My husband and I are gold and platinum members for American Airlines and we are traveling to England this fall.
We want to bring our 4-month-old daughter with us and use our miles to upgrade to business class. I cannot believe that AA is saying we need to purchase 10% of a full fare ticket for her! This means, my husband and my tickets will be $950 each and hers will be $800 (they are going to charge her 10% of an $8,000 business class ticket). Can this be true? Is there any way around this?
We really hope to hear from you!
Pamela in Cayman
Answered by The Penny Pincher
You were informed correctly. This is due to a rule concerning immigration and customs, which dictates that all international passengers have an actual ticket. The 10% fee is fairly standard among the airlines.
However, here is what you can do. The fee does not apply to domestic, travel and travel to/from Mexico and the Caribbean. So if you are traveling from The Cayman Islands on American Airlines to Europe you will most likely connect through Miami.
I suggest that you break up your child’s ticket as two separate trips, one from the Caymans to Miami and the other from Miami to Europe. You will only be charged a flat fee of $10.10 round trip from the Caymans to Miami. From Miami to Europe you can get a discounted business fare in D or I class which currently runs about $2,300. The cost for the Infant Lap ticket will be $230. Still more than you probably wanted to pay but a lot less than the $800 fee based on a full business fare.
Be sure to tell the agent to look for a D or I fare basis, or to break up your trip between the intermediate points, i.e., Caymans-Miami-Europe.
I hope this helps,