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Guide: Infant / lap child fares & fees for AA travel, including award & upgrades

Guide: Infant / lap child fares & fees for AA travel, including award & upgrades

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Old Aug 11, 19, 2:45 am   -   Wikipost
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Infant / lap child fares and fees on international travel, including award & upgrades

N.B.: This thread is restricted to discussion of AA (and AA awards, upgrades) ticketing rules for infants. Please do not use this thread to discuss opinions on safety issues associated with travel with lap children versus infants with their own purchased seats. Those discussions should be carried out in the

Travel with Children forum
, where many opinions have been shared and are welcome. Thank you for your cooperation.


On AA there is no charge for a lap child on domestic flights. In most instances for international travel the cost will be 10% of the adult fare in the cabin of travel (be aware in some instances / on some other airlines, it can be 25% of the cost of an adult ticket). From aa.com:

Are you traveling with an infant?

Passengers are considered infants if aged over 2 days and less than 2 years at the beginning of their journey. To travel with an infant, you must be an adult passenger aged 16 or older. Adults can travel with up to two infants and in these circumstances, can purchase an additional seat at a child fare.

Although infants can travel as early as 2 days after birth, you'll need to provide a medical certificate for infants traveling within 7 days after birth. Please contact Reservations for more information.

On U.S. domestic flights:

Infants not occupying a seat travel for free. If you prefer to book a seat for your infant, a child fare will apply.

You must call AA on the phone to add a lap infant to an existing reservation. The lap infant will NOT appear in the online reservation and receipt.

Travelers with a lap infant may check in online, for domestic flights only, and the boarding pass will be annotated with the words "WITH INFANT" immediately after the traveler's name.

On international flights:

Infants not occupying a seat benefit from a 90% discount on most adult fares

If your infant turns 2 during your trip, we'll provide you with a complimentary seat on the return flight. If the return journey is not on American Airlines, please contact the other airline to check if a seat must be purchased. (Infants and children must provide passports with any required visas; all children not traveling with both parents may be required to have a Letter of Consent signed by both parents.)

You must call AA on the phone to add a lap infant to an existing reservation, and will need to pay the fare at that time. The lab infant and fare WILL appear in the online reservation and receipt.

Travelers with a lap infant may NOT check in online for international flights and must check in at the airport.

NOTE: AA will not generally block a complimentary spare seat to be used by an infant or lap child. If seats are available at the airport, it might be possible to be assigned seating to include an adjacent empty seat if the flight will depart with sufficient empty seats.

Bassinets: These are portable, not bulkhead fastened, floor bassinet boxes. Not all aircraft may offer these, and generally are restricted to bulkhead seats.

See the bassinet thread here."]here[/URL].

See more here on aa.com.

For AA policies on required documentation for children, see here.

and

This thread regarding the use - and prohibition, on some aircraft - child safety seats.

For older threads on this topic, see:

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Old Jan 7, 16, 10:28 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Guide: Infant / lap child fares & fees for AA travel, including award & upgrades

Not quite sure how to go about this. My wife, infant child, and myself are looking to travel to London and planning on using reward miles. My child will be traveling as a lap infant, however, when searching for flight, it looks like she will be charged 40,000 miles to be able to fly as a lap infant. Should I just book the ticket for two adults and call in about the lap infant? Or does she have to pay the full rate? I've read about a 10% fee, but can reward miles be used for this or is it cash? Some advice would be greatly appreciated.
maeks84 is offline  
Old Jan 7, 16, 10:35 pm
  #2  
 
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If the child is under 2 years old at time of travel then you can just book yourself and your wife on award tickets and then then call up AA to add the lap child. Note that folks have had varying pricing for that supposed 10% fare for the child. Apparently some get it based on lowest business class fare, others get it on higher fares. In some cases, if availability in business is there, it may be easier to just burn miles and have another seat dedicated for the infant.
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Old Jan 8, 16, 9:15 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by maeks84 View Post
...I've read about a 10% fee, but can reward miles be used for this or is it cash? Some advice would be greatly appreciated.
Just in case it's unclear, the 10% is 10% of a paid business fare. AND, important to note, 10% of paid fare is -not- a hard/fast rule. For many airlines it's 10%, for some it more (CX is usually 25%) and some airlines don't have infant fares (LA does not publish fares allowing infant discounts for travel in business class) etc.

But as you mention traveling to London, those shouldn't be an issue. Definitely explore the idea that mikelat brings up-- using miles for a seat, if desirable (and availability assuming.)
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Old Feb 25, 16, 5:09 am
  #4  
 
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Adding lap infant to award booking on CX (via AA)

So I have award on CX using AAdvatage miles (from Asia to Australia) -- and need to add a lap infant to the reservation. I know I need to pay 10% -- but do I call/pay CX or AA to get the lap infant added? Many thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 5:30 am
  #5  
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You are almost certainly going to have to do it through AA. AA can definitely do it - CX will almost certainly tell you to call AA

Be aware that the infant fee is going to be fairly high if in business class - e.g. HKG-SYD is approx AUD641 plus taxes one way
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Old Feb 25, 16, 6:25 am
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CX actually charges 25% for a lap infant ticket not 10%. Don't know if AA will charge at CX's rate or their own.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 6:41 am
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Thanks for replies. I will try giving AA a call first.

