Delta’s Bereavement Fare Policies & Discounts Explained

Updated

Did you know that some airlines offer special discounted rates for those who need to fly to attend the funeral of a family member? Although some airlines have discontinued offering bereavement flights, luckily, Delta isn’t one of them. 

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Keep reading to learn how much of a discount you may receive and how to buy discounted tickets. You’ll also discover what familial relationships qualify for a discounted rate. And we will also give you other tips on how to save on bereavement travel. 

Delta’s Current Bereavement Fare Policy

When looking for Delta’s bereavement fare discount, don’t expect to find a specific percentage of a discount listed in the fine print. In fact, the official policy is careful not to include any numbers at all. Instead, Delta’s website offers “additional flexibility on the best published fare when last-minute travel is required.” 

There’s no word on what that “additional flexibility” entails, even though this may mean that some service fees might be removed from the price of the ticket. There is also no specific explanation of what qualifies as “last-minute travel.”

Delta is also careful to say that flexible prices may not be available for every flight. 

Delta’s bereavement fare is only for SkyMiles Members

Those wishing to book a bereavement flight through Delta must first be a member of SkyMiles. SkyMiles is Delta’s frequent-flyer program. You may enroll at the time of booking and still qualify for a discount. 

It’s pretty easy to enroll, and the only requirement is that you’ve flown with Delta in the past. You don’t need to sign-up for a credit card, hit a certain number of miles flown per year, or anything else.

Delta’s bereavement fare is only for the funeral of a specific family member

While Delta is extremely nebulous about how much of a discount they offer for bereavement flights, they are precise about who needs to pass away to obtain a discounted rate. This list of relationships is standard across the industry. In fact, if you are seeking bereavement leave from work, you may have a shorter list of appropriate relationships.

Here is a list from Delta’s website:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Child, stepchild, grandchild, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law
  • Parent, stepparent, grandparent, father-in-law, or mother-in-law
  • Sibling, stepsibling, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law
  • Aunt or uncle
  • Niece or nephew
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How to Get a Bereavement Discount With Delta

Once you’ve become a SkyMiles member, and have determined that you’re traveling to an appropriate family member’s funeral, you need to call the Delta reservation line at 800-221-1212. You’ll have to call 800-241-4141 for international flights. You can’t purchase bereavement flights through the website or app.

The customer service representative may ask for you to provide the following information to obtain the discounted rate:

  • Deceased person’s name
  • Customer's relationship with the deceased
  • Name and phone number of funeral home, hospital, or hospice
  • Name of doctor (if applicable)

Bereavement travel discounts may include children and infants

Delta understands that you may need to travel with children when going to a funeral for a family member. For that reason, they are careful to include specific instructions for infants and children in their policy. 

Your child’s ticket will be at the same fare as your discounted bereavement rate unless the child’s fare is lower. Passengers may bring one infant under the age of two at no additional charge. The second infant must have a seat. The children must be accompanied by an adult on all flights to qualify for bereavement travel rates. 

Other Tips to Save on Bereavement Travel

We all know that the cost of your flight is not the only travel expense you will incur when traveling to a funeral. You will also need ground transportation when you arrive at your destination. You may need to spend a few nights at a hotel if you don’t have a friend or family member open their house to you. 

Thankfully, according to funeral etiquette, your meals may be covered when friends and extended family of the deceased bring home-cooked meals and snacks for those in mourning.

Here are some other tips to consider to help you save on travel costs.

Learn the baggage fees for Delta

Delta allows passengers one carry-on plus one personal item, such as a backpack, purse, or another small bag. If you check an additional bag, you will pay $30 each way for a suitcase weighing less than 50 pounds. The second bag will cost $40 each way.

Take these fees into consideration when you are packing a bag for yourself and your family. 

Bundle your flight, hotel, and rental car

As we mentioned earlier, Delta doesn’t offer bereavement rates for every flight. If you called the customer service representative and no discounted flights were available, consider visiting your favorite travel website to see if you can get a discount if you purchase your flight, hotel, and rental car in one bundle. 

Use your hotel rewards points

Most travelers have a favorite hotel. If you find yourself always staying at a specific chain of hotels, utilize their rewards system. Most of the time, you can sign up for free, and after several stays, you may be entitled to a discount.

It wouldn’t hurt to call the hotel’s customer service line to say that you’re traveling into town for a funeral—they may be able to give you an additional hotel bereavement discount. You may even ask about a group rate if several family members and friends will all be staying at the same hotel.

Finding an Affordable Delta Flight

If your loved one completed end-of-life planning and requested to be cremated, the person planning the funeral may be able to put off the services until everyone attending makes travel accommodations. But be understanding if the funeral happens quickly after the death of your family member. 

Although you may be disappointed if you can’t attend the funeral of a family member, sometimes it cannot be helped. 


Sources

  1. “Bereavement Fares.” Delta Airlines. www.delta.com/us/en/special-circumstances/bereavement-fares.
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