If you’re adopting a child from enough of a distance that you’ll have to fly to reach him or her, that can come with its own set of difficulties. How do you go about booking adoption flights? Are there adoption airfare discounts? What are the best adoption airlines?
The unfortunate truth is that, for the most part, adoption airfare deals are confusing and unclear. It is rumored that there are Delta adoption fares — specifically targeted toward those families needing international adoption airfare — but adoptive families will need to call the airline to learn more about the lowest adoption airfare. Groups like Adoption Airfare may also offer discounted international adoption airfare rates.
If, however, you are adopting domestically, here are some helpful tips we’ve found for managing adoption airfare:
1. If possible, buy a ticket that can be changed.
While it may be more expensive to do so, this can be cheaper in the long run if your baby doesn’t arrive on the scheduled due date.
2. Consider timing.
In most cases, you should wait to book your travel until close to the time of your baby’s birth. However, if time away from home isn’t an obstacle and you may have to travel on popular travel dates (around the holidays, etc.), book tickets as far in advance as possible after learning of your baby’s due date. It’s likely that you will have to change the dates, but you’ll want to purchase a flight months in advance rather than days if at all possible.
3. Buy travel insurance.
While it may be unlikely, it’s possible that you will have to cancel your flight instead of rescheduling it. You may be able to reschedule your travel within a calendar year without forfeiting the ticket’s value.
4. Inquire about discounts.
Call the airline directly to ask about adoption flight discounts. This is a bit of a stab in the dark; it may work and it may not. But hey, you just might be able to speak to a manager who has a soft spot for adoption!
5. Pack lightly.
You can buy most of the baby things you will need once you arrive and meet your child. Carry-ons and checked bags can add up.
Adoption flights can be stressful, but always attempt to call the airline’s customer service when booking. If they can’t offer you special domestic adoption airfare, they can at least walk you through the best policy in such a situation.