By Dimitra Lavrakas
Senior Voice Travel Correspondent 

Last-minute flights, airfares for funerals

Airlines offer reduced rates and quickly


December 1, 2022 | View PDF

When someone in your family is dying whether, it's in-state or the Lower 48, you want to get to them fast.

When I was visiting a friend in Kodiak, her mother lay dying in Alabama, and we managed to get her off the island on the last flight out and to Anchorage on a reduced fare, then on to Alabama thanks to Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines

How does the Alaska Airlines bereavement fare work?

If you need to travel within the next seven days due to the death of one of your immediate family members, you may be eligible for a 10 percent discount off the lowest available fare for your desired flights.

Immediate family members who qualify for this fare include: A spouse or domestic partner, child or stepchild, parent (mother, father, stepmother or stepfather), siblings (brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother or stepsister), grandparents (grandmother, grandfather, step grandparent, or great grandparent), grandchild (granddaughter, grandson, step grandchild or great grandchild), aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, and in-laws (mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law).

The reduced rate does not apply to cousins or other in-law relatives, and is not intended for medical or emergency travel.

The discount is valid on Alaska Airlines and flights operated on behalf of Alaska by Horizon or SkyWest.

Travel must begin within seven days of purchasing your ticket.

Guests over the age of 18 must be Mileage Plan members and have their Mileage Plan numbers added to their reservation. It is free to sign up, so be prepared and do it now.

All rules associated with the fare are applicable, including Saver fare restrictions, and all fees associated with the fare are applicable.

This fare discount cannot be combined with any other promotional discounts such as Money and Miles, companion fares, government fares, or military fares.

The discount is not offered after travel has begun.

This reduced rate is only available if you purchase your ticket by phone.

Phone numbers to call to receive the reduced rate fare:

Reservations and customer service, 1-800-252-7522

Hearing and speech impaired (TTY), dial 711 for relay services

Accessible services, 1-800-503-0101

Air Canada

Air Canada's bereavement policy offers reduced fares and flexibility needed during a difficult time. It is possible that there may be lower prices available on their website, but they could be subject to additional fees. Its bereavement policy applies to: Immediate family members, any flight marketed and operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, or Air Canada Express, or any Economy Class fare, except for the airline's Economy Basic fare for travel within North America

Bereavement travel must occur within 10 days of booking and does not exceed 60 days. Air Canada's bereavement policy does not apply to codeshare flights or flights operated by another airline.

Air Canada requires more proof before you travel and when you return.

You must provide the name of the family member, your relationship to the dying or deceased family member, the name of the hospital or residence, as well as the attending physician's name, address and phone number, or the name, address and phone number of the memorial or funeral home, along with the date of the memorial or funeral.

Within seven days of your return travel, please send an email to with your booking reference in the subject line and attach one of the following supporting documents: a copy of the death certificate, the funeral director's statement, the coroner's statement, registration issued by a provincial government, a letter from the treating physician on official letterhead and/or a prescription pad which clearly defines the situation as one of imminent death of your immediate family member.

If you fail to send one of these documents you may have to pay the regular fare price difference.

Air Canada recognizes the following as immediate family: Spouse (common law, same sex partners and ex-spouse), child (step/grand/ great grand), parent (step/grand/great grand/in-law/ common law in-law), son or daughter (includes step/in-law/common law in-law), brother or sister (step/half/in-law/common law in-law), legal guardian and spouse of legal guardian (with proof of judgment).

All the above also includes in-laws of a same sex partner.

You must call 1-888-247-2262 to make a reservation.

Hawaiian Airlines

Since so many Alaskans vacation in Hawaii, taking notes of Hawaiian Airlines' bereavement policy might be a good thing to have handy. Hawaiian Air's policy is very generous.

If you had to change your reservation because a family member passed away, you may qualify for either a waiver of your change fees or a ticket refund, if your reservation was canceled.

Change or cancel your flights online or by phone. For changes, the change fee and fare difference will apply.

You will need the following documents: A copy of

the death certificate, proof of your relationship to the deceased (birth certificate or marriage certificate), and a copy of your ticket.

Submit your request and scanned copies of your documents online to

You are eligible if you booked a reservation, but you were unable to travel because your immediate family member passed away, or your travel companion (someone booked under the same six-letter confirmation code as you) passed away.

Hawaiian Air defines immediate family members as your spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, your mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law, as well as step-parents, step-children, step-siblings, step-grandparents, or step-grandchildren, and adopted children.

Hawaiian Air also offers medical waiver requests for a waiver of your change fees if you changed or canceled your reservation because you or a family member was hospitalized.

For medical waiver requests, if you had to change or cancel your reservation because you or an immediate family member (see above) became hospitalized, complete a medical waiver request form and send a scanned copy to Hawaiian

Submit a scanned copy of the form at Allow 30 days for processing.

If approved, the airline will refund your change fees. Please allow up to 30 days for processing. Waivers do not cover differences in fare or ticket refunds.

You may be asked to provide proof of your relationship.

Call 1-800-367-5320 if you have questions.

Delta Airlines

Delta offers a bereavement policy with additional flexibility on the best-published fare for your itinerary when last minute travel is required.

Call Delta Reservations 800-221-1212 for domestic flights or 800-241-4141 for international flights to book a bereavement fare.


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