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Some Advice For Emergency Travel: How To Reach Your Destination Fast

By Ben Pate

We may love to go away when it’s a planned vacation, but sometimes the circumstances aren’t so pleasant and we must go abroad because of the fatal illness or sudden death of a loved one. Given that, it’s good to know that an emergency passport can be obtained and that there are mechanisms in place to help you do such things as buying plane tickets quickly and easily.

If your loved one lives far enough away that you have to fly, you might be able to get a bereavement fare, also called a compassionate fare. This rate is reserved especially for those traveling in order to attend a family funeral or in the case of imminent death. While these rates may not always be the lowest, they are notably close, and are actually great discounts when compared to other last-minute plane ticket purchases. These fares range from anywhere between 10% and 75%, with the average hitting around 50%.

There are some drawbacks with these fares, however. While some airlines may give you the discount before purchasing your ticket when you provide the right documentation, many will only offer a rebate after you return from your trip. This refund must be submitted no more than 90 days after the flight. Bereavement rates for international travel are harder to acquire. Because these circumstances may be harder to verify, a refund can only be issued after the trip with the death certificate. International travel also poses another problem: if it takes more than one airline to get to your location, you will have to apply for bereavement fares individually for each one.

If you need to go overseas in order to meet with your loved one, make sure you have a valid passport, as these are still needed for international travel. A one day passport renewal is available if your passport is either missing, damaged, expired.

Many airlines provide a discounted “bereavement fare” for travelers attending the funeral of a loved one. While airline policies differ, the best way to find out if such a discounted fare is offered is to either call the airline or apply for it in person. Airlines will generally request such details as the name of the deceased, your relationship to that person, contact information for the funeral home and/or the name and number of the attending physician at the time of death. Some airlines offer discounts only one-way, on the return flight from the funeral; if this is the case, you may be asked for a copy of the death certificate as well. While these requirements may seem a bit intrusive, especially in such a difficult time, they are asked only as confirmation that you qualify for the bereavement fare. All airlines have policies to keep such information confidential.

You see, emergency United States passports and a one day United States passport renewal, combined with bereavement fares, are mechanisms you can set in motion when you must make an emergency trip abroad to take care of a family member who is about to die.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Pate, Ben "Some Advice For Emergency Travel: How To Reach Your Destination Fast." Some Advice For Emergency Travel: How To Reach Your Destination Fast. 21 Jun. 2010. 29 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Pate, B (2010, June 21). Some Advice For Emergency Travel: How To Reach Your Destination Fast. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Pate, Ben "Some Advice For Emergency Travel: How To Reach Your Destination Fast"

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