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ginahogue's avatar

Bereavement travel?

Asked by ginahogue (4points) June 4th, 2009

My mother will likely pass soon as she is not intaking nourishment. It will be necessary to transport and accompany her from Spokane, WA to Houston, Texas. Any suggestions for cheap or open ended tickets, vouchers, etc.

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9 Answers

Les's avatar

Sorry to hear about that.

Most airlines offer bereavment fares that are either open ended or round trip. I think your best bet is to call a couple airlines and ask what their policy is, and get some prices. They also need to verify the event, sometimes, so they may ask you for the phone number of the funeral home, hospital, etc., so just be prepared. I don’t think you’ll have a hard time finding bereavement fares, but I know from experience that the prices are often not all that reduced. They reduce the priece of the highest priced flight they offer, so it may not be that great. But you can always call.

Again, please accept my sympathy, and I hope you can make the arrangements you need to make.

basp's avatar

I’m not so sure most airlines offer berevement options. I mean, I know they used to, but in January I had to fly for a funeral and was told by the airline I used that they no longer do that sort of thing.perhaps it depends on the airline.

mcbealer's avatar

Sorry to hear about your Mom! You might find this article helpful.

Darwin's avatar

When my MIL died suddenly we discovered that bereavement fare consists basically of a full-fare, open ended ticket. There is some discretion on the part of the ticket agent, but it depends on how sympathetic they are and how adept they are at working the system.

Generally, whatever funeral home you are using can run through the options (once she does pass you will not be able to transport her without having used the services of a funeral home in Spokane as well as one in Houston).

bythebay's avatar

My deepest sympathy is with you during this tough time. This article will give you some information on where you might receive some help. Best of luck to you.

Kayak8's avatar

My most sincere condolences . . .

The funeral home can arrange for transport of your mother (there is no requirement for family to accompany the individual). You can then travel on any good fare you are able to get (I am assuming you are at the Spokane end).

Once you get to the other end, however, there are a number of ways to reduce costs and still throw a bang-up funeral. There is no need to feel guilty about setting up arrangements with an eye to your budget (if your mom hasn’t made pre-arrangements).

For example, for a viewing, you can rent a casket. She can actually be buried in a much less expensive casket.

If her desire was to be cremated, it is ridiculous to burn up a casket. The only requirement is that an individual be in a container to be placed in the retort (for the health and safety of the workers). They make an item called an air-tray that is perfect for this purpose (+/-$150). In this case you could then spend the money on a nicer urn if you wanted.

You can do the viewing with a rented casket followed by cremation with an air tray and save a great deal of money. You don’t have to use the guest book that they will try to sell you (Hallmark makes perfectly acceptable gift books for about 20% of the cost).

Most cities have a cremation and memorial society that has set fees for their services that are very reasonable. There seems to be one in Houston at

You can do a memorial service that you or other family host (without using the services of the funeral home) and save a lot of money.

If you want some additional cost savings for this, feel free to send me a comment and we can talk.

ginahogue's avatar

I know this is a little confusing. She WILL NOT discuss cremation. So that is out. She does however have her plot, headstone, next to my dad. The funeral home here is all set up to receive, embalm, and transfer her to Texas. My biggest problem is getting set up on that end as the airport is quite a distance from cemetery. I can, in Texas, transport her myself and all they have to do is open the grave. I am the only person she has so there will be no service or anything like that. Foolish as it may sound to some, I don’t want to let her fly without me. Thank you all for your support. I have been taking care of her since 96 and also have a quad husband that I care for, so am trying to get her taken care of then need to arrange for someone to stay with him while I am with her.

Kayak8's avatar

There is no one I know who has cared for their beloved mother who would NOT want to accompany her on such an important trip!
My thoughts go with you. My mom expects that I will accompany her and bury her in Texas as well and you give me courage for my journey.

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