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Last minute airline ticket change--airport or online?

Last minute airline ticket change--airport or online?

Jul 10th, 2009, 03:42 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 455
Last minute airline ticket change--airport or online?

I am wondering if there is a better price/deal for buying or exchanging an airline ticket suddenly at the airport or calling/doing it online?

My situation is that I will be in Montana for two weeks (have ff tickets for the trip) during which time I am expecting to have to take 2 days off to fly to Chicago for a funeral. The date is not known yet. To purchase last minute tickets, is it a better deal to go to the local airport and buy what they have available or to go online or call on the phone and try to explain that this is a berievement flight and deal with it there.

Thanks for any suggestions on this subject.
Margo is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 04:11 AM
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gail is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 04:14 AM
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Try on line, but I'd also call. I've found if I have an "unusual" situation, I often have better luck talking with an agent.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 05:17 AM
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You will not save money on a so-called "bereavement fare". Likely, this will be a very expensive ticket because it's usually expensive to fly into and out of Montana. The sooner you can find out the dates, the better. You'll do just as well online as on the phone and will save yourself an additional booking fee, depending on the airline. Price tickets on Expedia, Travelocity, or Orbitz, and even consider Priceline if you can. I would not bother calling unless you can't find what you need online. It really will be no help.
doug_stallings is online now  
Jul 10th, 2009, 09:05 AM
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"Bereavement" fares are a thing of the past.
sf7307 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 10:41 AM
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Typically you have to pay more to actually buy your ticket at the airport or over the phone. buy it online.
williamscb13 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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"Bereavement" fares are a thing of the past.,

I beg to differ... alive and well, (no pun intended ),

that said, most people don't understand what that means.

bereavement fare will get you a sizeable discount off the FULL fare, not off the restricted fare that was available 3-4 weeks before the flight date.

For instance:

Restricted fare (2-3 week advance purchase) = $250
Unrestricted fare, available anytime = $1000
The airline will offer heavily discounted full fare so maybe it will be 50% off but it's 50% off the $1000 fare, not the $250 fare which is no longer available just few days before the flight. So, you end up getting the unrestricted fare for $500. Still more expensive than the cheaper fare but a great deal less than the unrestricted last minute fare everybody else has to pay.

The above is just an example and it's probably true about 75% of the time but it's not written in stone. There are routes and instances where cheap fares are available until the last minute.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 04:29 PM
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AA, does one call the airline to ask for this "bereavement fare"? What documentation is needed?
Margo is offline  
Jul 15th, 2009, 04:43 AM
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Just a note to let you know how this ticket change went down. We had to change the outbound portion of an already frequent flyer ticket when brother died. I called United Mileage Plus number and requested to speak to an agent. We wanted to leave home on the ticketed date to head to Chicago then fly from Chicago to Montana two days later. The return part of the ticket from Montana would remain unchanged.

After 1 hour and 20 minutes the ticket was changed. As expected there were no available frequent flyer seats on any day or route that we could use. Husband had to purchase the two dates necessary for the outbound flight. More than $700 for Wash Dulles to Chicago and two days later, Chicago to Missoula. What United offered was 10% off the listed price plus no change fee imposted or fee to make the reservation by phone.

This definitely was not expected "miracles", AA
Margo is offline  
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