Be sure to tell the ticket agent why you’re going. Most (US) airlines will sell you a “bereavement fare” ticket at their normal 14-day advance price, not the usual extortionate walkup fare intended to hose choiceless business travelers. You’ll have to provide some details they can confirm with the funeral home. The rules may be different for international flights, though, but it couldn’t hurt to check. This can only be done over the phone, not the Web, incidentally.
There are not really any legal restrictions as long as your passport is in order. Your type of situation happens all of time.
What you need to be concerned about is the cost of your ticket. Have you priced a last minute, transatlantic ticket lately? There are web sites and travel agents that can get you decent last-minute fares but you probably want to search them out now. BTW, the bereavement fare is largely non-existent so don’t even bother with that tactic.
Might be an idea to buy a ticket now, at a lower fare, with only a small charge for changing the time of the flight? The charge may be smaller than waiting until the last minute to buy the ticket and paying the higher fare?
My wife has been in Germany for several months on a project (coming home for good this weekend! Hooray!) and given that both of us have hectic job schedules, we had to schedule those weekends where one of us would visit the other on pretty short notice. As long as your passport is in order, it isn’t really any different from booking a last-minute domestic flight.
I can’t give you advice on fares, though – since our flights were on the company nickel, we focused on flight times more than price.
Wow! One of my posts answered by an Administrator!! Thank you! Well, we said our goodbyes three months ago when I saw him last, so now I’d like to be there for his wife and kids and pay my final respects. I’m sorry I did not make that clearer in the OP.
I have spoken with Lufthansa and a very nice lady there told me they would do everything possible to expedite my trip when it becomes necessary. The fax from the doctor is here, and she told me this would be a big help in getting me on a flight out of Hartsfield.