Before we discuss further on this topic, let us quickly review the process of securing a ticket for an infant, when using miles.
If you are traveling within USA, infants (less than 2 years old) travel for free, as long as they travel in the lap of an adult.
However, this gets complicated when you are traveling internationally. Here are the rules of various airlines when you are traveling to India.
You can use AAdvantage miles to book award tickets with British Airways, Etihad Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Malaysian Airlines and other partners.
When you book an Infant award ticket with AAdvantage, you will be charged 10% of the adult revenue fare + taxes/ fees . So, if you are redeeming miles for Business/First awards using AAdvantage miles, you may be looking at around $1,000 for your child.
British Airways Avios can be used to book awards with British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Malaysian Airlines and other partners.
British Airways charges 10% of the Avios needed for an adult award plus Taxes/fees. Using BA Avios may be a wise idea when traveling with Infant on an award ticket. However, Avios needed is steep for business/first tickets.
You can use Alaska Airlines Mileage plan miles to book awards with Cathay Pacific, Emirates, British Airways and its Partners.
Alaska Airlines will not be able to issue Infant tickets for international travel on partner airlines. You must contact the respective airlines.
Cathay Pacific: 25% of the adult revenue fare + taxes/fees
Emirates: 10% of the adult revenue fare + taxes/fees
British Airways: 10% of the adult fare + taxes/fees
You can redeem Etihad Guest miles for traveling on Etihad Airways. Etihad Airways will charge you 10% of the miles needed for an adult award plus taxes & fees.
Note that if you redeem American Airlines AAdvantage miles for an award with Etihad Airways and want to add an infant with Etihad Airways you will pay 10% of the adult fare.
You can redeem Asia Miles for an award ticket with Cathay Pacific and other one world partners. However, Cathay Pacific charges you 25% of the adult revenue fare plus taxes & fees on Infant award tickets.
So, If you are traveling with Infant, redeeming Asia Miles for Cathay Pacific awards may not be a good idea.
You can redeem United-MileagePlus miles for an ward with United, Air India, Lufthansa and other partners. United will charge you 10% of the adult fare + taxes & fees.
Given that, you have to pay 10% of the adult fare in most instances, you could be looking at over $1,000 for the infant ticket, when you are traveling in business/first class.
In some instances, I have seen one parent in the economy class with the Infant (so they only pay 10% of the economy fare) hoping that they can bring the child to be seated with the other parent in the business/first class.
Is it allowed to bring your infant to Business/First class when the infant is tickets for Economy class?
As per the rules, each passenger should travel in the cabin they are ticketed for. However, this could depend on the airline crew of that particular flight. We were once allowed to move our infant from business class to first class on a long haul flight and there are multiple instances, where we were denied to move the infant to a higher cabin.
If you are allowed to bring your infant to a higher cabin, consider yourself as lucky and enjoy the flight. If you are denied, you have no choice other than to fly in the cabin, for which the infant’s ticket is issued.
Can 2 adults swap from one cabin to another?
In most instances, there shouldn’t be a problem for 2 adults to swap from one cabin to another cabin as long as meal and service preferences remain same. You cannot expect a meal requested in the business class to be made available in the economy class.
In one instance, I came across a flight attendant not allowing the move, in the middle of an USA bound flight citing security reasons.
Infants are allowed to travel only in the cabin they are ticketed. You will not be allowed to move up to higher cabin even though they do not need a seat.
You may politely request and if you are allowed to move up to higher cabin, consider yourself lucky and enjoy the flight.
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