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Answers urgently needed! International airfare websites

September 22nd, 2014 at 06:19 pm

Reposted from forum:

My brother, 44 years old, died last night. In Japan. I am in shock racing into grief.
(I know this is very young, and I will tell you it was from a lung malady, not from selfharm or a traffic accident or what usually takes the lives of men under the age of 50.)

His wife asked me to fly over. I need this information fast. I don't know if compassionate fares work for overseas flights.
Will my 12 yo child need a passport to fly with me?
Are there fare discounts or freebies for children?

Update: My cousin who is a travel agent found a flight for me. I am going alone. I now have some Japanese Yen, a tasteful black dress and black flats (no sense going as Godzilla-in-mourning) and maybe I'll have ticket info (website timed out on my cousin when she booked as me). I am still kind of in shock but prone to sudden crying fits. I am very thankful I have two places to stay at in Japan, and I'll be there for probably a week so I don't burden my sister's parents, who know very little English (I know even less Japanese). My mom and dad are both dead and I am struggling with minor details and what to do for Japanese funerals and how I'm going to communicate across the sea: do you think maybe my sister will let me have my brother's laptop?

How weird is it that today's SavingAdvice article is about men and heart disease? My brother died of a pulmonary embolism.

15 Responses to “Answers urgently needed! International airfare websites”

  1. Petunia in a Flower Garden Says:

    Oh, Paulette! I have no help for you regarding your travel plans, just want to say that I am so, so sorry to hear this. What a dreadful shock! I remember when you were traveling for his wedding.

  2. laura Says:


    (hugs) So sorry for your loss. I offer no advice on international travel, just my sincerest condolences during this time.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Please accept my condolences as well.

    This link does indicate that all children regardless of age need passports: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/under-16.html

    I would suggest calling your preferred airline and asking about discounted bereavement fares. It appears they may getting away from the practice, but may also assist you in good the best fare possible, even for international flights.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2014/04/13/airlines-bereavement-fares/7162939/

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    I think any traditional airfare site can help. Think Expedia, Kayak or Orbitz. Good luck!!

  5. PauletteGoddard Says:

    Thank you so much. My child's dual national, so I'm calling both the Cdn Consulate and the US Dept. of State. In a miracle moment, the first relative to call me other than the widow was a travel agent, so she's looking up flights from either Seattle or Vancouver to Osaka. I have to go buy a black dress and get my haircut and oh my god this is strange.

    Thanks again.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    I am so very sorry. What a shocking loss. My deepest condolences.

  7. bluesfemme Says:

    I'm so sorry. It is such a shock. If poss, don't just focus on the cheapest flight as there's a numbness and surrealness when travelling under such conditions; you have to make it easy as possible on yourself.
    Most times you can also pay for an expedited passport - we had to do the same when my brother died unexpectedly.
    We found no luck in contacting airlines direct for bereavement fares (mainly Asian based airlines), just tries lots of online sites. We were surprised to get last minute international fares at equal to "specials". If you have a simple white pearl necklace, that is considered appropriate jewellery to accompany western black mourning clothes.

  8. bluesfemme Says:

    [edited] If you have a simple white pearl necklace, that is considered appropriate jewellery for a funeral in Japan to accompany western black mourning clothes.

  9. PauletteGoddard Says:

    I do have a simple pearl necklace, bluesfemme. Thank you. I will be picking it up immediately from the safety deposit box.

  10. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Tragic. Perhaps the Consolate can help. Ask the attendants on the plane. They might have some suggestions. My heart goes out to you.

  11. snafu Says:

    Condolences, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope wonderful memories of beloved brother will give you strength through this ordeal.

  12. scfr Says:

    I'm so very sorry for your loss.

  13. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    So sorry for your loss. Put money in an envelope it's called koden it's tied with a string. And white chrysanthemums are the flower of choice for japanese funerals. email or im with more questions.

  14. My English Castle Says:

    Paulette, my dear, how did I miss this? I'm so sorry; what a shock. All the best to you and your family.

  15. PauletteGoddard Says:

    Thank you, everybody! Everything worked out very well in Japan, and in Canada remarkably enough. The funeral was beautiful. No koden was accepted by family, maybe because it wasn't a Shintoist funeral: I saw it offered though, so there's now a fund for funeral expenses. I interred half of my brother at my expense in southwestern British Columbia, and am bundling small gifts of gratitude to his in-laws, who are phenomenal people and good hosts. I am especially grateful to them for bearing my throwing Japanese verbs and nouns in no particular order at them from my phrasebooks, feeding me Japanese food (my stomach loves their diet) and cold genmaicha, and for giving me aspirin and coffee without comment the morning of the funeral, hours after I helped my brother's friends down most of a bottle of Gentleman Jack bourbon in memoriam (my brother would have browbeaten me into hoisting at least one Dixie Cup). I thought it was very sweet how they air-conditioned my room so a polar bear Canadian like me could manage sleeping (cooled to a perfect 73F, 23C) and didn't mind if I ignorantly used the wrong request phrase to people of seniority (I corrected myself later).

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