Some major airlines in Canada and the US offer bereavement fares when you need to book a last minute flight for the death or sudden illness of a family member.
But how much of a discount do you get with bereavement fares? You might be surprised!
Jenn researches the details for you!
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hey everyone. Welcome back to Travel Tip Tuesday with the Travel Mug podcast. It's Jenn here with my podcasting partner, Meggan.Meggan:
Yes. So we all know that booking last minute's flights can be expensive.Meggan:
And when you're booking a flight last minute because of like the death of a family member or an I illness that may lead to death of a family member, did you know that major airlines offer bereavement prices? So, I looked into this cuz I knew that bereavement pricing was a thing, but I was like, okay, what, what is it? So I looked mostly into the two major Canadian airlines to see what their policies were. Side note, I wish we had more major airlines in Canada.Meggan:
That would be nice if we could look into three or four. But here we are.Jenn:
Air Canada. So here's what you have to do. You have to call by phone before you travel to request bereavement pricing. The bereavement pricing only applies to economy standard, Flex, comfort and Latitude fares., but it applies to economy, basic fares when traveling outside North America. So within Canada, it does not apply to economy basic and bereavement travel has to occur within 10 days of booking, and it cannot exceed 60 days.Meggan:
Those are the rules. So Air Canada also stipulates that it has to be an immediate family member, so a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, great grandparent, sibling, legal guardian. It can be a step or an in-law. Doesn't have to be a blood relation, butMeggan:
It has to be an immediate family member. So westJet. WestJet you called by phone before you travel. Although the wording is a little weird, it says there's a form to request a bereavement fare refund as well. So it seems like if you do just book it, afterwards, you can request a bereavement fair refund. To be, to be sure. I would call if you can, and it's available on their econ- econo and econo Flex Fares only. It's not eligible on basic, member exclusive, premium or business fares. It requires you to have a West Jet Rewards account, which is a free account. So I guess. You know, if you don't have it, you can sign up within minutes, but,Meggan:
okay, good. That's what I was gonna say. They'll, you'll have to sign up at the time if you don't have one. I guess. Yes. That seems like an extra step. You wouldn't want someone who's going through a bereavement period to have to do, but okay.Jenn:
Yes. And they require that travel will be completed within 30 days of when the fight was booked, including your outbound and return flights, so all within that month period. So both Air Canada and West Jet have a form that has to be filled out within seven days of returning from your trip. And it does require information like the name of the deceased, service information. Air Canada actually requires documents, so a copy of the death certificate. Like a funeral director statement, a coroner statement, a registration of death, or a letter from a treating physician. So yeah, it, it is a lot. And I mean, I get it cuz you would have people like abusing the system, but like what actually do you get? Let me tell you,Meggan:
do tell JennJenn:
doesn't mean it's going to be cheap. So I actually had a friend who recently traveled on Air Canada on a bereavement fair, and she only saved about $40 on the cost of the flight itself. However, they did give her two pieces of checked luggage included, and she was able to pre-select her seats for no fee as well. So on the West Jet website it says and I quote." It's important to note that while our bereavement fare may not be the lowest priced fare at the time of booking, it offers more flexibility for last minute changes or cancellations." So it may not be,Meggan:
what they're saying is We're gonna charge you whatever fare exists that day. But don't forget, it's more flexible cuz you're paying more money.Jenn:
Yeah, that's what I'm hearing.Meggan:
So if you are traveling within the US I did just do a quick Google search. So Delta and Alaska Airlines both offer bereavement programs. Hawaiian Airlines offered it, but it was only between Hawaiian Islands. It was not to like continental US. I mean it is something to look into of course if, if you do have to travel last minute, but just to be aware that it is not going to make the cost of your flight super cheap necessary.Meggan:
No, it's not gonna have a dramatic impact, unfortunately. Plus, There's a lot of hoops ish for someone going through an event like that in their lives. So I can see a lot of people just booking and not even doing this, but it is good information to have.Jenn:
Especially, you know, in a time where everything's expensive.Jenn:
Yes. So that is all that we have for this week. I hope that you found it helpful, and I hope even more that you never have to use it.Meggan:
If you would like to support us and what we do here, you can do that on buy me a coffee, or you can share the show with a travel loving pal. We love meeting more Travel Loving pals, and you can find us on our website, travel mug podcast.com. We're on Facebook and Instagram at Travel Mug Podcast. We're on YouTube as well where you can see our pretty faces and we will chat with you again soon. Bye everyone.Meggan: