Landing the Right Type of Airfare and the Death of Bereavement Discounts

Airfare these days can get expensive so NBC 7 Responds provides some helpful information to consider before booking your next flight.

Airfare these days can get expensive, especially if you have to change or cancel a flight you already booked. 

For Responds viewers Robert Hanson and Walter Sani, they thought they would have to pay extra when health-concerns kept them from taking flights they had previously booked. 

Travelers often buy non-refundable over refundable airline tickets because of the cheaper price but every non-refundable ticket an airline provides comes the airline’s own restrictions or rules. Once you book a flight, think of the clock ticking down the amount of time you have to get a full refund. 

Under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s guidelines, you can cancel your reservation and not pay a cancellation fee if you cancel within the first 24 hours after you book the flight. To read more about this, click here

For those like Walter Sani and Robert Hansen, who don’t have the luxury of knowing within 24 hours if they can go forward with their reserved flights, every airline has different rules and regulations when it comes to cancelling or changing a booked flight. 

Airlines suggest if there is the slightest possibility that you might have to cancel or change your reservation, pay more for the refundable ticket. 

To see a list of major airlines and the fees they have for cancelling or rescheduling flights, click here

Mary Anne Gallant contacted NBC 7 Responds after she ran into some turbulence when trying to get a bereavement discount on airfare she booked. 

The airfare change Mary Anne made to her previously bought plane ticket meant she would be by her dying mother’s side in her mother’s final days but the difference in price was $600. 

NBC 7 Responds found bereavement airfare discounts are becoming a thing of the past for most major airlines. 

American Airlines stopped their bereavement airfare discounts all together in 2014. 

After NBC 7 Responds reached out to American Airlines for Mary Anne, she received a deposit within ten days for a partial refund on her airfare ticket. 

A representative from American Airlines told NBC 7 Responds the reason for stopping bereavement airfare discounts came down to the likelihood of finding an affordable, last minute ticket to a destination. Because of that, Airlines recommend contacting their customer relations department first before making any flight changes. 

NBC 7 Responds was told customer relations departments can often remove change fees or find something in your range if you contact them before cancelling pre-existing flights.

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