A death certificate (example shown) is required as proof before some bereavement flights.
A death certificate (example shown) is required as proof before some bereavement flights.

In the United States and Canada, a bereavement flight is a flight purchased when a close relative has died or is dying. Bereavement fares used to be offered by many airlines, but as of 2015, most have stopped providing them.[1]

Bereavement flights often have flexible rules, and sometimes a reduced rate, however, the price of the fare depends on the airline.[2][3] Customers may be able to obtain a bereavement fare for last-minute flights that is comparable to that of a regular fare purchased in advance.[4]

Until the late 1990s, it was common for an airline to waive the 7- or 14-day advance purchase rule for bereavements, but in recent years, many airlines have been cutting back on bereavement fares.[5] Instead, many short-notice travelers rely on hidden city fares or other airline booking ploys.

Policies of various airlines

Airlines have varying policies pertaining to bereavement flights. This may include the relatives for which one is eligible to obtain such a ticket, the proof that is required, and the price that is charged in comparison with other fares.[6]

Other issues

Family members

Airline policies differ concerning which family members are eligible for bereavement fares. Some airlines accommodate only immediate family members; others are more inclusive, offering fares for a variety of familial relations, such as foster relatives, half relatives, and step relatives. Airlines have also explored whether same-sex spouses, or domestic partners who are not legal spouses, can be included.[12]


With the reduced availability of bereavement rates, it has been suggested that cheaper fares can often be found online.[12]


  1. ^ Noel, Josh (8 September 2014). "Bereavement fares disappearing from many airlines". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Bereavement Flights - What You Should Know". ABC article directory. Archived from the original on 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  3. ^ Robarts, Scott (2006-09-04). "Why bereavement fares are a farce and abomination that it Air Canada « Business Kung-Fu (closed for public access)". Businesskungfu.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  4. ^ a b Rich, Jason R. (2009-11-15). "Airlines' bereavement fares can help cut costs for last-minute travel to a funeral". Daily News. New York.
  5. ^ De Lollis, Barbara (2005-02-22). "Bereavement breaks fewer". USA Today.
  6. ^ "What You Should Know About Bereavement Flights". Articlealley.com. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-30. Retrieved 2014-03-16.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b "Page 3: Bereavement Airfares: Cheap Emergency Flights for Death, Illness - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  9. ^ "Bereavement Fares". aircanada.com. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  10. ^ "Emergency And Bereavement Fares". Aa.com. 2014-02-27. Archived from the original on 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
  11. ^ Willman, Marissa (February 17, 2014). "Bereavement Fares". Cheapflights.
  12. ^ a b "Is there compassion in bereavement fares?". USA Today. 2008-10-01.