The airline, which is merging with
In the past, American Airlines offered a bereavement fare that was lower than typical last-minute fares but varied based on route, departure time, availability and other factors.
In a statement, the airline said: "With the advent of more choices, lower cost carriers and larger networks, the industry has started to move away from bereavement fares because walk-up fares are generally lower than in the past, and customers now have more opportunities to find affordable fares at the last minute."
Instead, American Airlines now offers only to waive change fees for travelers who have a pre-purchased ticket and want to use it to attend the funeral of an immediate family member.
Bereavement fares on other airlines can save passengers 5% to 50% on last-minute bookings, which are typically the most expensive fares. But travel experts say passengers can usually book cheaper fares by searching the Internet.
"I don't see this as a huge issue as 5% off a $900 fare isn't going to make that big of a difference to someone in an emotionally chaotic state," said Rick Seaney, chief executive of the travel website FareCompare.com.