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Allegiant Air refuses to refund cost of tickets after woman's unexpected death

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Allegiant Air is refusing to refund a Washington man the price of his tickets for a trip he and his wife were planning on taking after she died suddenly. (AP)

It used to be that airlines would be flexible when it came to situations of life and death. But now carriers are less accommodating to travelers’ changing plans when dealing with the death of a relative.

In the wake of news that American Airlines ended its policy of offering bereavement fares, Allegiant Air says it is refusing to refund a Washington man the price of his round-trip tickets after his wife suddenly died.

Washington state resident Jim Terry said he and his wife Roxann were planning a trip to Disneyland when Roxann became unexpectedly ill over Christmas and passed away just weeks later.

“We would have just had our 40th anniversary a couple of days ago,” he told NBC-affiliate KING-TV.

The airline offered to reschedule the flight, which Roxann booked in October, but Terry said that he used his time off to care for his wife and needs the money for medical fees that accrued during her illness.

In a statement Allegiant said: "All of our itineraries are nonrefundable (as stated in the terms and conditions), however, we do offer a TripFlex product that customers may purchase at time of booking. TripFlex allows customers to make unexpected changes to their itinerary with no additional fee."

TripFlex, which starts at $11.50 per flight, will allow ticket-holders to make most changes for no additional fee.  Trip Flex holders can make free changes up to 24 hours in advance.

But like any travel insurance, you should always read the fine print.

As for Terry, he wrote a letter to Allegiant and the company told him it would have a response in two months. 

“I understand company policies and everything but I also understand that they don't have to be cast in concrete.  You know, there can be an exception, some extraordinary circumstance or something,” Terry told  KING TV.