I'm looking at rooms at booking.com and regarding the price to add one extra child they often write something like: All children under two years old stay free of charge for childrens cots/cribs.

I'm not a native english speaker, but my understanding of "under two years old" is only applicable when the child is 0 or 1, but I called booking.com and they confirmed for one sample hotel that it is fact when the child is two years old.

So can I assume that generally when they write under two years that a two year old can stay free of charge?

The examples are from hotels in Kenya if that makes any difference.

enter image description here example

  • I could be wrong, but I understand this as 2 years and less. Always worth checking the hotel's rules and fine print
    – blackbird
    Aug 19, 2016 at 20:00
  • I doubt they will ask for proof of age. What matters is whether the child will physically fit in the cot.
    – vclaw
    Aug 19, 2016 at 20:25
  • Speculation: someone made a mistake with either their content or their English, or "2 years and under" would be too verbose.
    – Golden Cuy
    Aug 19, 2016 at 22:12
  • 1
    @AndrewGrimm if they meant "under 3" they could just write that which is not more verbose. Aug 20, 2016 at 6:24

1 Answer 1


Under two years old generally means not having reached the second birthday.

To include two-year-olds, the phrase would normally be two years old and under.

Therefore, it appears that (in the given example) for a child who is two years old you will have to pay USD 66 for an extra bed.

If you want to allow for the possibility that the company setting prices really does intend to include two-year-olds in the "under two" category, then you should call them up and say "I have a two-year-old, does she or he stay for free"? In this case, you'd obviously want to do the same when she or he turns 12.

  • 2
    I've added another example where it says under two years, but then it goes on to list prices from 3-12 which doesn't make any sense Aug 19, 2016 at 19:54
  • 1
    @EsbenSkovPedersen well it makes sense if you consider that the company is misusing the phrase "under two." In that case, your best bet is probably to ask; I've edited the answer to reflect that.
    – phoog
    Aug 19, 2016 at 19:58
  • 4
    I agree that it makes no sense to have a rule for "under two" and "3-12", but the problem is not with the suggested interpretation, but the carelessness of whoever wrote the ad. Aug 19, 2016 at 20:04
  • I agree. What is weird is I called booking.com and the person I talked to didn't seem think it was weird but she called the hotel and confirmed that it is in fact free for two year olds at this particular hotel, but my question is for the general case. Aug 19, 2016 at 20:16
  • 5
    @EsbenSkovPedersen It looks like the general case is "people don't use it consistently, so if the child is two, ask." US airlines generally allow children "under two" to fly without paying a fare as a "lap infant." Once the child is two, they have to pay for a seat. I believe that happens as of the child's second birthday.
    – phoog
    Aug 19, 2016 at 20:19

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