Such Is Life
Of course we expected but that never seems to change one's reaction when the death of a close person actually happens. So, when I called the Empress the night she learned of the news she was in tears and of course the phone transmitted the sadness with the speed of light to myself. Obviously, since I just met our Ate once and the meeting was fairly brief (she was quite lucid and was insistent with all present we all speak English while I was around) it just did not hit me the same way it hit The Empress. Of course, the larger impact was the fact The Empress was saddened and I was not physically with her to help comfort her.
The bigger problem though was getting The Empress on her way to the funeral. Not an easy task. We went through a public consolidator to obtain the ticket she was going to use at the end of the month and when working with consolidators you find they are very inflexible. The desired flight was available for (total taxes & fees included) about 70% more than what we purchased the original ticket for (again total). Oh yeah, do not forget the cancellation and service fees.
No, bereavement only goes so far and seems to apply only to the fees & service charges charged for changing the reservation.
We ended up going with one of the larger consolidators (LC) as opposed to the one we used initially. LC had some seats left on the flight we are aiming for. Price was a tad cheaper (then the price quoted on the previous consolidator) so I booked it.
So, the Empress will be traveling soon with her niece.
I do not have much nice to say about the airline industry right now.