Q. Do airlines charge for lap infants?

A. Airlines do not charge (at least not yet) for lap infants on domestic U.S. flights, however they do on most international fares, typically 10 percent of the applicable adult fare. Even if you’re traveling on a “free” frequent flyer ticket, your lap child will pay 10% of the adult fare, which can be quite a lot if you’re sitting in business class or first class. As we’ve stated before, however, since planes take off and land at very high speeds, and can come to sudden stops on runways, we don’t advise holding an infant in your lap (any more than you would do in an automobile traveling at far slower speeds).

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