Almost without fail, the "Bereavement Fares" were as high, or higher, than the most expensive fares that I found when conducting my own ticket search. WTF? Now, I loved Grandma and the was no way I was not going to her funeral so I knew I would spend whatever I had to spend to get there, but COME ON! I wasn't jetting to Cabo for a sex romp! I was flying to Minnesota in the dead of WINTER to bury a loved one, so why in the world was the quoted bereavement fare so much more expensive than other last minute fares (which were, in and of themselves, quite pricey)? When I asked this question of the ticketing agent I was told that tickets purchased under a bereavement code could be changed without penalty, which I thought was both evil and moronic, as I've not heard of many funerals being rescheduled, thus requiring attendees to change their travel plans. I told him so, and bought a cheaper, non-bereavement ticket.
2. A couple of months ago I was scouring Craig's List for apartments in Minneapolis, where I was planning to move. After seeing a lot of potentially awesome apartments on line, I decided that I needed to fly out and see some so that I could make a decision and start working on the move. I hopped on kayak.com, my go-to airline ticket aggregator, and, as expected, prices for last minute (leaving in 2 days) tickets were astronomical. I was fretting over the wisdom of making this expensive trip when my pal Jim suggested I check out a site called Last Minute (www.lastminute.com), which specializes in last minute tickets, to see what I could find.
A few minutes of poking about on Last Minute and it became clear that this was the solution to my problems. Quoted prices were significantly cheaper than anything I was able to find online, either through other ticket aggregators or directly through airlines.
But wait! There's more!
In a bizarro twist of norms and up-ending of all travel advice I had ever been given, I found that my trip would be even cheaper if I purchased two one-way tickets instead of one round-trip ticket. So
Tip For You: The next time you need (or shoot, even just want) to book a last minute flight, check out www.lastminute.com and consider a one-way ticket. And remember, bereavement fares are for suckers.