How to calculate the cost of an infant fare with an AAdvantage miles redemption?


Can someone please help me with infant fares – is the best way to estimate an infant fare by using Matrix ITA?

I am looking at buying AA miles under the current promotion for a trip to Europe in July/August – flying business class. I have previously attempted finding a suitable itinerary but the infant fares have made it too expensive (since they are generally 10-20% of a full fare)

Do you think it is better to book a return ticket with the same airline to try and reduce the infant fare? I thought this would make sense since return tickets generally are cheaper than one way tickets, however when I priced on Matrix it didn’t seem to make any difference.

I have been looking at Cathay Pacific availability – when I look up the infant fares on the Cathay Pacific website it’s different to those shown on Matrix….I’m getting confused!

Also complicating things is that when you speak to AA over the phone, they can’t get an infant fare for you from Etihad or I think Cathay Pacific – you need to then separately ring those airlines with the itinerary to get the estimate….Anyway, if anyone has any tips I would much appreciate it.

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This is one of the biggest downsides to Aadvantage miles over Qantas Frequent Flyer. But all the upsides are numerous, so it’s well worth considering.

When travelling with an infant, speaking from personal experience, the itinerary, routing and airline combination is a key factor in trip comfort – few connections, as short as possible flights, or long enough layovers to find a hotel room. If you can find an itinerary that works for the family then just pay the taxes that are required and don’t compare on that cost as a deciding factor.

Having said that, if you want to try and find the cost without calling American, start by seeing if American will sell you the ticket online. If not, I’d look at the fare direct on the Cathay or other airline website and use that, and then verify with AA on the phone.

ITA is great for getting the full fare breakdown but in this case you need to pay 10% of the adult fare I believe, and I don’t know how AA price that internally so you are probably best just to try and work with then over the phone on this.

Good luck, it’s worth the effort to get into business! How old will your child be when you fly?

  • Having reread your post I realised I didn’t give any tips on the Etihad or Cathay pricing problem.

    I’d get the itinerary on hold (for no cost) with American and get the PNRs for the booking. Then call CX or Etihad to price out the infant.

  • Thanks Keith – I thought I’d report back – I ended up (after losing many hours of my life) locking in a business class itinerary – all Cathay Pacific – flying Sydney thru Hong Kong to Paris, then returning Amsterdam vis Hong Kong to Sydney – we live in Melbourne, so once I had those flights I added the internal Qantas Business flights without affecting the mileage required. We are visiting in-laws in Glasgow, so I still need to deal with the internal European flights. I priced the infant fare using Cathay Pacific’s website, then double checked over the phone so I wouldn’t get any nasty surprises – it was a very reasonable $843 – whereas before when I’d mixed carriers it was going to be closer to $2000-3000! HOWEVER, I’d been using Matrix to get an idea of infant fares and discovered it wasn’t correct at all – if I find the same itinerary in Matrix it prices the full adult fare at 21,000 (compared to 8000 on cathay’s website) and therefore the infant fare was coming up at over $2000 – so I found that a bit misleading. All in all, pretty happy about our result – we had to buy all the points needed, but I think even with the terrible exchange rate, and taking into consideration credit card transaction fees etc we’re looking at an adult business fare of about $3500 AUD plus the infant fare which with the domestic flights will be about a total of $1000 – well worth it when travelling with a small child methinks….

  • Oh – and my son will be under 18 months old – so probably a little big for a bassinet, too little for his own seat, and probably desperate to walk around – here’s hoping it’s as painless as it can be!!

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