50 thoughts on “Baby On Board

  1. Nikkeboentje

    I don’t have children and even I know that there’s a different fare structure for children who are two or turn two during the trip. Also it’s clearly stated on the Aer Lingus website….

    If a baby turns two years old after the outward journey, but before the return trip:
    Children more than two years old must purchase a seat. If a child turns two years old during a phase of the journey, you must purchase a seat for the child, or alternatively, make two separate reservations, one for the outward journey and one for the return journey.

    1. JLK

      yep same here, never booked an infant or child on a flight and know this is the case… it applies to age of child on aircraft not their age at departure. passengers could be gone weeks or months before returning. up to them to know age of children on return.

  2. Ahh Feck

    So Aer Lingus are supposed to know, more than the parents, when the child turns 2. Sounds like the parents tried to get away with this and then they decide to talk to joe when they get busted!

    1. Joe

      Well, if you had read the twitter comment properly you would’ve realised that the issue is more with why didn’t Aer Lingus’ booking system flag this when booking the tickets, it would not be hard to have the system calculate what the price should be based on the birth date of the child… I can’t recall if you have to put in the actual birth dates of the children, but that would obviously help to cut out these kinds of situations.

      1. Mike

        I don’t think you get asked for the birth date of a child when booking which would have caught this from happening.

  3. jennifee

    I also don’t have kids and know this. Probably tried to pull a fast one and claim they didn’t know.

  4. Barbara

    The two separate reservations would have been the clever thing to do. Let’s see what Joe has to say later today. Buckle up !!!

    1. Mister Mister

      He’ll have nothing to say. Whereas if this was Ryanair he’d be all over it from the outset.

  5. 评论员

    substitute ‘horribly’ for ‘horrifically’ to gain-1st world problem sympathizers

  6. bisted

    …the age of one only seems to last about a day…otherwise it’ll be ‘he’s two next March’ or ‘she’ll be two on Sunday’.

  7. Jay

    So he lied about the child’s age on the return trip and is annoyed at being caught?

    He’ll be complaining about getting caught committing fraud on his self assessed income taxes next.

    Also expecting any type of sympathy for this on broadsheet was always going to be a non runner.

  8. Digs

    I’ve had to pay a couple of times for a newly turned two infant. Seems unfair but the rules is the rules. So really not an issue.

  9. Soundings

    Under two’s go free on AL? AL should instead charge parents of such children a premium to fund noise cancelling headphones for the passengers unlucky enough to be seated next to the teething, crying, substance and gas emitting little poobags.

  10. octo

    Maybe he thought he was getting a good deal but I have sympathy for Mark. He inputted the child’s date of birth into the system and bought him/her a return ticket. Aer Lingus should have flagged it, and it’s not unreasonable to assume that because the child was 1 on the outward journey that the entire ticket was based on that. I’d say you have a case in the small claims court, no?

    Although as far as I know the child must have a seat after 2 years old, hence the extra charge. But you won’t get much sympathy from these barren childless cynics here on broadsheet.

    1. Sham Bob

      Nothing to do with him being a parent, although it’s unclear whether he had this special sense of entitlement before he became one. If he knew his child would be having their birthday before the flight, maybe he should have taken the time to look through the ‘miniscule’ font terms & conditions or contacted Aer Lingus, instead of just assuming all the rules would magically change in his favour. After countless similar tales in the media, he has no excuse.

    2. kellma

      Speaking from personal experience, what I find most irritating about this is that I had the same issue over 2 years ago and they still have not fixed their website. I fully expected to have the full flight charge added when I booked my daughters flight. I input her date of Birth but the fare didn’t include the extra for the return. I therefore assumed that given I had input the dob that it was because she was under 2 at the time of starting the return journey. So then I had the same issue at the time of starting the journey.
      Its not rocket science or beyond the realms of the technology that we have at our disposal, to have a logic in their website that checks the DOB input against the return journey date and apply the full fare or at least a warning if that is not possible and this is exactly what I said to their MD at the time. So I am just baffled that they haven’t managed to sort this out still…… A lot of grief that could easily be avoided.

  11. Cuckoo

    Does seem like the kind of thing their booking system / website should have caught, but kids > 2 have to pay for plane seats and I’d be surprised if the parent’s didn’t know that ahead of time.

