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American says bye to bereavement fares

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American Airlines has done away with bereavement fares to passengers who must book last-minute travel because of a relative's death.

This move brings American in line with the policy at merger partner US Airways, who has not offered bereavement fares in some time.

Last minute prices tend to be higher and airlines count on them to make flights profitable. American didn't have a specific discount for bereavement travel, but they did offer a different fare class that usually produced a lower fare with added benefits such as open returns with no penalty for changes.

In a statement Wednesday on Americans website, they said that it was making the change "to have a single, consistent program for American and US Airways." It said that customers can buy changeable and refundable tickets, and they can apply future reservations to a last-minute flight and be eligible to waive the fee.

United Airlines offers a bereavement discount of 5 percent off the lowest available rate when the ticket is issued. Delta Air Lines offers additional flexibility on the best published fare in such cases, if seats are available. Southwest Airlines and Virgin America don't offer bereavement fares.


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