“What I Learned About Buying Infant Tickets on My Trip to Spain”

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We often let you know about amazing airfare deals.  And Million Mile Secrets team member Meghan bought cheap tickets to Spain during one of those sales!

She was thrilled to get tickets to Europe for ~$456, especially from Missoula, Montana!  But learned an important lesson parents should be aware of when adding an infant lap ticket to her itinerary.

I’ll let her tell you about it.

Meghan:   Thanks Daraius!  Last November, I took advantage of the insanely cheap tickets to Europe.  But when I called the airline to add my infant daughter to my ticket, they charged nearly the same price as what I had paid for our adult tickets!
Buying Infant Airline Tickets
Two Thumbs Up for Babies Who Sleep on Long Flights. She’s a Trooper!

I’ll explain what happened.  And let you know what to look out for when planning your next adventure.

Buying Infant Airline Tickets

Being able to fly anywhere from Missoula, Montana, for under $500 is a steal.  So finding tickets to Spain for ~$457 was a deal I couldn’t resist!

I bought 2 tickets for my husband and me to fly to Madrid, with the intention of adding my daughter, Em, as a lap infant, later on.

I went online and added a lap infant to our itinerary, but as our departure date approached, I realized I hadn’t called to follow-up and pay the fees for her ticket.  So a few weeks before the trip I called Delta to remind them that I’d indicated I was flying with Em, so that I could pay any necessary fees.

I wasn’t expecting it to cost much, because I’d always remembered hearing that most airlines charge ~10% of the adult fare (which in our case would be ~$46) plus taxes and fees to add a lap infant.  And this was the first time we were flying with her on paid tickets, not award tickets.

Buying Infant Airline Tickets
Pay Attention to the Fare Breakdown When You’re Buying Your Ticket!

Imagine my surprise when the Delta representative quoted me over $300 for Em’s ticket!  I hadn’t considered that the taxes and fees could be so significant.

In our case, the taxes, fees, and surcharges, accounted for nearly 72% of the cost of the ticket.  So I ended up paying ~$326 for Em’s ticket, because Delta makes you pay any taxes, fees, and surcharges for a lap infant.

At that price, I might have considered buying her her own seat!  Because the extra room would have been really useful on a 9+ hour flight across the pond with a baby. 😉

I’m not sure if the $200 “Carrier-Imposed International Surcharge (YR)” portion of our ticket is normal, or if it priced like this because it was a sale fare.

But it’s certainly worth considering the fare breakdown next time you’re traveling abroad with your family.  Especially if you’re hopping on a sale fare.  Because it could make more sense to buy your lap infant their own seat!

Bottom Line

Be careful when you’re buying airline tickets and traveling with a lap infant.  Especially when taking advantage of super-low sale fares.

Because you’ll likely have to pay any taxes, fees, and surcharges to add a lap infant to your itinerary.  And those fees can really add up!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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