  12. reidman

    You don’t have to enter dob to purchase a ticket – trust me, as a parent, you know nippers are free before the age of 2 and you pay child fare after that – hardly news

  13. Chris

    Ah the classic airline scam, fly out as a baby, then return as full grown toddler on a babies fare. Genius if you’re not rumbled.

  14. ahjayzis

    Simple answer – charge full fare for both journey’s. This guy should be grateful he got a discounted/free flight for his spawn – not raging he didn’t get TWO cheap flights.

  15. Sorcha01

    So as in many things in life, both parties can claim some element of ‘righteousness’ here.

    It’s not an overly complicated thing for the airline to do, to apply rules to infant fares that evaluate the outbound and inbound dates against the date of birth for the infant (which has to be supplied at time of booking). They haven’t done that so the passenger proceeded to make the booking with infant fare for both legs which would lead one to believe that the fare quoted would be the fare applied. If we work to the assumption that the OP is not lying to get a free fare for the ‘newly turned 2’ child, one should expect the airline to be best at applying its only business rules. Additionally though, informed consumers get less surprises so passengers travelling with infants/children should be familiar with the rules.

    At the same time, the airline was within its rights to charge the adult fare at the airport because the child was indeed ‘newly turned 2’. The concern I would have is that (assuming the OP again wasn’t lying) is that the passenger then got charged a higher fare class because they were paying pre-departure at the airport, whereas if they had received a flag at the time of booking that full fare was required for the child on the return journey, it may have resulted in paying a lower fare class.

  16. Brian

    Some day you will have to pay by your weight.The same as your luggage. A twenty stone person will pay more than a 10 stone person. But they sold the ticket at that price and that is the lower price and that is what should have stood. If you consider the ticket as a contract the original price was the contracted agreement . If it is not then they can charge you anything they like when you show up for any flight.

  17. Brian

    Some day you will have to pay by your weight.The same as your luggage. A twenty stone person will pay more than a 10 stone person. But they sold the ticket at that price and that is the lower price and that is what should have stood. If you consider the ticket as a contract the original price was the contracted agreement . If it is not then they can charge you anything they like when you show up for any flight.

  18. Brian

    Some day you will have to pay by your weight.The same as your luggage. A twenty stone person will pay more than a 10 stone person. But they sold the ticket at that price and that is the lower price and that is what should have stood. If you consider the ticket as a contract the original price was the contracted agreement . If it is not then they can charge you anything they like when you show up for any flight.

    1. andyourpointiswhatexactly

      You’d be screwed if you ate yourself up half a stone before you glew home, though. Then you could write an indignant tweet like yer man above.

  19. Spaghetti Hoop

    People really need to wake up about standard airline travel in the 21st century;
    It is NOT the 1950s…
    you are not entitled to VIP treatment because you chose air travel …
    you will be charged for every possible thing to offset fuel charges, insurance costs and staff wages

  20. BillyBong

    Why is it in this day and age that we have to be ‘told’ everything when it is clearly within the terms and conditions. It appears that the more worldly wise we are supposed to have become the more we need our hands held.

  21. Kieran NYC

    Seems like it wouldn’t be a huge thing for them to have their website flag it…

    Do they do the same thing for passports? Where, for example, you’re not supposed to fly to the US a certain number of months before your passport is due to expire…

  22. Tom

    So basically you tried to get away with not paying a child fare for your two year old on the return journey and got caught?

    In your own words you booked an infant fare, which it quite clearly states is for children under the age of two. Simple basic rule for all airlines worldwide and known by any parent who travels with their children.

    Your outrage at rip off Ireland for your own failing in this case is just laughable and I am embarrassed for you.

  23. Mike Dolan

    The issue here is whether the onus is on the vendor to calculate the correct fare, or on the customer?
    Clearly, as the vendor sets the various parameters to calculate a price, and employs sophisticated software to do it, then the onus should rest with the vendor.
    For example, when I buy petrol, I pay the charge shown at the pump; i.e. I rely on the vendor to calculate the right charge, and then I pay it.
    This situation is no different. AL had all the necessary info to calculate the correct fare, but failed to do so; the customer paid the requested fare and AL should have honoured it.

  24. Claire

    I’m sorry but is this not common sense? Like if I were to book my 10 year old an an infant to save $ surely it’s my fault if I get stopped at the airport??!!

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