Unfortunately the worst in life happens. And also unfortunately most times the memorial service and funeral are usually 1 week away and not near enough time to score a good deal on a flight back home to say Maryland to see Granddad get buried. There are some tips though to at least help alleviate the financial burden you now find yourself faced with, with the biggest help being a Bereavement Fare.
What is a bereavement fare? It is a lower prices fare than the posted fare. The problem? ONLY ONE MAJOR AIRLINE OFFERS IT! Delta is the only major airline that has this policy and I've personally have always been treated well with them, which makes sense as to why they have this policy. The other problem? Sometimes its cheaper to fly some other airlines full price fare than to use the bereavement fare. Let me explain with a little life lesson I recently witnessed.
The unexpected happened and I was asked by a family friend to help find flights for 10 people to the graveside service in Utah. Easy enough I fired up my favorite flight search tool and started to poke around. I also called Delta as the only way to get these fares is to call. The other part of the equation is they need a couple of bits of information like the the deceased persons name, your relationship, name and number of funeral home or hospital. As it only applies to immediate family, it includes aunts uncles nieces and nephews and also in-laws. Deltas posted fares for 3 days away was $650, which is standard for a last minute flight. Deltas bereavement policy though knocked off another $200, but for 10 people that is still $4,500. Not small change.
My flight search yielded cheaper fares of $150 on Frontier, a Ultra Low Cost carrier. I normally try to steer clear of ultra low cost carriers as sometimes its still cheaper to fly one of the big three, but in this case even with checked bags and seat assignments food and drinks on board it was still $200 cheaper per person to fly this fare. So after discussing options with the family and letting them know the type of flight to expect we booked the cheaper flight for about $1200.
You can check delta's policy here. You can only get the bereavement fare via calling Delta.
Please do your homework though and find the best flight for you.