You may have heard that American Airlines is ending its policy of offering bereavement fares for passengers seeking last-minute tickets to attend family funerals. The announcement passed as do most news stories about the downsizing of American generosity – with a nostalgic whimper and corporate waiver. When CNN asked American Airlines the reason for the change, the company hid behind US Airways, the no-frills step-sister with which it had recently merged.
“In order to have a single, consistent program for American and US Airways,” read a canned statement, “we will adopt the US Airways policy and now offer customers the option to purchase changeable and refundable fares.”
In other words: US Airways made us do it! CNN didn’t ask American why it didn’t do the opposite and make US Airways adopt American Airline’s bereavement policy. Perhaps after more than a decade of beating contract concessions and givebacks from its unions,