Re: the CX 10% vs 25% of adult fare, my understanding that was only for flights to/from North America.

I'll post an update once I figure this out for other's future reference.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 8:05 am
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OK called AA. Pretty easy. Price was 10% of full J fare.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by flagler1 View Post
Thanks for replies. I will try giving AA a call first.

Re: the CX 10% vs 25% of adult fare, my understanding that was only for flights to/from North America.

I'll post an update once I figure this out for other's future reference.
Sorry about that. My dyslexia is acting up. I misread Asia to Australia as Asia to America. Damn tiny fonts.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 11:37 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Merlinrnr View Post
CX actually charges 25% for a lap infant ticket not 10%. Don't know if AA will charge at CX's rate or their own.
Not that it matters for that journey , but if AA is selling a CX ticket and the infant rate is 25% , AA would charge 25%

If CX allows YY fares on the route, then AA could issue a YY fare which would be at 10%
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Old Mar 9, 16, 2:20 pm
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Unhappy AA rate tied to current pricing

Not sure if this was already mentioned but for a flight on AA metal I was charged 10% of the available discounted fare. Unfortunately I did not pay for the lap infant at the time of booking as I assumed the price for the infant was static. When we booked in January the fare was quoted at $440 (SFO>LAX>LHR/AMS>LHR>LAX>SFO on AA metal except for the AMS>LHR on BA). I called back today to finalize and they quoted me $828. Using google flights i priced out the exact itinerary and it came out to $8280. If they had informed me at the time of booking that the price was tied to whatever the going rate was, I would not have waited. Lesson learned
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Old Mar 9, 16, 2:26 pm
  #12  
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It is no different to adult fares. An infant fare rules are the sme as the adult equivalent, so no different in that the fare will be based on the flexibility desired and rules of the fare

Where AA is only able to offer full fares ( e.g. where the partner does not allow AA to sell its lower fares ) then it will generally make no difference ( unless an increase in the full fare occurs )
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Old Mar 9, 16, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by MMSB01 View Post
Not sure if this was already mentioned but for a flight on AA metal I was charged 10% of the available discounted fare. Unfortunately I did not pay for the lap infant at the time of booking as I assumed the price for the infant was static. When we booked in January the fare was quoted at $440 (SFO>LAX>LHR/AMS>LHR>LAX>SFO on AA metal except for the AMS>LHR on BA). I called back today to finalize and they quoted me $828. Using google flights i priced out the exact itinerary and it came out to $8280. If they had informed me at the time of booking that the price was tied to whatever the going rate was, I would not have waited. Lesson learned
Even the exp desk does not (always) know this. Had to push the agent to check this for me as she recommended just adding my son as late as possible...

It does seem a bit unfair that the lap child's fare is not 10% of the fare associated with the parent's award as the child does not get anything (nor does the child benefit from possible benefits associated with a higher fare class). Maybe AA is unable to calculate the fare associated with the adult's award if the child is added later (and the adult fare has gone up in the meantime)?

Thought most carriers charged a percentage of the full fare, so AA may actually be rather nice (though not as nice as BA as they just add 10% to the miles required).
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Old Mar 9, 16, 5:08 pm
  #14  
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AA ( like other carriers ) will charge 10% (excluding taxes) of the lowest available adult fare that it can sell for that journey .

When selling tickets for other airlines , it may not have permission to sell the discounted fares , so it will only be able to sell a full fare ticket. e.g. all of MH's own fares from UK-AU have a rule that state "Must be issued on the stock of MH" and so AA cannot sell them so will sell a YY fare at 10% - this would be the same with an adult ticket

If you were booking a paid business return from UK-AU and booked adult ticket from MH directly, then it would charge you the lowest available business fare and allow you to book the child fare at 10% of that rate ( if you booked at the same time ). If left and booked later, MH would still sell the lowest infant fare but would need to comply with terms such as advanced booking requirements

Obviously, when booking a journey for travel where governing carrier is AA, AA can issue any fare of its own and so will be able to sell an infant ticket based on 10% of lowest applicable adult fare at time of purchase
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Old Mar 9, 16, 5:39 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by MMSB01 View Post
Not sure if this was already mentioned but for a flight on AA metal I was charged 10% of the available discounted fare. Unfortunately I did not pay for the lap infant at the time of booking as I assumed the price for the infant was static. When we booked in January the fare was quoted at $440 (SFO>LAX>LHR/AMS>LHR>LAX>SFO on AA metal except for the AMS>LHR on BA). I called back today to finalize and they quoted me $828. Using google flights i priced out the exact itinerary and it came out to $8280. If they had informed me at the time of booking that the price was tied to whatever the going rate was, I would not have waited. Lesson learned
Yes, it's pretty high-up in guidance to agents on the subject:

Infant Fares - Do Not Backdate (back to top)

Infant fares are calculated based on the current applicable fare. If the infant was not ticketed on the same date as the adult, it is not correct procedure to backdate the fare to match the adult. This would require an authorization.

Exception: ...when a passenger is attempting to use an AAdvantage upgrade award and the upgrade inventory is not available and must be waitlisted, then once the space clears the infant fare can be back-dated to the date the upgrade request was waitlisted. We do not backdate to the date of the original fare purchase unless the upgrade was requested at the same time.
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