I recently purchased international tickets on China's largest booking agent CTRIP. I had previously searched with skyscanner and google flight (matrix) to determine the best prices. I then input the dates on ctrip using the correct information. My son is under 2 years old. It did not allow me to choose 0-2 lap or seat. I was unsure which one it was until after the booking was completed.

I just wonder if anyone has a clue as to why?

I know that other flight search engines, bookings and airline sites allow you to search with or without a seat from age 0-2...

The reason that this is frustrating enough to ask an impossible question is due to the fact that the tickets are 1. non-refundable 2. have a very high change fee 3. the lap seat ticket has no baggage (checked or carry on) and no meal.

  • One would have guess that the programming decisions led to that. Perhaps they assumed all parents would want a cheaper lap child fare. – user13044 Apr 11 '17 at 12:07
  • Perhaps you could contact the help line(s) and see whether you can be accommodated at no charge, particularly the baggage and meal, if nothing else. – Giorgio Apr 11 '17 at 13:28
  • @Tom I think that you are right however, in practice a 20 hour flight with a 0-2 year old on your lap... – AlphaTraveler Apr 11 '17 at 14:09
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    At the end of it all, you might want to answer your own question, with everything you've unearthed; it adds value. – Giorgio Apr 11 '17 at 14:14
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    Yes, I won't book a lap child fare for trans-oceanic flights. My 4 year old has 4 long haul trips under her belt (from SE Asia to Europe, Africa & USAx2) and has always had her own seat. – user13044 Apr 11 '17 at 14:34

@Dorothy This is my "answer". Ctrip contacted Delta and then emailed me. Here is their response and I quote " Regarding your flight reservation from Shanghai to Buffalo Round Trip (Order No. 01010101010, passenger name(s): abc, dfe, jhi), there is no such lap seat according to the airline. We have applied for the Infant Carrier seat on your behalf with the airlines. Please confirm whether the airlines have arranged it for you during check-in at the airport." I believe that their Chinese-English possibly misunderstood the issue and misunderstood the answer. As, I said before I called Delta they do offer seats to under 2. But, when I checked their website it was apparently lacking the option even under advanced. I guess I took if for granted that most flight search engines like https://www.google.com/flights/ , http://matrix.itasoftware.com/ ,http://kayak.com/ and so on allow you to specify age and lap or seat. It seems that Delta does not unless you call. Ctrip should have this search functionality as they deal with multiple carriers and their English site is for foreigners. However, they do not. I will certainly think twice about booking with CTRIP again in the future. I cannot blame delta as it was the booking websites issue. I suppose as long as my son has a bassinet it will all work out. Otherwise, I will let him run up and down the aisles until the attendants decide to accommodate the little guy. :D

  • The only remaining concerns leaving it as is are the following. 1.no baggage allowance for my son. 2.no meal for him (both require extra fees) I suppose since the seat ticket would be 1,000usd it would still be cheaper to pay for 2-3 meals and 2 checked bags. – AlphaTraveler Apr 11 '17 at 15:25

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