This is our guide to booking flights using miles and points when travelling with an infant.

Last weekend, I was chatting to a cousin of mine who was after some suggestions for a trip later this year – ideally using miles and points. He’s recently had a baby and our conversation turned to the costs of travelling with an infant.

I mentioned the advantages of travelling before the child turns two and requires a ‘full ticket’ – something I’m quite conscious of at the moment, as my youngest turns two later this year.

Along those lines, I thought it would be useful to put together a guide with the different airline policies for redeeming miles & points for infant tickets.

Who is considered an ‘infant’?

Almost all airlines (that I’m aware of) only require you to buy a seat for your child from the age of two. Using miles is no different but it might surprise you to know which airlines have particularly rough policies when it comes to pricing infant award tickets.

Generally speaking, airlines will charge you a percentage (often 10%) of the equivalent adult ticket in the same cabin when adding an infant to an award booking.

That being the case, there’s certainly a school of thought that says you should tick off some of your bucket list travel while your baby is still young enough to sleep through flights. Or more importantly, before you have to cough up the cost of a full ticket for them.

It’s one thing redeeming 200,000 Avios for return business class tickets to New York for you and your partner. However, that becomes 300,000 Avios once your child turns two, which may not be as feasible.

Here’s what some of the major international airlines charge when flying with an infant using miles and points:

Air France

Cost = 10% of an adult cash ticket + taxes and fees.

American Airlines

Cost = 10% of an adult cash ticket + taxes and fees.

British Airways

Cost = 10% of the mileage required for an adult ticket + taxes and fees

This is undoubtedly a huge upside to using British Airways Avios. People will moan, often rightly so, about BA’s hefty taxes, but charging just 10% of the miles for an adult ticket makes BA one of the more generous airlines in this regard.

Here’s an example of a First Class return trip from London to New York for 2 adults and an infant, using Avios:

BA - Infant 10% miles example

As you can see, the cost of the infant ticket would be just 16,000 Avios + £106 return. Unfortunately, BA’s generosity doesn’t stretch to charging just 10% of the adult taxes and fees!

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles are a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards points, HSBC Reward points and Marriott Bonvoy so there’s no shortage of earning opportunities. They also have some pretty nice sweet spots when it comes to redeeming miles for business/first class travel – but that’s a post for another time.

Their infant policy isn’t great though.

Cost = 25% of adult cash ticket cost + taxes and fees for flights to/from USA.

Cost = 10% of an adult cash ticket + taxes and fees for non-USA flights.

Sure it’s a great feeling redeeming 100,000 miles to fly First Class between San Fransisco and Hong Kong, when the cash cost of the same ticket is about £10,000. However, if you have to stump up £2,500 + taxes to bring your baby along, suddenly the maths doesn’t look all that compelling anymore.

Delta Air Lines

Cost = 10% of an adult cash ticket + taxes and fees.


There is a big difference here, depending on which cabin you are looking to book.

Economy bookings = 10% of the mileage required for an adult ticket + taxes and fees

Business/First class bookings = 10% of an adult cash ticket + taxes and fees.

Etihad Airways

Cost = 10% of an adult cash ticket + taxes and fees.


Cost = 10% of an adult cash ticket + taxes and fees.


Cost = LATAM doesn’t allow infants on reward bookings. If you want to fly with a baby, it seems a cash ticket is required.


Cost = Taxes & fees only.

Additional child discount – there’s an additional and unusually generous benefit available when redeeming Miles & More miles for children between 2 and 12. While on most airlines, you’ll be expected to pay the full mileage redemption cost once a child turns 2, on the below airlines, children’s tickets are subject to a 25% discount. 

This applies to flights with:

  • Lufthansa
  • Luxair
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Eurowings
  • Adria Airways
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Croatia Airlines
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Germanwings

Singapore Airlines

Cost = 10% of an adult cash ticket + taxes and fees.

United Airlines

Cost = 10% of an adult cash ticket + taxes and fees for international flights.

Virgin Atlantic

Cost = Fixed pricing levels 

For a while, Virgin moved away from their traditional fixed pricing for infant redemptions and were charging 10% of the revenue fare for that flight. If you were looking to redeem miles for an Upper Class ticket, that could quite easily add £500+ to the cost of your trip.

Thankfully, they have now reverted back to their original policy and I’d say Virgin Atlantic have one of the best, if not the best, infant reward ticket policies.

The Virgin website states:

An infant under two at the time of travel, and not requiring a seat, will be charged at the following one-way levels:

  • 1,000 miles in Economy
  • 2,000 miles in Premium
  • 5,000 miles in Upper Class

It’s worth noting that Virgin has a separate chart for infant bookings on partner airlines such as Delta or ANA:

Virgin - Partner award - infant policy

As you can see from the screenshot above, you’ll pay for a return journey:

  • Economy – 2,000 miles
  • Business Class – 10,000 miles
  • First Class – 14,000 miles

If you booked ANA First Class to Japan for just 120,000 Virgin miles return for example – an infant would only require an additional 14,000 miles.

Bottom line

The key thing to remember is that it’s the policy of the airline whose miles you are using to book that will usually apply not the airline you are flying with.

For example:

If you use Avios to book a return trip in business class from London-New York on American Airlines you’ll pay approximately 10,000-12,000 Avios + taxes to add an infant to your reservation.

If you booked the same ticket using American AAdvantage miles, you’d pay 10% of the cash fare for those flights. It’s quite normal to see non-stop business class tickets on that route for £5,000+ making adding an infant a sizeable expense.

Have you ever redeemed miles when travelling with an infant – what was your experience?

2 thoughts

  1. I have redeemed many times with BA for my infants while they were each at 5 weeks old travelling Washington DC to Newcastle. This has saved my family from having to pay cash.
    Iberia was not great as child pay 10% cash value which means my husband was in economy with our 8 month old while i was in business class with our 3 years old. At least we were all kindly allowed in the business lounge which was great.
    Singapore we had to pay cash value for 8 months old so we went premium economy on KrisFlyer redemption.
    I think BA is the best for infant (0-2 yrs) redemption.
    However do bear in mind that on cash price ticket it’s definitely Emirates or Qatar as my child ticket was only £10 for travelling return U.K. to Singapore which was incredible so it’s could worth paying cash for all parties travelling then redeeming miles.

    1. Thanks for the detailed feedback! I’d definitely agree that BA has one of the infant redemption policies, although on more expensive redemptions Virgin may just come out ahead with their capped 10,000 miles for an Upper Class return ticket.

      Sounds like you’ve done a fantastic amount of travel with kids 😀.


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