Air Canada says parents must pay to guarantee 2-year-old can sit with them on flight

I read an interesting article today about a family that found out that their two-year old was not guaranteed a seat adjacent to her parents on a forthcoming Air Canada flight.

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Air Canada only guarantees a child between the ages of two and eight will be seated in the same cabin as a parent or guardian, not an adjacent seat, or even the same row.

Unless, that is, a $40 fee is paid to reserve a specific seat.

Confused at what the online ticketing system appeared to be telling her, Caley Hartney called Air Canada customer service, where the agent confirmed the required fee and referred her to the company’s conditions of service on their website.

The agent said that according to Air Canada rules, it is only required that a parent of a child aged two to eight is seated in the same cabin as their child.

This is an interesting story but honestly I can’t see a flight attendant or ticket agent not letting a family sit together. It is a ridiculous fee to expect parents to pay for this extra service.

Has this happened to you on Air Canada or another airline? 

Here is a link to the article on CBC.


  • Tom
    Posted April 29, 2016 10:13 am 0Likes

    Hey, I would be fine with that. If the airline wants to seat my screaming three-year-old beside someone else, I won’t complain a bit. 🙂

  • Rob
    Posted April 29, 2016 2:24 pm 0Likes

    Why wouldn’t one of the adults take the seat in the other row so the kid is at least sitting by one of the two parents?

  • terri
    Posted April 29, 2016 3:57 pm 0Likes

    Happens all the time on Southwest
    They do family boarding but often its for 4 and under. My three girls wouldnt want to sit next to strangers at ages 6, 8 and 9.

  • CalgaryPotato
    Posted May 2, 2016 5:43 pm 0Likes

    Air Canada did that to me when my son was 3, luckily someone was willing to switch seats, but Air Canada was very clear that it was up to me to figure it out. This was back in 2010, so not a new policy by any means.

  • Wendy
    Posted May 25, 2016 6:04 pm 0Likes

    Craziest thing I’ve ever heard, but nothing surprises me with air travel now, with all the extra fees being charged on everything. Flying is such a commodity now, but I guess the prices reflect that.

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