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infant on a portion of an international journey

infant on a portion of an international journey

Old Jun 10, 16, 9:58 pm
  #1  
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infant on a portion of an international journey

I'm looking into bringing an infant on a portion of an already-ticketed and partially-traveled international itinerary. Roughly: I have ticketed LHR-JFK-EZE-JFK-LHR and return, all segments on AA. Suppose I wanted to bring infant on just the JFK-EZE-JFK. Permitted?

I could call AA res to advise of the infant and pay 10% of the adult fare. 10% of what exactly? Proration of the entire journey? Would be happy to pay 10% of the entire journey but bring infant only on the sectors I specify.

Relatedly, how about an infant who is to travel with one parent on some flights and the other on other flights. Example: Fly with father on JFK-LHR on one day (when mother is somewhere else), then later return LHR-JFK with mother (when father is somewhere else). Infant is always with someone, but the companion differs from sector to sector.

All feels rather complicated but the kind of thing that must happen from time to time. If infant was in a separate ticket with separate fare calculation, it might be just fine. But if infant's fare calculation is linked to the companion parent, it starts to feel like infant must travel with that parent (and the same one throughout) for the entirety of the journey.

What is passenger's best option then? Would this problem be solved if ticketing infant with his own seat, at 75% (or what have you) rather than 10%? Still requires some linked companion to calculate the base fare I would think.
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Old Jun 11, 16, 8:51 am
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The fare will be based on the lowest eligible fare that is available at the time of booking. Call AA.
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Old Jun 11, 16, 1:36 pm
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Thanks for the the encouragement to call, Eric. For the benefit of anyone else similarly situated, here's what I was told:

It is fine for an infant to travel on only a portion of an adult's itinerary. Fare is based on the lowest fare for that portion of the itinerary. So in my example above, AA would check the fare for JFK-EZE-JFK and calculate infant's fare based on that.

It seems like this could be advantageous for a passenger, or disadvantageous. But seems reasonable I think.

A related situation is an infant whose travel is cheaper if constructed in a way that spans multiple adult tickets. Example: Adult has a pair of tickets LHR-JFK-LHR (say, monthly travel back and forth). Baby is to fly one JFK-LHR-JFK round trip. AA apparently insists on selling this as JFK-LHR one-way on adult's first ticket, then back on the adult's next ticket. Two transatlantic one-ways is quite a bit more than a restricted transatlantic round-trip. But the way AA presents the infant ticket, each infant is always in an adult's record -- which is to say that the infant's round-trip cannot be priced as a round-trip in the situation I describe.

I wonder whether there's any way around that. Example: Infant gets a freestanding r/t JFK-LHR-JRK, cross-referenced with a parent's ticket or multiple parents' tickets (as in my example above where infant flies one way with one parent and the other way with another). This seems logically coherent and still consistent with all the requirements detailed in fare rules and tariff. But I see no sign of AA, at least, being willing to sell an infant ticket that way. Would be somewhat advantageous for me. Will continue to explore and update this thread with any findings.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 4:38 pm
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In my experience the companion is a red herring here. I believe that is simply checked by the check-in personnel; the infant's ticket can be issued irregardless. The real issue is that the infant ticket is simply a discount off a regular, published fare.

So, for any legs you want to ticket, some fare basis has to apply. I see no reason why you couldn't buy the infant ticket for the RT you describe, regardless of how the parent/companion is ticketed. As long as someone is in the cabin with the child, should be fine. IME the records need to be linked, but not in the same PNR (a common example is an award ticket with a paid infant). I would HUCA on this one.

That said, I've never done precisely this with AA, so it is possible there is a real system limitation (i.e., the ticket actually has to go in the same record), but I have not seen one with other airlines. More to the point, most airlines cannot combine records after they have been ticketed, so it would be unusual that another passenger's ticket could be added to an existing record after the first one is ticketed.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 6:31 pm
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Thank you Erasmus. I will work on this along the lines you propose and report back with anything notable.

In the relevant AA records I was working on in the call described above, one was changeable without penalty, and I put the other on hold for purposes of the call/inquiry. That may yield somewhat misleading information about what is possible in the ordinary case, of restricted tickets with change fees.
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Old Jun 15, 16, 4:15 am
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For just the JFK-EZE-JFK portion of the OP's itinerary? Possible, and have seen this done at the airport/airports on day of travel. It's not cheap, especially if doing the lap-child ticket on AA metal the whole way. Make sure to show up at the airport hours or even the night or days before the JFK-EZE part of the trip.

This stuff was much easier to deal with using paper tickets, and sometimes it still is -- as is the case when the operating carrier pushes out a paper ticket for the lapchildren.
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Old Jun 15, 16, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
For just the JFK-EZE-JFK portion of the OP's itinerary? Possible, and have seen this done at the airport/airports on day of travel. It's not cheap...
You'd expect the charge to be 10% of the fare for JFK-EZE-JFK on the same segments in the same class of service, plus actual government taxes. Right? 10% of a J fare could be quite a lot. 10% of an I fare, maybe not so much.

Advantageous to do it in advance in order to capture the advance purchase and inventory necessary for an I fare? That was my thinking in any event.
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Old Jun 15, 16, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by bedelman View Post
You'd expect the charge to be 10% of the fare for JFK-EZE-JFK on the same segments in the same class of service, plus actual government taxes. Right? 10% of a J fare could be quite a lot. 10% of an I fare, maybe not so much.

Advantageous to do it in advance in order to capture the advance purchase and inventory necessary for an I fare? That was my thinking in any event.
If it's AA that is the operating carrier for whatever is to be ticketed for the lap child, it's cheaper -- at least often enough -- to do it well in advance of travel. If other carriers are able and willing to do the lap child ticket, then the results tend to be different enough that doing it at the airport within 24 hours of travel was often enough cheaper than doing it over the phone weeks or months in advance.

Unfortunately agents and airlines aren't all that consistent in what they do. Which is in large part why even when the lap child ticket has already been issued prior to check-in, there are still often substantial delays at check-in if the lap-child ticketing was done at a different time than the accompanying adult's ticket, whether it's an award ticket or not.
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