Sample Letter to Airline for Refund Due to Death

As someone who has navigated the emotionally challenging process of requesting a refund from an airline due to a death, I want to share my experience and provide a step-by-step guide to help others in a similar situation.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understand the Policy: Know the airline’s refund policy in cases of death.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Prepare documents like death certificate and ticket details.
  3. Be Clear and Concise: Write a straightforward and respectful letter.
  4. Provide Necessary Details: Include booking information and your contact details.
  5. Attach Supporting Documents: Attach copies of the required documents.
  6. Follow Up: Keep track of your request and follow up if needed.
  7. Template Available: Use the provided template to simplify the process.

Writing this letter can be a sensitive task, but with the right approach, it can be managed respectfully and effectively.

Understanding the Airline’s Policy

Before you start writing your letter, it’s crucial to understand the airline’s policy regarding refunds in the event of a death. Most airlines have specific clauses for such situations, and knowing these can help tailor your request appropriately.

Real-Life Example: When I had to write to the airline, the first thing I did was check their policy, which I found on their website. It outlined the necessary documents and the process for submitting a refund request.

Gathering Required Documents

You will need to gather all the necessary documents, such as the death certificate of the deceased and the details of the ticket you wish to get refunded.

Writing the Letter: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Start with Your Details: Begin by providing your full name, address, and contact information.
  2. Include Booking Details: Mention the booking reference number, flight details, and the name of the deceased passenger.
  3. Explain the Situation: Clearly state that you are requesting a refund due to the death of the passenger. Keep it brief and to the point.
  4. Attach Supporting Documents: Include copies of the death certificate and any other relevant documents.
  5. Request Confirmation: Ask for a confirmation of receipt and an estimated time frame for the processing of your refund.
  6. Close Respectfully: End your letter with a respectful closing statement.

Template for Refund Request Letter

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[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip]
[Phone Number]


[Airline Name]
[Airline Address]
[City, State, Zip]

Dear [Airline’s Refund Department],

I am writing to request a refund for a flight ticket due to an unfortunate event. The passenger, [Name of Deceased], booked on [Flight Number] for [Flight Date], has passed away.

Attached, please find a copy of the death certificate and the flight ticket details. The booking reference number is [Booking Reference].

I understand the sensitivity of this situation and appreciate your prompt attention to this matter. Could you please confirm the receipt of this letter and inform me about the estimated time frame for the refund processing?

Thank you for your understanding and assistance.


[Your Name]

Following Up

After sending the letter, it’s important to track your request. If you don’t receive a response within a reasonable time frame, follow up with the airline through a phone call or email.


Writing a letter to an airline for a refund due to death is a delicate matter. Being clear, concise, and respectful in your communication can make the process smoother.

Remember to provide all the necessary details and documents to facilitate a timely response from the airline.

Tips for Writing the Letter:

  • Be Empathetic: Remember that the person reading your letter is human.
  • Keep it Professional: Despite the emotional context, maintain a professional tone.
  • Proofread: Ensure there are no errors in your letter.
  • Be Patient: Understand that these requests may take time to process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A middle-aged Hispanic woman in business casual attire

Q: What is a “Letter to an Airline for a Refund Due to Death”?

Answer: A “Letter to an Airline for a Refund Due to Death” is a formal written request sent to an airline by a person who has experienced the unfortunate loss of a loved one. The purpose of the letter is to explain the situation and request a refund for the unused portion of an airline ticket that was purchased for the deceased passenger.

Q: Why would someone need to write a letter to an airline for a refund due to death?

Answer: When a passenger passes away before their scheduled flight, it is often possible to request a refund for the unused portion of their ticket. Writing a letter to the airline is a formal and documented way to explain the circumstances and request the refund, ensuring that the request is properly communicated and considered.

Q: What information should be included in a “Letter to an Airline for a Refund Due to Death”?

Answer: A “Letter to an Airline for a Refund Due to Death” should include important details such as the deceased passenger’s full name, booking reference number, flight details (date, time, and destination), and any supporting documentation, such as death certificates or obituaries. It is also important to include the amount paid for the ticket, any additional fees, and the preferred method of reimbursement.

Q: How should the tone of the letter be when writing to an airline for a refund due to death?

Answer: The tone of the letter should be respectful, compassionate, and professional. Express condolences in a sincere and empathetic manner, emphasizing the difficult circumstances. Maintain a polite and courteous tone throughout the letter, expressing gratitude for the airline’s understanding and assistance during this challenging time.

Q: Is it necessary to enclose supporting documentation with the letter?

Answer: Yes, it is essential to enclose supporting documentation, such as the death certificate and obituary, with the letter. These documents serve as proof of the passenger’s death and help validate the request for a refund. Including such documentation strengthens the claim and provides the airline with the necessary evidence to process the refund.

Q: What should be the preferred method of communication when sending the letter?

Answer: The preferred method of communication may vary depending on the airline. It is recommended to check the airline’s website or contact their customer service to determine the preferred method. 

It could be via certified mail, email, or an online form, as specified by the airline. Retaining proof of sending or delivery confirmation is important for record-keeping purposes.

Q: Is it necessary to follow up after sending the letter?

Answer: It is advisable to follow up if you do not receive a response within a reasonable time frame. You can reach out to the airline via a polite phone call or email to inquire about the status of your request. 

Maintain open and respectful communication, providing any additional information or documentation they may require to process the refund effectively.

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