Always Ask Airline Agents to Double Check Lap-Infant Fares

by Miguel R. Quinones


My daughter (not pictured above) turned two in January, so it has been a little while since I’ve had to book a lap-infant ticket. However, upon completing such a booking for a client today I was reminded of the #1 rule when it comes to lap-infant fares: always ask the airline agents to double check the lap-infant fare quoted if it seems too high.

Regardless of whether it is an award ticket or a revenue ticket, the majority airlines charge a percentage (most commonly 10%) of the currently available fare for the class of service the parent is flying in to determine what a lap-infant fare should be. Figuring out the exact fare upon which the lap-infant fare is calculated from is far from an exact science. As a result, airlines constantly quote incorrect lap-infant fares. Occasionally, the mistaken fare quoted can work in your favor. However, more often than not, airlines will quote you a lap-infant fare that is higher than what the correct fare should be, sometimes much higher.

For the reservation I was working on today, United initially provided me a quote of $359.40. That seemed awfully high for a one-way economy class lap-infant fare to Japan, so I asked the agent to double check the fare with her rates desk. Lo and behold, a couple of minutes later she came back with a lap-infant fare of $147.40, less than half of what she had initially quoted me.

Bottom Line

Whenever the lap-infant fare quoted appears to be higher than it should be, ask the agent to double check the fare with the rates desk.

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Aby April 21, 2016 - 4:55 pm

I travelled from Bangalore to Chicago on Etihad using AA miles. AA charged me 450$ for the lap infant fare. In spite of several requests to speak to supervisor or calling back and telling them to check with the rate desk etc they said the fare is correct. Didnt make sense to me but all of us were flying on award ticket each for 45,000 miles and 43$ in taxes.


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