I am packing up the fam and we are headed to exotic locales for summer vacay.  Okay, not really, we’re just going to see my parents — but they live in England, which necessitates airline travel.  Ordinarily I avoid airline travel to the extent possible, because a) I used to be an engineer and I am scared that people like me are theoretically capable of designing and building aircraft, and b) crazy wingnuts (please note that I did not say “Islamic fundamentalists” — an article for another day) try to blow up airplanes.  I understand that cars crash far more than airplanes, and I am much more likely to drive on my way to work, but let’s face it — if my plane decides to fall out of the sky, there’s not much I’m going to be able to do to fix that problem.  Yes, I also understand that I am a control freak.  Anyway, bottom line is that I am stuck flying to England with one husband, one two-year-old and one one-year-old.

We bought tickets back in April for the three older members of the family.  At the bargain price of $1150 base fare per ticket, we decided we’d suck it up and carry Baby-K as a lap baby.  I called the airline today to tell them that she’d be on the plane since every living person on a plane must be ticketed, per UK law.

$176 it is costing me to fly with Baby-K on my lap!

$176!

10% of my ticket fare, plus applicable taxes, rates, fees, and whatever else gets charged.

So I’ve already spent almost $4000 on our three tickets (and the taxi we’ll be taking to and from the airport), and now I have to spend an extra $176 to cart a 20-lb kid on my lap.  We’re still confined to the same cubic meter of volume.  And I could easily be 50-lbs more and I wouldn’t have to pay.  And they don’t charge more for lap babies on domestic flights.  So what exactly are they charging me for?  It’s not the extra gas caused by the extra weight, since they don’t charge me based on my weight (otherwise I wouldn’t be loading up on ice cream right now).  It’s not the annoyance of a screaming baby, since I could fly to sunny California and they wouldn’t charge me.  I got nothin’.

The lovely woman on the other end had the audacity to ask me if I would like to spend an extra $86 — per passenger, i.e., me and the baby — to upgrade to Economy Plus for an extra 5″ of legroom.  I’m sorry, I’d love that extra 5″ of legroom, BUT I’M KIND OF OUT OF MONEY!

Sigh.

Anyone got any tips for keeping the kids occupied?  8 hours in Economy is a looooooooong way.

 

123 Responses to My daily moment of outrage: Airline ticketing policies for infants

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    I don’t have any suggestions for your 8 hours, but I’m super excited to see K!

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