Infant Travel on AA

 
Old Jan 12, 11, 4:48 pm
  #1  
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Infant Travel on AA

I am getting ready to travel with the wife and baby. The little one will be 2 months at the time of travel and I plan to book an infant seat for her rather that taking her in my lap. I know that some of these issues have been discussed before, but most of the relevant forums are a couple of years old and the newer ones deal only with the infant traveling as a “lap child”.

Using aa.com I get an infant fare that is no different from the adult fare (although the taxes are lower for the infant). In some of the older posts a 50% infant discount is discussed but the Wiki shows that it this has been discontinued. Does anyone have any recent experience obtaining discounted infant fares?

The wife, baby and me will be traveling on the same PNR. I am Ex Plat but the wife will lose her Gold status before the date of the flight (was pregnant and did not travel much last year). Normally I would just get a companion upgrade for my wife, but would the baby also get bumped up? (wishful thinking here!).

Also, there is a lot of talk about paying 10% of the business class fare if you get upgraded with a lap infant, but I assume that there are no extra fees if the infant has their own seat (other than luxury taxes and fuel surcharges in some markets), is that correct?

And finally, if I chose to use miles to get award travel for the baby's seat, would there be a discount in the miles needed? I am guessing not, but again wishful thinking!
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Old Jan 12, 11, 4:52 pm
  #2  
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I believe some international fares may cost less for children, but I don't know if this is true on AA. I am fairly certain domestic fares are no cheaper for children. The 10 percent fee applies for a lap child on international tickets, even if not upgraded. If upgraded, then an additional fee is collected.
There are no discounted awards for children.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 5:02 pm
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I fly with my 7 year old and 1 year old internationally all time time (and did when my 7 year old was a baby too). The discounted fares are usually because there are no entrance/exit fee's for children. For use of miles, the ticket prices are the same (same amount of miles regardless of age).

I have yet to have a cheaper fare with the kids, with the expection of a code share to eourpe where the other child was 50% off. Never on AA metal have I gotten a discounted fare for the children.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 5:22 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by m123 View Post
The wife, baby and me will be traveling on the same PNR. I am Ex Plat but the wife will lose her Gold status before the date of the flight (was pregnant and did not travel much last year). Normally I would just get a companion upgrade for my wife, but would the baby also get bumped up? (wishful thinking here!).
The baby would be upgraded, but not into his/her own seat.


Whichever option you choose - paid or award ticket - sign the baby up now for an AAdvantage account
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Old Jan 12, 11, 5:41 pm
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First of all thanks for replies!

It is really a shame that AA does not offer any infant discounts, if it did I would encourage other parents to get a seat for the babies rather than taking them on their lap.


bdemaria- Being the miles junky that I am, I actually signed the baby up for her AAdvantage account the day she was born.

Cheers!
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Old Jan 12, 11, 6:07 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by m123 View Post
First of all thanks for replies!

It is really a shame that AA does not offer any infant discounts, if it did I would encourage other parents to get a seat for the babies rather than taking them on their lap.
Agreed. About those older posts discussing a 50% discount: AA began the domestic 50% infant discount in the mid-1990s when load factors were typically 65% or so. No doubt someone at AA saw it as a way to get some money for what might otherwise be a lap child. It's too bad the discount disappeared a few years ago, as it made for cheap (and safer) travel for families with very young children. Of course, with load factors much higher today, there's less need to attract additional butts in seats - what's needed is more money per butt already in seats.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 7:44 pm
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Well some of this discussion may be mooted as the NTSB is agitating to require seats for all infants on flights. Link
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Old Jan 12, 11, 8:01 pm
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My sister booked a ticket on aa.com this Christmas Chicago to Miami to Ecuador and was assessed a large international lap infant fee by both AA and by LAN.

I think AA charged the international fee even though they were only flying an AA plane on the domestic segments? Or it's possible that Miami-Ecuador was LAN and Ecuador-Miami was AA.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 8:40 pm
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Child

Hi m123,

My wife and I have flew with our son (6 months) twice already.

Once was MIA to MXP (he was 4 months), via new york and second was MIA to GRU (he was 5 months). I am also execplat. 3 international segments I flew on the bulkhead + bassinet. The segment between MIA and GHRU I flew business with them (777, the three central seats)

If you are flying on the 763 or 777, I would definitely recommend the bulkhead seat and bassinet. First because is free - you dont need to buy the infant a ticket - and is more comfortable for you and the baby - she/he can sleep comfortably. I also think is more safe than having the 2 months old in a seat or being held the whole time.

All domestic travel is free for lap child - including business class. the 10% applies only to international lap child.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:23 pm
  #10  
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I believe that all of your questions are answered in the relevant wiki entry!
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Old Jan 13, 11, 12:02 am
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I don't have a direct answer to your post, but thought I'd chime in being a somewhat new traveling father. We have a 9 month old son who just recently took his 9th flight. We've flown with him on our lap every trip, but all domestic. I'm Gold, wife doesn't have status. We've been in F for almost all the flights, fortunately, since the extra room is nice when you're holding a baby for a couple hours. The 2 flights we had in Y was kind of a pain since it's so cramped.

I'm not sure if it's because he's flown so much, or we're just lucky, but he's never cried on the plane and barely makes a peep. On our last 2 flights, he was awake for all of about 30 minutes on each flight and slept the rest of the time.

Hope that information may be of use to you or someone else in the future.

BTW, loved that you signed the baby up for account the day she was born! My son doesn't have an account and I haven't bothered since we're going to lap as long as possible. Maybe I'll go ahead and sign him up if there are any new member sign-up bonuses.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 5:04 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by m123 View Post
The wife, baby and me will be traveling on the same PNR. I am Ex Plat but the wife will lose her Gold status before the date of the flight (was pregnant and did not travel much last year). Normally I would just get a companion upgrade for my wife, but would the baby also get bumped up? (wishful thinking here!).

Also, there is a lot of talk about paying 10% of the business class fare if you get upgraded with a lap infant, but I assume that there are no extra fees if the infant has their own seat (other than luxury taxes and fuel surcharges in some markets), is that correct?
Sadly, there are no discounts in fare or miles for an infant in their own seat, although it is nice to see someone who puts safety above costs, and you should be commended for doing so.

You are correct that upgrading also does not incur any additional fees, since the child has a regular seat (and earns miles for that seat!). However, if you are the only one with status, you can only upgrade one companion with you, so you could take the baby with you to F and leave the wife. However, given the situation, it's very likely that any reasonable FA would also let you give the wife your upgraded seat and let her take the baby in F, since they're not going to make you leave the baby alone if both you and wife are upgraded.
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