87 F
Mérida
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Bereavement fares are gone. Now what?

Latest headlines

Yucatán Magazine
Yucatán Magazine
Yucatán Magazine has the inside scoop on living here. Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox every week.
Life back "home" doesn't stop just because you've moved to another country. And when you get the dreaded phone call that a loved one has died, it's time to drop everything and head to the airport.
Photo: Getty

Bereavement fares are a thing of the past, but travel agents aren’t. How to book a last-minute flight in times of heartache

Life back “home” doesn’t stop just because you’ve moved to another country. And when you get the dreaded phone call that a loved one has died, it’s time to drop everything and head to the airport.

Sara Toth Stub shares her story after receiving one such phone call. Her brother died and she had to fly home to Missouri on very little notice.

Then she learned the old so-called “bereavement fares” are a thing of the past. There was a time when you could get a break on airfare if you could prove your travel was centered on a death in the family. But the truth is, the discounts were based on full fares, and often, there were — and still are — better last-minute deals that didn’t require documenting your personal tragedy. The rise of low-cost carriers also pushed bereavement fares into obsolescence.

Stub’s ticket was $1,390, “just $10 more than the fare for the visit I had just returned from, which was planned about three months in advance.”

Her advice: Those who need to fly for an emergency should concentrate on shopping for last-minute deals, and they should consider a travel agent. Booking last-minute cans still cost a premium, but if your route is popular seasonally, the time of year could increase your chances of finding a reasonable, or even deep-discount, fare.

For Stub, her travel agent — a concept that many people think is equally obsolete — came through.

Travel agents can be a service to a lone passenger, already suffering from grief.  They can directly contact sales managers at airlines, whom they often know and work with regularly, and find seats that may not show up on online travel sites.

Her sister, who also had to fly to be with family for this very sad occasion, echoes the sentiment.

“When you are in shock, it’s hard to function and make plans,” Angie Muskat recalled. “I kept saying, ‘I need a travel agent.’”

Source: WSJ

- Advertisement -spot_img

Subscribe Now!

spot_img

More articles