On U.S. domestic flights, babies fly free as a ‘lap infant.’ Children under 2 years of age don’t need their own seat and it doesn’t cost extra to bring them on a plane.
Outside the U.S., policies vary. And for international travel there’s usually a charge – which can be as high as 10% or more of the cost of a paid ticket, plus taxes.
A couple arrived at the Tel Aviv airport for Ryanair 4710, the 12:55 p.m. flight to Brussels-Charleroi on Tuesday. They were traveling with their infant son, but hadn’t paid the airline’s €25 (US$27.14) fee for an infant in lap. While some reports have said that the parents “refused to pay the fee,” in fact Ryanair’s check-in counters were closed and they could not pay.
They left the baby at the ticket counter and proceeded to security. Ryanair called Israeli police. The parents were located, and taken into custody for questioning. The baby was returned to the its parents.
According to the airport authority,
A couple with a baby, holders of a Belgian passport, arrived on a Ryanair flight at Terminal 1 without a ticket for the baby. The couple arrived late for the flight after the flight’s check-in counters had closed. They left the basket with the baby and wanted to go up to the security check in Terminal 1 to get to the departure gate.
The ground services shift manager took the couple back to the flight counters to pick up the baby. and called the police and a security guard. After that, the couple took the baby.
Because I’m optimistic, I choose to believe that the parents were going through security to find someone they could pay in order to bring their child. Most of the stories around this have framed it as ‘parents leave baby behind’ as though they were giving Ryanair their baby instead of $25. They couldn’t proceed through security without a ticket for their son, which they couldn’t get without paying the fee.
While it’s unfortunate that there wouldn’t have been any later Ryanair flights from Israel to the ‘Brussels South’ airport (they only serve the route three days a week) the correct answer of course is not to leave your baby behind. Brussels Airlines offers a 4:10 p.m. departure, which was selling tickets ~ $270 per passenger plus around $50 for the infant. At least one passenger might have stayed behind with the infant and traveled later.
Travel is complicated, and it’s understandable to think that a ticket pays for a seat so a baby who is allowed to travel without a seat wouldn’t need a ticket. Facing unforeseen costs can be daunting. But losing your child seems.. worse?
(HT: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)
wow, just wow.
If there were two of them, why didn’t one stay with the child?
makes you wonder if child protective services (or whatever it is called wherever they live) will be paying a call.
“Because I’m optimistic, I choose to believe that the parents were going through security to find someone they could pay in order to bring their child. Most of the stories around this have framed it as ‘parents leave baby behind’ as though they were giving Ryanair their baby instead of $25.”
Did you not create the title of your own post?!? It’s literally:
Couple Abandoned Baby At The Airport When They Learned They Had To Pay $27 For Him To Fly
To add insult to injury, Ryanair does not issue refunds for missed flights, covid or the end of the world.
Ryanair simply dos not care and will not accommodate anyone.
@sean – they DID abandon the baby, I just want to believe they were coming back!
Dumb to leave the baby behind. One parent should have stayed with the baby,
You would be surprised how often something like this happens at airports (ie. passengers attempting to abandon their children to save some money). People tend to leave their brains at home when they checkin for a flight.
When traveling internationally all babies/infants are required to have their own ticket.
Thank you, Gary, for your report about a couple that abandoned their baby when flying Ryanair out of the Tel Aviv airport because they didn’t want to pay the $27 Ryanair lap child surcharge. Fortunately, this couple was not traveling on Delta Airlines in the United States with their bird, cat, or dog because they might not want to pay the $95 Delta Airlines carry-on pet fee.
Readers should know if flying Delta Airlines; household birds are permitted on domestic U.S. flights only, excluding Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Why not blame Ryan Air? You say you have to pay but don’t allow them to pay?
The most amazing part of the story is. that they gave the couple the baby back
I’m hoping Gary was right, that they went to look for someone to pay, although not sure why one didn’t stay with the baby.
The real story is that Ryanair refused to allow the baby to board! They said go without him!
It sounds like a breakdown in the process. If tickets are ordered online or by phone, they should be asked who is attending including all minors. If in person, the agent should ask the same thing.
There was an “I Love Lucy” episode that revolved around just this with the exact 10% charge (I believe) for international flights, so maybe the process has not changed since then. Lucy dressed up a hunk of cheese as a baby.
Because of this disgusting behaviour by Ryanair (and yes for a lousy $27 they could have simply either forgotten about the fee or asked the couple if they would agree to either a payment plan or pay the full fee within a certain period – say 2 weeks or so).
We recently flew Qantas and not only did they go out of their way to ensure that not only did we get a bassinet seat (yes they charged a minor amount for it – far less than 10%) and provided excellent service including holding our son when he was crying and ensuring that his bottle was heated to the correct temperature.
RYANAIR YOU ARE A CRAP AIRLINE AND NEITHER WE OR OUR RELATIVES WILL FLY WITH YOU AGAIN.
I struggle to understand the thought process. Anyone with both children and a spouse has surely lost count of the number of times one person has stayed with a child while the other is sent off to find/buy whatever. While I appreciate the “glass is half full” approach — that the child was temporarily parked there while the parents looked for ryanair staff — it is crushingly stupid to leave a child unattended so that both parents can go off and do something. To make matters even worse, the stupid gene may have already been passed on to the next generation.
Uhm. The article calls out most coverage for insinuating they abandoned the baby and then does the EXACT same thing with the clickbait title. Disgusting