One of the things that isn’t necessarily complicated but can really throw a wrench into your travel plans is how to properly ticket an infant or lap child. This becomes even more complicated when you are attempting to book an award ticket for future travel but are expecting a child before the date of travel but after the date of booking.
This is the problem that one of my readers was facing:
What Does Aeroplan Say?
I was fairly certain that I knew the answer to my question but I decided to call Aeroplan just to make sure I knew their official stance.
When I got a hold of an Aeroplan agent, I asked the hypothetical question of how I would add a new baby to an award booking if I did not know the birthdate, sex or name of the baby at the time of my award booking.
The answer was refreshingly simple. Just call back in once your child is born and they can be added to the itinerary. There would be no change fees or other taxes associated, only the standard fee for an infant:
The fees are current as the time of writing but please be sure to refer to the official award chart for pricing.
In terms of whether you should pay money to cover the cost or use more Aeroplan miles, the decision is really up to you but if it were me, I would pay the money. Your points are worth a lot more than the 1¢ value that Aeroplan is offering you through the points redemption. Now if you are sitting on over a million Aeroplan … then that’s another story.
When I asked the agent if I needed to inform them ahead of time that I would be adding an infant at a later date, she said that it was not necessary but to be safe, I would highly recommend that you mention this fact to the agent you are dealing with so they can add a note to your file.
If there is truly no need to inform the agent ahead of time, then you can simply make your booking online, have your child and call in to add the child to the itinerary.
Something to Consider
Some people are petrified to fly with babies but the advice I always give to new parents is to travel as much as possible with your child before they turn 2. If your child is under 2 years of age, it is extremely cost effective to fly with them. They also get used to being on planes and learn how to act properly on them.
The other added bonus of flying with an infant is that you can request a bassinet for free. Most airlines have the ability to add a bassinet to the flight so you can place your child in it during the flight, making the flight a lot more comfortable. These bassinets are attached to the bulkhead so you also get more legroom which is very important if you are flying economy on an international flight. Below is what a bassinet set up looks like on an Air Canada flight.
Aeroplan makes it cheap and easy to make plans even if your child isn’t born yet. Just remember that you still need a passport for your baby to travel internationally.