can be the most expensive tickets to buy.

American Airlines made a statement that the changes were to make it consistent with US Airways policies after the companies merged in December.

The airline statement also explained that customers could buy tickets that are refundable or could be changed, and then apply those tickets to a last-minute flight and “be eligible to waive the fee — usually $200 for a domestic flight,” the AP said.

Other airlines don’t offer bereavement fares or offer as little as 5 percent off the regular ticket price, according to the AP.

Airline passengers discussed on a Travelocity blog the situations they had faced trying to fly at the last minute in an emergency situation. Many during 2013 reported that American Airlines had offered the best bereavement fares, sometimes as high as 50 percent off the regular price.

That Travelocity blog pointed out that even though a bereavement discount sounds good, oftentimes lower fares could be found just by searching online travel sites.

“In today’s competitive travel marketplace, virtually no one buys full-price fares and even half off an unrestricted fare can be hundreds more than the lowest online fare,” the blog said. “You’ll probably be able to find a much cheaper flight through a quick Internet search.”

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