Time is money and the bottom line is this: adding an infant to award tickets from Avianca LifeMiles is truly a pain. That’s why I am happy to pay more miles for an identical ticket on Air Canada Aeroplan.
Booking Infant Award Ticket Via Avianca LifeMiles
There are few things more frustrating than booking adding an infant to your Avianca-issued award ticket. First, Avianca LifeMiles will be of no help. Don’t even try. They will simply direct you to reach out to your operating carrier.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Call the operating carrier, like Lufthansa or SWISS, and chances are the agent will tell you that “we didn’t issue the ticket, so we cannot issue the infant ticket.”
This is not the case. But when you talk about “adding” an infant ticket, you invariably get that response.
Instead, the key is to say, “I wish to purchase an infant ticket.” That slight nuance in language seems to do the trick.
But getting past that hurdle is not enough. Pricing for an infant ticket will generally be be 10% of the current price of the cabin you are flying in.
So in my case, a one-way business class ticket from Los Angeles to Frankfurt on Lufthansa was $7,140.20. 10% of that was about $700.
Decent, but if you buy LifeMiles during periodic bonus sales, you can get an extra seat for that price.
A one-way business class ticket from Los Angeles to Frankfurt costs 63,500 miles.
Booking Infant Award Ticket Via Air Canada Aeroplan
Air Canada Aeroplan charges more for the same ticket. Instead of paying 63,500 miles, you’ll pay 70,000 miles.
But infant tickets are so easy. Simply call after ticketing and the cost is 25CAD (currently ~20USD) or 2,500 miles. The whole process is accomplished in 10-15 minutes over the phone.
You have to look beyond the base charge. In my case, it was a no-brainer to book with Aeroplan.
Why Air Canada Aeroplan Makes More Sense Than Avianca LifeMiles For Infant Award Tickets
Your time is valuable too and the ease of booking an infant ticket award on Aeroplan plus the cheap price make Aeroplan redemptions so much more practical and wiser than LifeMiles.
Let’s do the numbers with a slightly more complex example. Say you were flying from Los Angeles to Warsaw via Frankfurt. The cost of this award is 63,500 LifeMiles or 85,000 Aeroplan miles.
A one-way business class ticket is $5273.70 so the infant ticket would be $527 if booked with Lufthansa.
How much is the difference in points worth? I value LifeMiles at 1.2 cents, their replacement rate during a great sale. I value Aeroplan miles at 1.5 cents each. This is subjective, of course.
- LifeMiles – 63,500 x .012 = $762
- Aeroplan – 85,000 x .015 = $1275
As you can see, the difference between $1275 and $762 is $513. Add the $20 Air Canada booking fee and you are actually almost even to the penny.
Seems like a wash, right?
But it’s not if you value your time. That’s because you will likely have to fight a Lufthansa or other Star Alliance carrier agent to actually book a ticket if you book via LifeMiles versus a quick call to Aeroplan. It’s nice to avoid that stress.
If redeeming miles for an infant, stay away from LifeMiles for international tickets, particularly in premium cabins. Book via Aeroplan instead, even if it costs more miles. You won’t regret the time saved and lack of stress in easily adding an infant to your reservation.