American Airlines Discontinues Bereavement Fares Because Who Cares If You Need To Make A Funeral

The changes keep coming for American Airlines as it delves deeper into a $17.7 billion merger with US Airways. First, the company announced a confusing name change for its regional service. And now passengers looking for sympathy in the form of discounts for bereavement travel will have to look elsewhere.

American has ended a policy of extending special reduced fares to passengers booking a last-minute flight because of a family member’s death, the Associated Press reports.

While American didn’t have a specific discount for mourning travelers, it did offer a different fare class that produced lower prices than travelers might find elsewhere. Bereavement fares have long been offered as a way to give consumer’s a bit of relief when faced with purchasing expensive last-minute flights.

American officials said the decision to drop the special fares was made to create a single, consistent program for American and US Airways. The two airlines merged in December to create the American Airlines Group, Inc.

The airline said customers have the option to purchase changeable and refundable tickets, and apply future reservations to a last-minute flight and be eligible to waive the change fee.

American joins US Airways, Southwest Airlines and Virgin America in not offering bereavement fares. United Airlines offers a discount of 5 percent off the lowest available rate when the ticket is issued, while Delta Air Lines’ website says it offers flexibility on the best published fares, AP reports.

Dropping special fares for bereavement travelers is just the latest development in the American Airlines and US Airways merger.

The first phase of the mega-merger began in January when the airlines announced customers would see an “over communication” of changes.

Several of the those first changes involved combining or rewriting airline policies. Changes include no longer allowing military members to board before first class, instead the two groups will board at the same time, and families will no longer have the option to board early.

American Airlines drops bereavement fares [Boston.com]

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  1. gummo says:

    I’m not seeing this particular change as a big deal. Whenever I’ve had to make last minute travel arrangements due to death, the bereavement fares that airlines offered where maybe only a deal off of a full price, first class, all the bells and whistles ticket. I’ve found fares much, much cheaper from just about any travel website. Ridiculously cheaper.

    • SingleMaltGeek says:

      That’s what I came here to say. My wife is flying for a funeral very soon, and she said it was maybe a 5% discount.

  2. CommonC3nts says:

    Families should not board early as they hold up the plane.
    They should board last after all the single passengers are in their seats.

    Also the bereavement fares were never a discount. They are more expensive then just buying a normal coach ticket.

    • ResNullum says:

      Slow people also shouldn’t board early, because they hold up the plane. In fact, everyone I don’t like shouldn’t board early, because I’m more important than them.

      • FusioptimaSX says:

        *Applause*

        Seriously, everyone will make it to their destination. Neither airport, train stations, nor roads were built for the purposes of serving one person. Patience is a virture.

        I hope you (CommonC3nts) aren’t the type of person that rushes past those in front of you when exiting a plane.

    • gummo says:

      Not sure I see the wisdom in that. The one trip I took with my family (wife and young daughter), we took maybe an additional 60-90 seconds to get stuff stowed and be seated thanks in part to early seating and the additional elbow room it allows, as opposed to if it was just my wife and I in the main grouping. And that’s with a stroller to gate check and a child seat. If we had to wait for normal boarding, or wait til regular boarding was finished, it would have taken a hell of a lot longer.

      That’s not even taking into account the much lower likelihood of finding two, let alone three seats together. I mean, if you’d rather that 2 year old sit next to you than her parents, hey, your choice…

      /Yes, I acknowledge you might just be snarky, but if so, you’ve played it much too low key.