Alaska Airlines has surprised program members and issued a disclaimer regarding its lap infant policy on partner award tickets.
“Lap infant ticketing: We are no longer able to guarantee that lap infants will be accepted with your international partner award ticket. Until further notice, Mileage Plan members will need to book seats for infants at the standard mileage rate on international partner award bookings. For travel wholly within the US, or wholly on Alaska Airlines, standard lap infant policies apply.”
What this means is that instead of paying 10 percent of the full fare or nominal taxes, new parents will have to shell out the same number of miles for their child younger than 2 years old as they paid for themselves to fly together.
It’s hard to tell whether the new procedure is more frustrating than having to call the operating airline, as well as Alaska, and waiting on hold for hours in hopes of finding an agent who knows how to handle infant tickets on partner awards correctly. Perhaps, the new system will save both the agents and the travelers a lot of headache and make your trip a lot more comfortable—a car seat fits in an airplane seat and makes the trip safer for the child.
On the other hand, booking business-class tickets for the whole family for travel on Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines, for example, just got a lot more expensive. You have to plan such trips more carefully and collect Mileage Plan miles more actively.
As a reminder, the new arrangement doesn’t affect award tickets on flights operated by Alaska Airlines. You can add an infant to an existing reservation by calling 1-800-252-7522.
Does the new infant policy on partner awards affect your future travel plans?
[Image: Max Pixel]