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

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

Million Mile Secrets“What I Learned About Buying Infant Tickets on My Trip to Spain”Million Mile Secrets Team

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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!

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That’s odd. We jumped on this very same fare deal, PHL – JFK – MAD for $406 RT on Delta. When we added our baby as a lap infant the taxes and fees came to $101.96 with a base fare of $10 and no YR. We called the same day we booked the tickets, though. Incidentally, I don’t know about Meghan but our adult tickets had a $100 base fare and $200 YR…assuming Meghan’s tickets were similar, it looks like they charged her the adult fare for the lap infant. Guess the question is, did she get charged more because she waited or was she the victim of an unfortunate mistake?

Etihad charges you a 10% of full fare ticket. I ended paying almost 800$ for a ticket to Goa(India) in November for an Infant in Business. These were award tickets and the infant ticket was the most expensive 🙁

Different airlines have different infant rates, and various charges etc, it is worth checking up front before booking to get an idea of the cost of an infant. I did this before booking a set of long haul flights form USA to Singapore using two different airlines, both airlines had different rates.


Cathy P. charge 25% of the fair for an infant in B.Class

Qatar charge 10% of the fair for an infant in B.Class

Thanks for the info! And yes, it definitely pays to check with the specific airline before booking. 😉

Paid $1k USD (10% of last minute fair) to fly our infant from JFK to HKG because we redeemed business class tickets.

Ouch…those fees can really add-up on more expensive tickets!

an infant from the west coast using Iberia during a similar sale was $70…

Sounds like a steal to me! Thanks for sharing your experience.