Family trip up in the air over rigmarole to get newborn on their flight to Ireland

A Richmond, B.C., family is stressed because less than three weeks before their departure date, FlightHub.com and airlines refuse to add newborn to booking on trip to Ireland.

Mother claims FlightHub.com said baby can be added after it is born, but easy

Six-week-old Fynn Scully's christening is scheduled for early February in Ireland. (Christer Waara/CBC )

Update: Shortly after CBC published this story, FlightHub sent an email asking for more details about the passenger to review the booking. They say that once they can investigate, they can reach out to Andrea Scully and rectify the situation as the travel date is fast approaching. 

A young couple in Richmond, B.C., fears a family trip to Ireland is in jeopardy because of the run-around they're getting trying to add their newborn daughter to flight reservations.

Andrea Scully was pregnant when she booked the holiday for herself, her husband and their two-year-old son Liam with FlightHub.com in July 2017. 

Scully said she told FlightHub.com she would also need to book for her unborn child. 

"The person I spoke to said no problem at all," said Scully. 

Scully said she was told to call back when the baby was born and its name, gender and birth date would be added to the reservation. 

Earlier this month, Scully attempted to do just that — add six-week-old baby Fynn to the travel documents — but was told she would have to call the airline herself. 

Scully called Aer Lingus.

A representative added Fynn to the London-Dublin portion of the trip but told Scully she must call code-share partner British Airways regarding the Vancouver-London portion.

Scully called British Airways and was told to call Aer Lingus.

Two weeks with no answers

And, so it began — the back and forth between Aer Lingus, British Airways and FlightHub.com.

"It was two weeks ago that I started calling," said Scully. 

"At this point I don't really know what to do." 

Andrea Scully hammers away at her laptop trying to amend a family booking to Ireland while her father helps mind the children. (Christer Waara/CBC )

In her most recent conversation with British Airways, Scully said an agent gave her a reference number for Fynn but  told her to call back once the baby had a passport and to be prepared to pay $225 for an infant seat.

The initial cost of the adult Vancouver-Dublin return tickets were $718 each, said Scully. 

Infants usually fly at 10 per cent the cost of an adult ticket, according to air passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs

'Not the passenger's problem'

"Aer Lingus has to sort it out with British Airways. It's not the passenger's problem," said Lukacs, who spoke to CBC by phone from Halifax, N.S. 

"It's a problem between Aer Lingus and its subcontractor, which happens to be British Airways." 

International Airlines Group is the parent company of Aer Lingus and British Airways.

In an email, a representative said CBC's inquiry about Scully's situation had been forwarded to Aer Lingus in Dublin and to British Airways in New York. 

British Airways responded, saying it would look into the matter once it had the customers' names and booking reference.

That information was provided immediately.

In her last discussion with FlightHub.com, Scully said she was told she could cancel her flight for a short-term credit but not for a refund. 

No help offered

She says it was also suggested to her to simply take the baby to the airport on the date of departure and try to get her on the flight at the check-in counter. 

"I don't feel I've gotten any help at all through FlightHub.com," said Scully. 

"There was one phone call, I was on the phone for three hours between talking, being on hold, talking again and basically telling me nothing." 

At CBC's Wednesday deadline, FlightHub.com had not responded to two requests for an interview.

Shortly after CBC published this story, though, FlightHub sent an email asking for more details about the passenger to review the booking. They say that once they can investigate, they can reach out to Andrea Scully and rectify the situation as the travel date is fast approaching. 

A scheduled christening

"I'm quite stressed out," said Scully. 

The trip is more than a holiday. Fynn's christening has been scheduled in Ireland and it's supposed to be a time for overseas relatives to meet the baby. 

Scully says in the future it's unlikely she will book travel via a third party. 

"Even though it's more expensive, I would just rather book directly with the airline because then the airline would be able to help me."  

Three years ago, Scully booked a similar trip when she was pregnant with her first child. 

On that occasion, she said, the airline booked an infant seat for "Baby Scully" and when the baby was born, the file was updated with the correct name and birth date. 

About the Author

Belle Puri

Reporter

Belle Puri is a veteran journalist who has won awards for her reporting in a variety of fields.

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