Lap infant award ticket prices vary widely between programs, but Air Canada’s Aeroplan is going from being one of the best options for lap infant award tickets to the hands-down best program for lap infant award tickets with the program changes coming on November 8, 2020. Starting on November 8th, lap infant award tickets will cost just $25 Canadian dollars or 2,500 miles one-way. We have confirmed with Aeroplan that this applies to all classes of services and partners.
Sweet spot spotlight:
- The short story: Air Canada’s New Aeroplan (starting November 8, 2020) allows you to easily add a lap infant to your reservation using either money or miles at fantastic rates.
- Miles required: 2,500 OR $25 CAD
- How to find awards: You can add a lap infant to your existing award booking (no need to search for special availability)
- How to book awards: Book over the phone with Aeroplan at 1-800-361-5373
Adding a lap infant to an award ticket reservation normally requires calling the ticketing carrier. In other words, you contact the airline whose miles you used to book the award ticket (in most cases), not the airline operating the flight(s). Many airlines charge 10% of the adult revenue fare and taxes to add a lap infant. While that’s often not so bad in economy class, it can easily equate to hundreds of dollars in business or even a thousand or more in first class — to have a baby sit on your lap for hours.
Air Canada’s Aeroplan was already one of the few airlines that allowed the redemption of miles for an award ticket, and their prices were great (and even better in cash given that you would pay, at most, $125 Canadian dollars in first class whether one-way or round trip). But it’s getting better: beginning on November 8, 2020, lap infant award tickets will cost just 2,500 miles or $25 CAD. A lap infant award ticket in international business or first class for twenty-five Canadian dollars is fantastic. Compare that to paying 10% of the adult revenue fare (which I paid a few times for my first son) and the savings is hundreds of dollars.
This policy seemed almost too generous to believe, so we reached out to our contacts at Aeroplan to confirm and they confirmed that this “applies across cabins and across partners – coach all the way through first“. This is an amazing deal. Given that the current exchange rate puts the value of $25 CAD at less than $19 in US Dollars, I would be thrilled to pay that price and keep the miles for another trip. Of course, if you have a family member who doesn’t yet have an Aeroplan account, you could get them to sign up under the current 2500-mile promo for new members and join your family pool (pooling is coming later this year) and maybe they’ll let you use their miles.
Update: It’s worth noting that lap infants either were or perhaps still are temporarily completely free because of some technical reason related to the migration of the reservation system according to View from the Wing. I’m not sure whether or not they have begun charging again yet, but they will eventually and as of November 8th it will be cheaper than it had been before. (H/T: Running with Miles for bringing this to my attention via Twitter).
To add a lap infant, you will need to first make a reservation for an adult ticket(s), then call Aeroplan to add the lap infant to your booking.
Keys to know:
- If your child will turn 2 during the trip, he or she will need a ticket and seat. See this news story about a family whose child turned 2 during the trip, forcing them to pay thousands of dollars at check-in for a walk-up fare (later refunded, but you may not be so lucky). Your best bet is probably to book two separate one-ways rather than chance an issue on the way home.
- The child will sit on your lap. Seems obvious, but I’ve been asked where the child sits. If there is a nearby empty seat, it is possible that the crew will allow you to use it, but I wouldn’t count on it. While some airlines / planes do have bassinets that attach to the wall on bulkhead seats, note that the weight limits on those are usually 20-22lbs.
- If you want a seat for your child, you will need to book a regular award ticket. That will be at the full adult award price. Unfortunately, most business and first class seats can not accommodate a car seat or harness, so if you prefer to get a seat for your child you may be better off booking in economy class or premium economy.
- If you would like to use Aeroplan miles for the infant ticket, they need to come from the same account used to book the (adult) award ticket. For example, if my wife books tickets for the two of us, she will need to use her miles for the infant ticket (if we choose to pay the cash fee instead, I don’t believe there is any restriction as to whose credit card is used). That said, the “new” program launching on November 8th will have family pooling, which should enable anyone in your family pool to redeem miles from that pool.
This is an exciting change for those traveling with little ones. As someone expecting a new lap infant to join my family soon, it means I will likely be redeeming Aeroplan miles when travel returns to normal.