It’s an awful spot to be in: hunting for a reasonable airline fare to get to a loved one’s funeral at the last minute.
Some of those so-called airline bereavement fares aren’t easy to come by.
American Airlines, which just merged with US Airways, just got rid of it. Some low-cost airlines like Southwest and JetBlue, never offered it to begin with.
So imagine my surprise and thanks this past week. Mitch and I were in Seattle. He was at a conference, and I was poking around, trying to see what was so great about the Seahawks’ home turf.
We got a call from Patty, our distraught dog sitter, toward the end of the trip.
Ginger, our ancient dachshund, was in a horrible way and might even be dying, Patty feared. She was like a rag doll and wouldn’t drink or eat the yummy food Patty always provided — like the occasional cheeseburger, which they went and got together in Patty’s convertible.
Their bonding was always a sight to behold. But no fun this time. Patty was rushing her to the vet.
Since The Ginge is more than 17, we, too, figured this could really be it. We needed to get back to Pennsylvania ASAP. For all we knew, she’d be gone by the time we got there.
Mitch, who was trying to keep it together, told the nice reservations person at Alaska Airlines why we had to change our flight. Since she, too, was a dog lover, she went the extra mile to help with the fare.
Our hefty change fees were waived, but we did have to pay extra for the different day.
No matter. At a time when bereavement fares are being dropped, we got a break trying to get back to be with our beloved dachshund.
Who’s doing way better now, as it turns out. Looks to be an infection, and she’s on antibiotics. Our old girl is almost back to normal. At least for the moment.
Big sigh of relief. And big shout-out to Alaska Airlines.
Thanks for understanding.