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Budget airlines not always best value for infants

Extra charges can add up so best to shop around

flying with baby

Budget airlines may not always be the best value option for parents travelling with a baby, new Which? analysis has found.

Looking at ticket price alone doesn’t always give the full picture – especially as budget airlines can add extra charges for an infant’s luggage.

Children under the age of two don’t need their own seat, but adult passengers are charged a fee to carry a baby on their lap – typically around £20 per infant.

However, some airlines also charge to check in luggage for an infant or to have a baby bag in the cabin – all of which can drive up the overall cost of a flight.

Read our guide to understand your rights when travelling with a baby or an infant. 

Headline flight price not full picture

A Which? snapshot looked at one popular route – London to Malaga – to compare prices when travelling with a baby.

Flying on 28 August 2015 with Monarch Airlines costs £65.99 for one adult, plus a £20 infant fee compared with £99.66, plus a £19.66 infant fee with British Airways.

But this isn’t the full story. The BA flight includes 10kg checked-in luggage for a baby, checked-in luggage for the parent as well as cabin baggage for both parent and infant. 

On the Monarch flight you’ll need to pay a minimum of £24.99 per checked-in bag (this could be much more) and there’s no allowance for an infant cabin bag.

You can find helpful tips and information about what baby products to take on holiday, making your trip as stress-free as possible. 

@inlinemarker@ Costs to fly with a baby @inlinemarker@

Hand luggage not always included

Only two airlines we looked at – Ryanair and British Airways – allow an extra cabin bag without an extra fee. For the other airlines, you’d need to carry everything you need for your baby in your own hand luggage.  

All airlines allow a pushchair or a stroller at no extra cost, but make sure you shop around. 

It’s not always clear at first glance which airline offers the best value for money as headline ticket prices don’t always tell the full story.

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