InsideFlyer.com [English] United States InsideFlyer.uk [English] United Kingdom InsideFlyer.de [German] Germany InsideFlyer.no [Norwegian] Norway InsideFlyer.se [Swedish] Sweden InsideFlyer.dk [Danish] Denmark InsideFlyer.nl [Dutch] Benelux
Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by uggboy, Feb 27, 2014.
| Print Topic
American Airlines Is Killing Its Bereavement Fares
One of the best use of miles seems to be for these types of flights. Twice I've done pre bereavement trips at the last minute over the weekend and found lots of availability when I wanted to fly. I've been looking on Friday or Saturday morning for flights that weekend and find flights available departing within hours - through the end of the weekend. Its still subject to wacky routing like SLC - SEA - DCA but it gets you there.
Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where George needed a copy of the death certificate to get a discounted flight?
It's a good, but unfortunate use of miles. Sadly, not everyone has the miles available and I would wish airlines incl. AA would make such special fares available, I simply don't need that airlines add to the misery, it's hard enough that someone unexpectedly gets very sick or dies.
Proof was always needed, I presume, not only in TV land. I hope however that airlines rethink their decisions regarding such very important fares.
It's a shame. At someones seemingly most vulnerable or emotional time, after the death of close family, the last think they should have to worry about is how to pay for a full Y ticket. I wonder how many loved ones will miss a family member's funeral because they either didn't have the cash for the airfare, or didn't have the CC to charge it on.
The main issue I believe is that the discount was from a full Y ticket so generally it was best to by an open market discounted ticket - even at the last minute you could find one that was lower priced than the discounted Y ticket.
indeed. Just gave two tix to extended family members so they could visit a loved one who's partner had just passed. Was very happy to help out, the last minute fares they were looking at were <$1,000. I did suggest taking advantage of a weekend special fare to OKC, then driving 8 hours to Santa Fe, cost would have only been ~$300 per person all in (air, car rental, gas), but they would have been quite tired as one of the traveling family members is 85.
After the fact, but CO gave us a 5% rebate on last minute tix purchased for a death in the family several years ago. We had to send a copy of the death certificate and ticket numbers and boarding passes, and a cover letter with the funeral home's phone number, but the rebate came quickly and without further questions.
It's only 5%, it's not like it's going to be "cheap" anyway for a last minute fare. I would love for the airline to give a bereavement special rate, but getting rid of 5% is not that superb to be crying the blues. I don't mean to be defending the airlines but 6,815 daily deaths in the USA alone could constitute a lot of discounted fares. Nobody else gives me a discount, not the hotel nor the rental car, or the gas station if I drive to the funeral....so I guess I don't expect anything anyway in this case. Let's argue baggage fees! I can get behind that one!
I wasn't complaining about the 5%, just mentioning the fact that it was available at the time and the airline responded to my request without a hassle. Total fares for my wife and me was just over $600 each, so no big deal, and we would have booked regardless, as we needed to be there in a hurry of course. Most other airlines had even higher fares for such short notice bookings, and none offered any bereavement fares or rebates at the time. I had used CO for our flights from YYZ-FLL at other times, and used them again for the emergency trip.
From a purely financial perspective, this is a pretty good reason for not offering bereavement fares. The thinking could be, "They're likely going to go anyway, so..."
From a purely financial perspective, many years ago most of the airlines freely offered bereavement fares and they often found that many people used that excuse to book fares that they never were entitled to (call it fraud!), and it happened so often that the majority of airlines decided to no longer offer them, saying instead that people could often find fares at short notice that were only slightly higher then their regular fares, or use their FF miles if seats were available. But that was at a time when there were more flights to more destinations, including smaller airports. Nowadays, with the cutbacks to fleets, and removing amounts of flights daily to more destinations, with constraints on earnings making that necessary, and full flights almost everywhere, it's harder to get a last minute flight at a still reasonable price in an emergency.
Otherwise, yes, they're likely to go anyway, and pay whatever is needed to be there in time.......