United Simplifies Lap Child Fees On Award Tickets, Here Is Their Hidden Lap Child Fee Chart

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United used to charge 10% of the paid fare for lap children on award tickets. That meant it could be very pricey to take a lap child on a one-way award ticket as even 10% of the cash price could be astronomical.

American and Delta still charge 10% of the fare.

Speaking personally, I join United flight 232 survivor and lead flight attendant Jan Brown in strongly advocating against bringing lap children on a plane. If at all possible, buy a seat and bring along a carseat for your child. It’s much safer in the case of turbulence and it means you’ll be able to enjoy your flight when your child sleeps in a carseat instead of your arms or in a precarious bassinet.

That being said, United has now simplified how much they charge for lap children on award tickets:

I asked United’s media relations team for guidance on where the $20+taxes will apply and where the $250+taxes will apply, but they said they didn’t have a break down.

So, as I did with United’s hidden award chart, I figured out the hidden infant fee chart for myself. Of course as it’s hidden, it’s subject to change, though at least there’s a $250 cap for each direction.

And as best as I can see after searching for a number of sample flights, it’s really quite simple.

  • Flights between the US and the Western Hemisphere (in other words, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America) cost $20 in coach, $35 in premium plus, and $50 in business class, plus taxes, each way.
  • Flights between the US and the Eastern Hemisphere cost $45 in coach, $90 in premium plus, and $250 in business class, plus taxes, each way.

The same rates apply when redeeming United miles for travel on United or on partner airlines.

I couldn’t find any exceptions to that pricing on United.com, but if you do, please post a comment.

Here are some examples of what the lap child cost will look like:

 CoachPremium PlusPolaris Business
US to Western Hemisphere, one-way.
Example: Newark to Sao Paulo
Newark to Sao Paulo round-trip$40+tax=$100.75$70+tax=$130.75$100+tax=$160.75
US to Eastern Hemisphere, one-way.
Example: Newark to London, Tel Aviv, or Hong Kong
Newark to Tel Aviv round-trip$90+tax=$150.75$180+tax=$240.75$500+tax=$560.75
Newark to London round-trip$90+tax=$218.35$180+tax=$308.35$500+tax=$628.35

There are better ways to book lap child awards. For example, Air Canada Aeroplan charges just C$25 for a lap child, including for travel on United.

British Airways charges 10% of the miles instead of 10% of the fare while Lufthansa and Qantas only charge minimal taxes for a lap child.

But overall this is probably an improvement in most cases over the previous 10% of the paid fare policy. Though it’s not nearly as good as what some foreign competitors charge for lap children.

What do you think of this change? Will American and Delta match?

HT: Matthew

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12 Comments On "United Simplifies Lap Child Fees On Award Tickets, Here Is Their Hidden Lap Child Fee Chart"

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They should do away with lap children. If one is buying a seat or a space for a dog, there is no reason not to buy a seat for a human being


Can I book the award using united and book the lap child using aeroplan?

Kelly GC

Hi, do you think its possible to book an award seat UA nyc- mia for march, and call tom to get a seat this coming sunday? do u thin it will clear?

Not sure

I don’t really see the difference between the new and the old prices. The new prices Is in average about 10% of a paid fare


Big difference when looking at a $6000 business class ticket.


I don’t see why you would want to remove parental choice. Currently anyone who wants and can afford it can buy a seat for their child, or go for cheaper as a lap child. Removing the ability to travel for less for those who need it based on a very remote danger isn’t a good idea imo.


Mogul, we can travel for less by purchasing “standing only” seating, similar to what they have at Yankee Stadium. Why not go that route? Safety doesn’t discriminate between a 23 month old and a 24 month old.


if you book an infant on itinerary that used mileage with delta to israel they only charge $17 for infant