One of the realities of getting older is that more situations come up where you have to travel on short notice. This could be traveling for a relative's funeral or a relative's hospitalization. Most people are not aware that there are discounts for these types of flights. There are many types of people and situations for which airlines offer airline tickets at major discounted rates.
Because of these emergency situations, some last-minute flights can be gotten at a discount based on the reason for the flight. All airlines offer bereavement fares -- discounted airline ticket prices for family members to travel to a dying relative or for a funeral. Of course, even if you don't have a special situation you can still get a discounted or dramatically improved rate by using the tips found in Airfare Secrets Revealed.
The discounts for special situations can average around fifty percent, and frequent flyer discounts can often be applied to the discounted ticket. However, there is some information you will need to be prepared to give the airline to take advantage of these discounted flight rates.
- If you have a relative who is gravely ill, you will need to provide the airline with information about the person, their doctor, and the hospital or care facility. You will also need to provide information regarding your relationship to the person, so be sure to have all addresses and phone numbers ready before you call or visit the ticket counter.
- If you need to travel for a funeral, other information is required to obtain the bereavement rates. You will need to provide information about the deceased, the date and location of the service, and contact information for the funeral home, including address and phone number. Sometimes airlines will require that you purchase a ticket at full price, and then return later with a death certificate to claim a refund equal to the discount for bereavement fares. You can often use frequent flyer points with these flights as well.
- If you are already traveling and need to return for an emergency such as those we mentioned, most airlines will allow you to return early on a free standby ticket. You will, however, need to provide all of the information outlined above in order to get the standby ticket at no cost.
- While you may not be of age yet, many airlines offer seniors a ten-percent discount on airfare. This may not be the best deal you can get depending on other factors such as where you are flying and the reason for your trip. We are finding that most of the major airlines are eliminating their senior discounts, because there are so many of us babyboomers taking advantage of them. On a bright note though, most of the discount airlines still offer these discounts.
- Seniors can also get discounts through affinity groups. You do not have to travel with a group to get these discounts -- you need only be a member of the group. The biggest discount for seniors is to be a member of AARP. These memberships can provide you substantial discounts when purchasing tickets. I have used AARP discounts several times for various reasons including airfare and hotel discounts.
Equipped with this information, you will be more prepared to take advantage of the discounts that airlines offer for those in special circumstances. Good luck in all your travels.