Getting on a plane may well be the way you’d like to start your dream vacation. But that’s not the case when you’re going home for a different reason — to attend a funeral. When you’re in a rush and trying to make travel arrangements, it can be really hard to find great deals. You can’t afford to wait, but you also might end up not being able to afford a ticket.
Jump ahead to these sections:
If you’re in that situation, what can you do? You’ve probably already tried researching budget airlines and cheap ways to get there. Don’t forget to check on airlines’ bereavement policies, too. Some airlines offer discounted fares for emergency bereavement travel. There are still great ways to save on travel even if your favorite airline doesn’t offer it.
JetBlue’s Bereavement Fare and Discount Policy
An airline may already reduce their prices and, like JetBlue, doesn’t offer bereavement fare. There’s still hope, though.
If you are or were a member of the military, JetBlue is willing to work to discount your flights. Ask JetBlue about military discounts if you’re a member of the military.
5 Tips to Help You Save on Bereavement Flights
You might be worried about funeral etiquette. It’s customary to arrive a little early to be with family and friends and reflect on your loved one’s life. You might also be able to help with your loved one’s affairs.
Here are some tips to look into if you’re not a member of the military or think you might not be able to attend the funeral at all.
1. Check deal sites
Focusing on airline sites seems natural. These sites offer a straightforward approach and a defined options menu. But you should check out deal sites, too. They often compare and contrast deals across airlines.
And if you book through the site, you might get a special deal, too.
2. Be a nanny
Do you love kids? This might be the most unorthodox option on the list. Many parents take kids on long trips, but it’s hard to travel with children. That means that an airplane is a perfect place to take on a nanny job.
You can sign up with companies that provide nanny services on airlines. This may not reduce your flight costs but it means you get paid while you fly. Check it out and go through the process to join the company.
3. Push off the date
Booking a flight last minute is an easy way to tax your wallet. Airlines always jack up their prices during the final days before departure. This is for two reasons. First, if you’re flying last-minute, you’re probably desperate. You need to get somewhere, and you need to do it quickly. There’s another reason: the seats are filling up so the laws of supply and demand dictate that prices spike.
That means that you might be able to save money by pushing it off. Even if you can only push it off another day, that might save you a significant amount of money. When you first hear the sad news, it might be tempting to book a flight immediately. Try and adjust the dates if you can.
4. Keep watching prices
Once you’ve booked your flight, it’s easy to walk away. You’ve paid the money, and there’s nothing left to do — right? That’s not true. Some airlines have very forgiving policies for cancellations and changes. And that means you can request a change.
Once you’ve booked your flight, it’s easy to assume that you got the best deal on your bereavement flight. But that might not be the case. Prices drop for unforeseen reasons and that means you might not be getting the best deal after all.
Keep checking on your flight after you’ve booked a ticket. If prices drop, feel free to contact the airline. What if they don’t have a great change or cancellation policy? Contact the airline anyway. You may be able to get a refund or credit offers. That might help with the rest of your travel expenses, such as getting a rental car or booking a hotel.
5. Check on companion fares
Companion fares could be a saving grace for two reasons. What if your whole family needs to go with you? If you’re the one holding the companion fare, see if you can use it on them. Some airlines, especially Alaska Airlines’ companion fares, might be significantly reduced or free.
Don’t have a companion fare? Keep looking. Are your friends traveling to the funeral? What about family members? If so, they might have a companion fare. If they’re not already planning to fly with someone else, you can ask and see. You may not have much bereavement leave from work. If this is the case, then flying this way is speedy and cheap.
Try to Plan Ahead
It can be hard to plan ahead in some situations. Nothing is predictable as you start end-of-life planning. But it can make things much easier for your loved ones when you (or they) make travel plans for a loved one’s funeral — or for yours someday.
- JetBlue. “Fare discounts on JetBlue.” n.d., help.jetblue.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/webcgi.exe?New,KB=askblue,Case=obj(388913)