TPG reader question: Can I use Avios to book a flight for my unborn baby?
You’re never too young to start traveling.
Here at TPG we have heard impressive stories from readers about children obtaining elite airline status before the age of 5 or visiting 10 countries before they reach 10 years of age.
You may be aware that children under 2 years old can fly with a parent or adult guardian without requiring their own seat (aka as a "lap child"). This can make it a cheaper time of your life to purchase airfare. If all goes well, a newborn might sleep most, if not all, of the flight, which might make that trip to meet their grandparents just a little bit more bearable.
But what happens if you want to book a flight for a baby before it’s born (and named)? That brings us to this TPG reader of the week question.
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Can we book a ticket for our unborn baby now using Avios flying with British Airways? The baby is due in the next couple of weeks but [we] want to lock in the tickets before we travel next March.Shimal, TPG UK Facebook Lounge Member
While Shimal is likely very busy preparing for a newborn, it is great to also be thinking ahead about the logistics of traveling with the baby next year.
Related: Here’s how to pack and prepare when traveling with a baby
Obviously, the baby is not (officially) named yet and there's no way to get him or her a passport before birth.
The good news is that airlines — including British Airways — allow passengers to book flights for unborn children. You can do this by using a generic name like "Baby Jones" ahead of the birth. Once the child is born, named and given a birth certificate, Shimal can call the airline and update the child's information; this includes adding the baby's name as well as the date of birth and passport details.
It’s actually very common to book tickets for unborn children in this way.
Related: The ultimate guide to British Airways Avios
As far as the cost, while the baby doesn’t take up much space and doesn’t need a seat, they can't fly for free.
On a long-haul Avios redemption, Shimal will need to pay 10% of the Avios required for an adult, as well as 10% of the fees, taxes and surcharges. This means that for an Avios redemption requiring 50,000 Avios and $603 for the fees, taxes and surcharges, the "baby rate" would be 5,000 Avios and $60. This should not be subject to availability assuming the adults(s) have already booked their ticket(s).
Safe travels and best of luck with your new arrival, Shimal.