Airlines celebrate record profits, having killed bereavement fares


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There is having no bereavement fees and then there is lying about it. I’m not a lawyer but it seems to me that this is almost fraud or something like that. Maybe there is a case for a class action here.


Yeah, I agree with that. Not sure why you would make up some story about being able to get a refund if that isn’t the case. Makes no sense.


It sounds much more likely the company is disorganized and not everybody knows the latest policy, whatever it is. I’m sure none of you have worked in a place where that would happen.


I can see why the Times article author has a special interest in this situation, as his relatives will end up paying for bereavement tickets, and then having to pay again in four days…


Not defending the greedy airline corpsuckers but bereavement fares were typically just a 10-15% savings off the full coach walk-up fare which is almost always the most expensive ticket behind first class. In most cases you get a much better deal with even a 3 day advanced purchase.

There are a lot more shady airline practices to get upset over than killing off bereavement fares.


Could one arrange a bereavement fare if one were flying to Toronto to check on Rob Ford’s condition?


I see where you’re coming from, but I really believe here the fact that they don’t have bereavement fairs is not the bigger issue. The bigger issue is they LIED about it and then did nothing to remedy the problem with a valued customer. Especially considering that she was told wrongly twice about bereavement refunds being available.

Had she known the truth it may have influenced her such that she may not have even picked that particular airline (Someone else might have been cheaper).


I guess Mr Garrison was on to something

“it still beats dealing with the airlines”


That kind of neglect is one thing when dealing with routine business travellers, but it’s particularly vicious at an already chaotic, miserable, brain-addling time like the days after someone dies. Air travel is even more degrading than usual in such moments.


Oh I never said it was excusable. Just that it may not be intentional.


Unintentional neglect is an excuse for an individual human person. Where corporate persons are concerned, it’s a distinction without a difference.


When my wife was traveling to her grandfather’s funeral, not only was there no bereavement fare available, nor any sympathy, they tried to gouge her for extra fees. Her first flight departed late and she missed her connection in Atlanta (by two minutes). To put her on another flight they wanted an additional $300 to get her out that night (the only remaining flight that would get her there in time for the funeral). She put me on the phone with the gate agent (since she was sobbing uncontrollably) and I got to hear him repeatedly tell my wife to “shut up” and to “stop making a scene”.

She ended up missing her grandfather’s funeral and having to come home. Airline customer service is a joke.


So? If they are disorganized then I am supposed to just feel sorry for an inferior product and misleading statements? Their representatives need to present a common policy applied equally or they could be exposed to litigation. Being unorganized is not an excuse for fraud.


Agreed, and even when they do know the policies, they may not know how to actually do things the right way. One time last year I got to the airport, got a boarding pass, then at my gate they called me up and told me my employer’s travel agent never actually bought my ticket, and they had no idea why they gave me a boarding pass. After a while they found someone who’d been working there 20 years and remembered the procedure for issuing a ticket at the gate.


This is nothing new. I had the same problem (with Delta) when my dad died 25 years ago. Never trust a promise of money to be refunded at a later time.


I’m sure they’d blame their outsourced call center for the issues.

At the end of the day, American, United, and Delta are lying assholes who will fuck you six ways to Sunday to make an extra dollar.


Generally people flying for bereavement purposes don’t have the luxury of 3 days advanced notice. Which is why this is especially appalling - all these people paid full fare price and then got the runaround from corporate.


Well I can’t tell you how to feel, but see my comments above.

And actually, being disorganized might not excuse fraud, but it’s the perfect alibi. Fraud requires intent.


Fair point. But inconsistent application of policy may reflect discrimination and is certainly an opening for a lawsuit