When parents travel with a child under two years old, the child doesn’t need their own seat. A so-called ‘lap infant’ travels free when flying domestically. In general for international travel the lap infant will need a ticket, and so the parents have to purchase an ‘infant fare’.
- This is usually 10% of the parent’s paid fare, plus taxes
- For award travel some frequent flyer programs offer infant tickets for just taxes (like Qantas frequent flyer), others allow you to redeem a small number of miles or a flat charge. United Airlines has a sliding scale of amounts.
But many airlines charge 10% of the paid fare on an award ticket, which for business class and first class travel can become exorbitant.
When you upgrade from coach to business class, the infant ticket can get more expensive too. And it can be challenging getting an agent to find the right fare to use to price the infant ticket against when you didn’t buy the adult ticket with cash.
Fortunately as of April 23, 2021 American Airlines no longer requires customers to pay more for their infant ticket when they upgrade.
When a customer who is traveling with an infant and upgrades to a destination where an infant ticket is required, it is no longer required for them to pay the difference between the ticketed fare and the higher cabin. The infant tikcet will not be reissued to reflect the higher cabin.
It’s a minor item for most members, but for frequent flyers with small children looking forward to international travel this is a nice change that can save hundreds of dollars.