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American Airlines Discontinues Their Bereavement Policy

Joe Readle, Getty Images

Things happen in life when you just have to drop what you are doing and get to a distant location as soon as possible. Usually it’s an accident or death involving a family member. In those times an unplanned trip must be put together on short notice. It is for those times that the airline industry formulated a bereavement policy that almost every airline provided to their customers. Those policies are little by little going away. Such was the case with the announcement made last week by American Airlines.

American Airlines revealed that it is ending its bereavement policy. The bereavement fare was established by the airline industry to recognize a customer who was flying with them to be doing so because of a death in the family or a medical emergency. The reduced fair was the airlines way of cushioning the customer’s expenses in an unexpected time of need.

American Airlines, after its recent merger with US Airways, this week became the latest major U.S. airline to end its policy of offering bereavement fares. US Airways didn’t offer the special fares before the merger. American Airline’s thinking is that people can get cheaper fees with “walk-up” fares.

But not every carrier is going the way of American, at least not yet. Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are keeping their current bereavement policies in place. Delta offers additional flexibility on the best published fare as part of their bereavement policy and United offers a 5% discount on one-way and round-trip fares in the event of the death or serious illness of an immediate family member.

In case you were wondering, Cape Air, Quincy’s only air service provider,  does not have a bereavement policy.

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