So, in case anyone hasn't heard, airlines normally somewhat promote that they offer bereavement fares - special deals on flights if you have to fly somewhere because of the death or sudden illness of a family member. Some advertise up to 50% or 75% off fares, and they normally waive all change fees if you had to stay longer, for instance. Their pages make it sound like they'll essentially send a private jet for free and send a flight attendant to blow your nose for you at the funeral.
Except - this is mostly all bs. I kind of hopefully glommed onto these today as what would help me get home for a memorial service for my Nanna.
They do offer a discount, but it's usually on the full, unrestricted fare. Most of the time, the listed online rate is actually still less expensive than the discounted regular rate. I've been calling/searching all day, and so far the best deal I can find is United, where I can get a flight for around 600 instead of 700. Even then, I can Hotwire the same flight for about 455, so it's not really doing much for me.
It's not the airline's fault that I need to travel last minute, and it's expensive. But for fucking god, it's incredibly obvious that these fares are a PR move only. Don't pretend like you care and are being helpful, when you're not actually doing anything for the individual.
P.S. If anyone has any experience with them, or if there's something I'm missing, I'd love your advice!