Bereavement flights can be expensive because most funeral travel happens at the last minute — when tickets are at their priciest. There’s no way to plan ahead in many cases. Unfortunately, there might not be room in your budget for one on an expensive flight, which is probably why you're researching American Airlines' bereavement fare policy.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- American Airlines’ Current Bereavement Fare Policy
- 4 Quick Ways to Save on Travel if You Can’t Get a Flight Discount
What if you can’t attend the funeral of a loved one? It’s easy to feel heartbroken, guilt-consumed, or even embarrassed. Paying your final respects carries a lot of weight in our culture. But there’s no shame in your inability to attend a funeral. Here are some money-saving tips you can use — even if you think you might be scraping the bottom of your wallet.
American Airlines’ Current Bereavement Fare Policy
Funeral etiquette dictates that you arrive on time. However, if you’re a close relative of the deceased and can come early to help coordinate funeral arrangements, that’s even better. But sometimes that’s not possible. All the most convenient times might already be taken if you’re trying to book a last-minute flight.
American Airlines might not be much help if you’re trying to get a quick and cheap flight. The airline has policies that govern a variety of situations but American Airlines currently offers no bereavement discounts to its passengers’ fare.
4 Quick Ways to Save on Travel if You Can’t Get a Flight Discount
Not all airlines offer flight discounts. Here are a few other ways you can save money.
1. Pack a carry-on
Does your company offer bereavement leave? Most companies don’t offer a standardized policy so you have to ask for it. Most companies prefer a few weeks of advance notice before taking paid time off (PTO) so you might find yourself in a sticky situation. Even if your company understands, funeral trips are often quick. You might not even stay overnight!
Try packing a carry-on if you know it’ll be a quick trip. This can save you a lot of hassle and luggage fees. A simple change of clothes, toiletries, and other basics are all you need. That also means you should be able to make a carry-on work.
2. Skip the rental car
Again, you’ll need to consider the details of your trip. Do your closest family members live close to the airport? Are you flying in, attending the funeral, and leaving again? You might not need a rental car.
Just download the Uber or Lyft ridesharing app before you leave home. Order a ride when you’re ready. Even if your trip is more than a few miles, it’s likely cheaper than a rental car.
3. Use a price-comparison tool
You aren’t doomed to be stuck with one airline in most cases. Many people tend to be creatures of habit. If you typically fly Alaska, Southwest, or American, you might think you always want to fly with them. But there’s no reason to do that. You should be able to compare flights if you’re willing to look around.
Decide which elements you need in your flight package. You can often save money by bundling elements together.
4. Try alternate lodgings
Hotels are expensive. And if you need to stay in the area to help with post-funeral arrangements, those costs rack up fast. But there’s no reason to stay in a hotel if you don’t have to! Local family members might be willing to open their homes to you so you get a free room.
Don’t have close family members in the area? There are other options. Try Airbnb or Vrbo if you’re staying for an extended time period. They’re an improvement over the hotel option because you get the whole house to yourself. Even if your stay is shorter, Airbnb rates are often lower or comparable to local hotels if that option appeals to you.
Feeling adventurous? The cheapest route is to rent a single room through Airbnb. Of course, it’s important to stay safe. But many reputable hosts rent out single rooms. Through this option, you can often find a place to stay for around $20 a night. Many hosts alter their homes to give you private exits, your own keys and other options to make you feel secure.
How to Help Yourself Travel Cheaply
What other ways can you think of to travel cheaply? Think beyond American Airlines — is it cheaper and faster to travel by train, hitch a ride with a relative, or drive yourself?
Bring your own situation into the picture, too. When it comes to your plans, you can make things much easier for your loved ones. Start end-of-life planning now to ease their challenges. For instance, let’s say you’re interested in cremation. If you like that option, your service can be delayed a month or more and allows family members to take extra time to travel to your funeral.
- American Airlines. “Reservations & Tickets FAQs.” n.d., www.aa.com/i18n/customer-service/faqs/reservations-tickets-faqs.jsp