ticketing a lap baby for international flight — The Bump
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ticketing a lap baby for international flight

We are flying December 2 internationally with our new LO as a lap infant.  (Buying her own seat is not in our budget, so you don't need to comment on it.)  I looked on American Airlines website which was vague - lap infant must have a ticket, issued at 10% cost, but can't be booked until after she's born.  When I looked at other websites like FlyerTalk and some parents' websites, they said they were charged 10% of that cabin's fare on the day the infant's ticket was booked, not on the day the parent's was booked.  In other words, if the price goes up $2,000 by the time my LO is born, then I pay 10% of that price, whatever that is.  Not knowing what I'll have to pay kind of freaks me out because I am not about to go trusting an airline to be fair, and we're traveling very close to Thanksgiving, when fares are usually high.

When I called American today, they disagreed and said they would ticket her at 10% of MY fare regardless of when the baby was added.  However, I don't completely trust them since that's not what others said online.

Should I go ahead and book the ticket and add her after she's born as I'm told to, hoping that they'll honor what they said?
Or should I book her ticket now, guessing at the DOB and call to change it later?
Or should I call AA back and hope to get a different person to answer the same question and double check that they answer it the same way?

Anyone fly with a lap infant internationally lately?
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Re: ticketing a lap baby for international flight

  • We bought our little ones lap ticket at the airport and it cost $30.  It was much less than 10% of our ticket.  I would just wait because if it is 10% regardles of when you buy it then why not wait?
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  • What airline did you fly?  American says it's 10%, but it's 10% of what that matters.  Is it 10% of the $400 that my ticket costs today (e.g. $40), or will it be 10% of what the current fare is when her ticket is added, which could be a lot more.  We're planning to fly business class because right now the tickets are only $50 more and the baggage allowance is far more generous (and we will need it).  But a business class ticket could cost $2,000-5,000 by the time October rolls around, which would make her 10% ticket $200-500, not $40.
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  • Would they let you book a ticket for a DOB that hasn't happened yet?  I have a feeling the computer system won't allow that.  
  • mysticl said:
    Would they let you book a ticket for a DOB that hasn't happened yet?  I have a feeling the computer system won't allow that.  
    No idea.  Any decent system would kick it out but IDK if theirs has that safeguard or not.  Unfortunately when I called, both agents I spoke to said LO can't be ticketed until she is born :(
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  • when dd flew as a lap baby we just booked after she was born - because it's not like they need to 'save' a seat for them

    the cost was 10% of a full fare price + airport taxes (although they were discounted a bit)

     

  • Where are you flying from? Different countries have different rules for changing tickets. Someone from another country (I was a travel agent in the US, and this was a travel agent from somewhere else) said that the airlines can hold an infant ticket in the reservation with a certain ticket designator to be changed later. I never heard of this before and never challenged it since they were from a different country and it could either be true where they live or the airlines could have changed their policy.

    If that's true, then a call to American should help. Otherwise, I wouldn't book a ticket with the wrong name because you'll more than likely pay twice. 

  • That fare will be from the US to the Caribbean (St. Kitts).

    The first agent I talked to told me a different story about cost than the second one did, but they both were in agreement that there's no way they could book the ticket until LO was born.  So I booked DH and my airfare and will have to call back after LO is born.  Not sure what I'll have to pay then, as the airfares will probably go up by then, but it looks like it's the only way.
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  • yeah, we booked our tickets with British Airways and they told us to wait until after LO is born to book his ticket. It will be %10 of the fare on the day we book.


    Cape Town, South Africa Pregnancy Ticker
  • Don't you have to give the passport number for international flights? And they obviously can't get a passport until they're born. I know we had to wait to book flights until after DD2 was born.

    I would ask the airline several times about whether it's ok to add an infant after the fact. I guess I would be paranoid that our tickets wouldn't be linked with LO's lap ticket if it was booked at a separate time. I don't know what all the consequences of that would be and am too tired to think right now, but I know that that would be something I would double and triple check.

    BFP1: DD1 born April 2011 at 34w1d via unplanned c/s due to HELLP, DVT 1 week PP
    BFP2: 3/18/12, blighted ovum, natural m/c @ 7w4d
    BFP3: DD2 born Feb 2013 at 38w4d via unplanned RCS due to uterine dehiscence

  • kelly321 said:
    Don't you have to give the passport number for international flights? And they obviously can't get a passport until they're born. I know we had to wait to book flights until after DD2 was born.

    I would ask the airline several times about whether it's ok to add an infant after the fact. I guess I would be paranoid that our tickets wouldn't be linked with LO's lap ticket if it was booked at a separate time. I don't know what all the consequences of that would be and am too tired to think right now, but I know that that would be something I would double and triple check.
    I was told the passport info can be added after the reservation has already been made.  However, they said that the birth date could not be added later and had to be known prior to booking the ticket.  This is in the US where that info is required by TSA.  I don't know how it is elsewhere.

    They said there was no problem adding her later as far as her ticket linking up with ours.  From talking to friends, apparently they've usually added their lap infants later.  Although my preference would have been to add her at the time I book, personally.
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  • I booked lap infants later with no issue, and if I remember correctly, it was on my ticket that I had a lap baby. 
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