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eleeman's avatar

Hi. question re: cheap (affordable) emergency airline ticket to the UK?

Asked by eleeman (1points) June 2nd, 2008

i’m taking a wild chance with this here, because it’s frankly my last resort. I’m not sure where or who else to ask. my brother and I need to take an emergency trip to the uk to see our very sick uncle. it’s amazing how expensive ticket prices have become these days. i’ve never flown internationally before, but according to the few people i’ve talked, the price i’m being quoted is exorbitant. does anyone have any suggestions?? any at all??! i’d be truly truly grateful. i’m trying to keep it together, but it’s difficult when i feel so helpless. any suggestions will be truly appreciated.


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11 Answers

richardhenry's avatar

Where do you live?

playthebanjo's avatar

do you already have a passport?

babygalll's avatar

Correct me if I’m wrong. I think most airlines have a special rate for people who have to travel last minute for funerals, dieing or sick family members. I purchased a ticket for my father when his uncle passed away. They gave me the best price they can, but that was within the states. Not sure how it works for international. Call them and ask.

eleeman's avatar

an american passport? yes. do i need anything else??

i just found out last night, and i really don’t know how to start planning. i figured i’d start with getting a feel for ticket prices. and just looking at the quotes drained what little energy i had left.

@ babygalll, really?? thanks! i’ll try that.. any specific airlines??

richardhenry's avatar

I’d ring all of the major airlines to find out what options you have.

babygalll's avatar

I believe it was American Airlines, but I agree with richardhenry. Call all the major airlines. I usually fly Lufthansa when I go international.

pixiequeen12's avatar

i dont know how old you are, but if you have a student ID, you can often also get better rates. try, for example

robmandu's avatar

First, Google last minute airfare.

I was able to find a flight leaving this Wednesday from DFW going to London, returning a week or so later for about $1,200… which really, isn’t bad.

If nothing else, that should give you a value for comparison against any emergency/bereavement fares, as suggested by my excellent Fluther companions earlier.

occ's avatar

There are sometimes cheap fares for London leaving from NYC. You might be able to find a cheaper total price if you search as two different fares – one from texas to NYC, and one from NYC to London. It’s worth a shot. The best site for searching flights is
But it does sound like $1200 r/t for a flight that leaves this Wednesday is a pretty good deal. I bet you could find something closer to $800 if you were able to have a 14-day advance purchase, but it sounds like you need to get there sooner.

Do you fly a lot within the US – and do you have a frequent flier account for any domestic airlines? If so, many domestic airlines are part of international alliances that would fly to London – so if you are going to call and try to get a special rate for sick family members, I would first try calling the airline that you have the best relationship with (the most frequent flier miles) – start by telling them that you have always been a loyal customer, etc, and then explain your plight. They may be more inclined to help you if it is a customer loyalty thing.

I am not sure if will allow you to do the “name your price” thing for an international flight, but you might want to check that out. You can say how much you’d be willing to pay for a ticket, and if they can match that price they buy you the ticket. BUT you don’t get to name your departure time (just date) and you might get stuck with a random stopover somewhere. However, if you’re desperate to find a cheap flight, and you have some flexibility with what time you leave/arrive, it seems like this might be an option.
p.s. to go to London I don’t think you need any other paperwork besides a passport. As long as you have a valid US passport you should be OK.

occ's avatar

i just checked kayak and flights from NYC to London were about $850, so that wouldn’t end up being cheaper than $1200 r/t since you’d have to buy a separate ticket from texas to NYC.
One other idea – do you have any generous friends who travel a ton for work and might be willing to sell you their frequent flier miles? that might be a better bet…some people who travel so much for work have a gazillion miles and might be happy to do a friend a favor and get some cash in return. of course, airlines have blackout dates for frequent flier miles too, but might be willing to make an exception given your circumstances…

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