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There are options that you can consider to reduce the costs of travel when there is an unexpected loss of a loved one. Airlines that offer bereavement or compassionate fares will offer those fares to family members who meet one of these criteria: 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. Most airlines (but not all) also include same sex domestic partners and legal guardians as eligible family members.

A bereavement fare is not always the lowest fare available, if you are able to have flexibility in terms of your travel times and dates then ask first if a sale fare is available and applies to your travel plans. It may be useful to have a travel agent who can call around and find the best options for fares and flights.

What information does the airline require for a bereavement fare (imminent death)?

* The name of the person who is ill
* Your relationship to that person
* The name, address and phone number of the hospital or health care facility
* The name and phone number of the attending physician

If you want to make "pre-planned" travel arrangements, you can visit Bereavement Hospitality Services. Pre-planned travel arrangements must be made at least 60 days prior to travel and can be renewed annually for a minimal cost.