Emergency Tickets are airline flight tickets that are intended for use by individuals that must get to a family member or love one that is terminally ill and near death or deceased and must attend the funeral. These tickets are also used for runaway children. They are referred to as bereavement or compassion fares and are offered at a reduced rate with fewer restrictions than normal fares.
If you are in a situation where you need to get to a family member or love one that is near death or has died, here are some useful tips and information on how to obtain a bereavement fare.
- Gather up all of the information you can about your loved one or family member. this should include things like the name of your loved one, the phone number of the funeral home, their doctor's name and number or the name and number to the health care facility, and a copy of the death certificate. Some airlines will only discount your fare after you return from your trip. So, make sure you have these documents with you when you return to your original destination.
- Be acquainted with the history and condition of the individual that you are going to see. Know their address, relatives or next of kin.
- Have your travel plans planned out in detail. Make sure you know the exactly city and state you are traveling to and when you need to get there and back. The bereavement fares for flights that have an exact date and destination are more favorable than open ended tickets.
- Make sure you call and speak directly with the airline you plan to travel on. Some airlines might require documentation and some may not. Some may offer a better fare than others. Speaking with a person at the airline will improve your chances of getting a better bereavement fare.
- If you are going to see someone who is ill and near death, make sure you ask the airline to be flexible in planning your return trip. Don't be afraid to ask them for an open ended ticket.
- If you plan to return with the remains or cremated remains of a family member, make sure you ask about the procedure you will need to follow and any special fares that they may have for the remains. Cremated remains are allowed to be brought onboard as carry-on. For a deceased body, contact the airline's cargo department.
- Make sure that you and any individual that you are traveling with are related to the individual in some way or fashion. Most airlines will allow parents and grandparents (including step-parents and in-laws), spouse, children (step and in-law), grandchildren, aunts/uncles, siblings (including step-siblings/in-laws), nieces/nephews, same sex domestic partners and legal guardians as eligible family members.
Emergency Tickets are tickets that you are trying to obtain at the last minute. It would be great to know all of these things ahead of time but that is not always the case. The first thing to do is to do some research and to ask questions. Talking directly with the airline is the best course of action. They will tell you what you need and how the process works.
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