Travel abroad for a 2 year old's birthday: beware

I have had this little post in my tray for a while and never got round to publishing it for some reason. This situation happened to us almost a year ago but it is always relevant!

Hubby and I decided to book a flight to visit his family abroad for our little one's second birthday. Easy enough you might say... Well, think again.
We are expats and family travel has become second nature to us. So, we don't really think twice any more about booking a flight. 




However, 2 years old is when children start to have to pay for their own seat with most airlines. As we are frequent flyers, I knew this and anticipated it by thinking I would have to pay for her seat even though she was below two for the first half of the trip. 

The problem started when we discovered that most travel websites would not allow us to book such a trip (leaving before and returning after a child's second birthday). They insist on making you pick between a baby fare (cheap but no separate seat and available only until the child's second birthday) or a child's fare (more expensive but child gets their own seat - only available after a child's second birthday). So if you travel a few days before and come back a few days after the child's second birthday, you are stuck! When it came to entering her birthday, the different websites kept telling me my child was either too old or  too young to be booked on either fare. So frustrating!

I ended up calling one of the websites to find out what my options were. And I was told, the only option was to book via the airline directly. I couldn't even book on the phone with them. Cheap deals are therefore very unlikely. 

Beware if you plan to take your child away for their second birthday: plan on paying the full child fare.



5 comments:

  1. Hmmm. I suppose that's for sure the case internationally since you have to use a passport. But flying domestically in the US I was able to take my daughter a few days before her birthday to TX (from Colorado) and back without any issues... Sorry you had to pay full price.

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  2. Two year olds are very hyper to travel with. Some could say that it is all about cutesy, but it is not. We get tired keeping up and they are very tantrum prone.

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    1. You may be right but I think the trick is to try and avoid situatiosn where these tantrums may happen.

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  3. That is the reason why I make it a point to have our flight booked in person. I still some make flight bookings online just to lessen the stress of going there in person.

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    Replies
    1. I guess it is a good idea but not always practical (not everybody has a travel agency nearby).

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