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]