Now that U.S. Airways and American Airlines have merged and formed the largest airline in the world, American has decided to drop its bereavement fare policy, which gave discounted tickets to passengers traveling because of a family member's death.
In a statement (via the AP), American blamed the change on conforming to U.S. Airways' non-bereavement fare policy and having a "single, consistent program for American and US Airways." Of course, this could also have been achieved if U.S. Airways started offering bereavement fares, but it didn't. Fox Business says the change happened "quietly" last week.
American's site now says that while it does not offer emergency or bereavement fares, it does "offer customers flexible fare options when booking last minute travel for a variety of reasons."
As of last year, AirTran, Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin America also didn't offer bereavement fares. Fox Business added Frontier, Virgin Atlantic and Hawaiian Airlines to the list. The airlines that still do -- Delta and United, for instance -- actually charged almost as much or even more than fares offered online. So as callous as American's decision seems, we probably aren't missing much.
Of course, no matter how you go about purchasing that ticket, you will be charged $25 to check the funeral clothes in your suitcase (exceptions may apply).