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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Infant-in-arms International Plane Ticket

Bill and I decided to take the girls to Rome in November 2008, for their first international trip. KJ was 3 and Dy was 7 months.

In July 2008, I decided to purchase the plane tickets from Delta; since we were using frequent flyer miles for two of the tickets and Delta has direct flights from Atlanta to Rome.

I had heard that when traveling with an infant internationally that most airlines require the infant to be ticketed and it is usually 10% of the adult’s ticket price. Well my roundtrip ticket price was $1,045 and I expected Dy’s ticket to cost $104.50, 10% right? Wrong!! Dy’s ticket cost $445. The reason Delta gave me was that the 10% is based on the ticket price without fees and that they had to add all of the fuel surcharge, FAA, airport, etc. fees to her ticket, as well. Also, I had to pay the Delta booking fee of $25(at that time) twice. This was because Delta doesn’t allow consumers to book an international flight with infant-in-arms on their web site. You have to call Delta’s reservation center. Since there are two people (Dy and myself) they had to charge me the fee twice, talk about hidden fees and sticker shock. I almost didn’t book the tickets and thought about canceling the trip, but I had already booked the reward tickets.

I'm glad I purchased the tickets when I did. By September 2008, the fuel surcharge and booking fees had doubled.

What I Learned (WIL):

(1) Call and check the base fare and additional fees, first, before booking reward tickets.

(2) If you believe that the fees are going to go up, book your plan tickets as soon as you can.

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